NFL: Who is the Better Running Back in New York?

This offseason things got interesting in New York in terms of football. First off the New York Jets signed former Pittsburgh Steeler running back Le’Veon Bell. Then the New York Giants passed on Dwayne Haskins to draft Daniel Jones. Yeah, I’m also still not sure how that happened. However, we’re here to talk about running backs, and New York has two of the best. So who is the best running back in New York? Quite frankly I don’t know if you can pick one over the other. Both running backs are incredible in their own ways. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at who may be the better of the two.

Saquon Barkley had quite possibly the best rookie season I’ve ever seen. The kid out of Penn State showed why he was such a highly touted player. Barkley managed to run for over 1,300 yards behind that awful Giants offensive line which is a feat on its own. He also caught 91 passes for 721 yards and 15 touchdowns combined. While I firmly believe we have yet to see the best out of the youngster it’s hard to imagine that he could be even better. He tore up college football at Penn State, now he’s transitioned to the NFL and could be an MVP candidate. Barkley opens the season as 80/1 odds to win the award but I’d be willing to put serious money on the second-year player. He may not only be the best running back in New York but all of the NFL.

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Now let’s look at Le’Veon. Bell hasn’t played an NFL snap since 2017 when the Steelers lost to the Jaguars in the playoffs. That in itself is concerning to me. All throughout Bell’s holdout we heard how he wanted $17M a year a number the Steelers came close to but never offered Bell. He ended up signing with the Jets on March 13th for less than $17M. But we’re not here to be salty Pittsburgh fans. In Bell’s last season on the field, he rushed for just under 1,300 yards, caught 85 catches for 655 yards, and had a total of 11 touchdowns. Bell was the cream of the crop for running backs that year but I have my own personal questions. Can Bell return to his 2017 form? Can he stay healthy all season? Will he fail any more drug tests? All questions we don’t know yet.

Looking at these players respectively all signs point to Saquon Barkley being the better running back in New York. I’m looking exclusively at players and taking their teams out of consideration simply because the Giants are a dumpster fire and the Jets actually looked poised to do something. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Le’Veon Bell have an incredible season even after not playing for a year. He’s just that good. His patience will continue to open up holes and his running ability makes the Jets at the very least a 500 team. Same can be said about Barkley except the Giants are terrible and Eli Manning will be too busy throwing interceptions to make the Giants relevant. 

There’s no right or wrong answer here because both players are elite caliber. But if you were to put me on the spot and ask me who the better running back in New York was, I’d have to go with Saquon Barkley. Simply because Le’Veon Bell hasn’t stepped on an NFL field in a year, let alone take an NFL hit. I love both players abilities but Barkley will be the future of this league and the future of the Giants.

Who do you think will be the best RB in New York? Leave a comment below.

Handoff to IroniqMedia for all of your NFL coverage.

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevereed95.

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