The New York Jets and Penn State product Saquon Barkley is a perfect match made in football heaven. The timing, on the other hand, is anything but dreamy.
It was CBS that usually hosted Saquon Barkley’s football love on Sundays. CBS, due to the fact the Penn State freakish product was born in 1997 and 1998 was when CBS officially took over the rights to host all AFC Sunday afternoon road games, stealing it right from under NBC’s carpet.
What a time it was for this particular network.
New York was back. With the Giants struggling to lift above-average during the meat of the 90s, the Big Tuna, Bill Parcells, had officially turned a wretched 1-15 New York Jets team around, nearly missing the playoffs in 1997 with a 9-7 mark. The Jets then paid dearly for Curtis Martin and marched to the AFC championship game during CBS’s first AFC season.
Though he doesn’t remember 1998, Barkley, a kid whose heart and soul remains in the Bronx, knows what fueled his football heart.
Most times, it was CBS, the network that showcased a combination of Curtis Martin and the Jets, via Rich Cimini of ESPN New York.
“I was a New York Jets fan growing up,” the former Penn State running back said Thursday at the NFL scouting combine. “My dad said I used to sit there at a very young age and watch football with him and tell him, ‘I’m going to play for that team one day.’ “
Barkley remained a Jet fan despite moving to Allentown, Pennsylvania when he was still a toddler. Allenton, while closer to Philadelphia, is still close enough to his roots in the Bronx.
It’s perfection. How could Barkley not wind up the newest Jets come the night of April 26 at the 2018 NFL Draft? Stories like this don’t just pass by without realized and fulfilled meaning.
“I’m very confident in myself,” said Barkley, whose family moved to an Allentown, Pennsylvania, suburb in 2001. “Whether the ball is on the 99-yard line or the 1-yard line, I’m going to find a way to get into the end zone. I can do it all. I can go over the top or I can beat you with speed. I can beat you with some wiggle or I can run through you.”
Have you seen the kid’s beastly highlight-reel footage? Again, it’s perfect. Hometown kid returns in epic fashion to dominate the NFL gridiron.
Saquon Barkley and the New York Jets is a combination showcasing perfection at an unfortunate imperfect time.
Despite one’s level of agreeance, there’s no arguing the idea that the NFL running back is now a devalued position. The hard salary cap with a mixture of a new found belief that at least three are needed in the rotation has brought this reality on, hurting every back who’s opted for the NFL Draft over the last 10-15 years.
With the sixth pick in the draft, the Jets have no business in eyeing Barkley.
Should they be tempted? Yes. The kid may be a generational talent. He might be the best back to come out of the collegiate ranks in decades. The kid is, without a shadow of a doubt, that damn good.
The Jets depth chart offers up incorrect timing for such a homecoming to commence.
It’s a quarterback league. Mike Maccagnan has no quarterbacks. It’s a quarterback year for the draft and New York is in prime position to scoop up the second or third arm off the board.
Additionally, the current state of the offensive line ranks in the bottom quarter of the league. It’s a position Maccagnan and the suits in the front office have inexcusably ignored as of late and it has to end now. It remains in such a state that even if Kirk Cousins were to be scooped up, Quenton Nelson should be taken in the six hole. Kelvin Beachum, James Carpenter, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell and whichever center they choose cannot be the starting O-line heading into August.
Barkley is slated to meet with the Jets this week in Indianapolis at the Combine and circumstances make for terrific headlines and stories ready to liquify all eyes looking on.
Unfortunately, it’s just not the right time. The Jets are too far behind the eight-ball to use such a prime selection at a devalued position.
Everybody would love to see Saquon Barkley and the New York Jets come together. Reality is, it shouldn’t happen unless the Jets hit two Yankee Stadium Bronx grand slams during free agency, shoring up both the quarterback and offensive line in one fell swoop.