Saquon Barkley
AP Photo

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley believes the team has grown since they traded Odell Beckham Jr. in March. 

Much criticism was directed towards the New York Giants when they decided to trade receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in March. You don’t see many teams trade a star player the season after signing him to a five-year extension worth $95 million.

However, that’s what Giants general manager Dave Gettleman decided to do, and Big Blue has to rebuild after it.

One player that believes the Giants have grown since the trade is their other star player, running back Saquon Barkley.

The second-year pro spoke to Henry McKenna of For The Win last week at his “Quad Squad Quad Challenge” event about how Big Blue has come into their own.

“Obviously Odell’s gone, but that trade happened so long ago,” Barkley said. “We’ve been in the locker room for a really long time without him. We’re still doing the same things that we need to do, and I think we’ve even grown more as a team, just going out more, whether it’s getting dinner or doing things like Top Golf and other team activities. I think the locker room is really great, and I think it’s showing on the field.”

Now that Beckham is in Cleveland, Barkley will look to be even more of a leader for this Giants offense. Despite it only being his sophomore season, Barkley will be arguably the most talented and dependent weapon for Big Blue.

Even with his rookie-year achievements, Barkley believes he still has work to do.

“As a rookie, I came in and watched how Eli [Manning] and [linebacker Alec] Ogletree worked,” Barkley said. “Obviously, you can’t come into that position from day one. You’ve got to earn that respect and earn that role. I think I’ve been doing a good job of that so far, and obviously, I still have some room to improve.”

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