Jonathan Stewart
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Now-former New York Giants running back Jonathan Stewart has some nice words for rookie sensation Saquon Barkley

When the New York Giants decided not to pick up the second year of RB Jonathan Stewart’s contract earlier this month, there were no hard feelings. Stewart is old enough to know that the NFL is still a business and that Big Blue was doing what was best for the franchise.

The Giants signed Stewart last offseason and then drafted Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick shortly after. Stewart’s role was to mainly be a mentor in the locker room as well as be an asset to the running game when Barkley was off the field.

However, Stewart landed on injured reserve just three games into the season. He eventually never played a down for the Giants again, finishing 2018 with only six carries for 17 yards.

Last week, Stewart was interviewed on Nick Wilson and Josh Parcell’s radio show on WFNZ. Within the show, Stewart praised Barkley for just how much he impressed in his inaugural season in the pros.

“He’s just a tremendous talent, there’s no way around it,” Stewart said. “He’s doing things that are just freakish.”

Barkley finished his rookie year with 1,307 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 91 passes for 721 yards and 4 touchdowns, which led to him leading the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. Barkley eventually won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year, AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, FedEx Ground Player of the Year, and made the Pro Bowl.

Stewart also touched upon how important it is to be a running back involved in the passing game.

“The game’s changing, and it’s changing for the good for that position being more involved in the passing game,” Stewart mentioned. “Seeing guys coming out there running in the slot, running routes like receivers. That’s an important thing that’s needed in the game now from the running back position.”

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.