Saquon Barkley Eli Manning
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New York Giants RB and 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley takes a jab at the critics of long-time Big Blue QB Eli Manning.

Many people have criticized the New York Giants after they decided to stick with QB Eli Manning in 2019. Earlier in March, Big Blue paid Manning his $5 million roster bonus for next season, making it likely his spot on the roster is safe.

A large number of Eli’s critics have come out of the shadows the past few seasons. Many believe he’s an aging leader of the Giants offense and that he’s a “statue” in the now faster-paced NFL.

Now, Giants RB Saquon Barkley has come to Eli’s side in a new interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks. Firing back at the critics, Saquon labels the criticism towards his quarterback as “unfair.”

“Yeah, it bothers me. I’m not going to lie because it’s not [Eli’s] fault,” Barkley said. “He’s not the reason why [we’ve struggled]. We love to put the blame on one person, but it takes 11 men, a team and an organization all together to win.”

Barkley finished his rookie year with 1,307 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 91 balls for 721 yards and four scores. His 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the NFL and was a huge reason as to why he was selected as the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Manning will return to a Giants offense in which spreading the field has to be a necessity. Without wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Manning will have to utilize Barkley, tight end Evan Engram, along with wideouts Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Bennie Fowler Jr., Cody Latimer and Corey Coleman.

Eli may also have to take a mentor-type role. Big Blue still could draft a quarterback such as Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. Rumors also swirled that the Giants have discussed a trade for Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen.

Either way, Eli Manning is still the starter at this stage in the offseason.

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