May 27, 2024

Giants Make Matt Barkley Decision Ahead of Tyrod Taylor’s Return

Matt Barkley has been released by the New York Giants, but there’s still a potential future for the quarterback with the team. This is especially true if primary backup Tyrod Taylor is prepared to play in some capacity against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14, following his return from injured reserve on Monday, December 4. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported that both Barkley and fellow quarterback Jacob Eason were let go on Monday but mentioned that Barkley will be re-signed to the practice squad as insurance.

Giants injury news: QB Tyrod Taylor designated to return from IR - Big Blue  View

Despite Barkley’s familiarity with head coach Brian Daboll’s playbook from their time together with the Buffalo Bills, his status had to be adjusted due to Taylor’s return from a rib injury. The 34-year-old was present at practice on Monday, according to the Giants.

The potential return of Taylor could potentially create a quarterback controversy, especially considering the impressive performance of undrafted free agent Tommy DeVito. DeVito’s unexpected emergence played a significant role in Barkley not seeing playing time with the Giants. Barkley’s last appearance in an NFL game was in 2020 under Daboll’s coaching, where he had limited opportunities during mop-up duty while starting quarterback Josh Allen was on the sidelines.

Alumnus Brian Daboll named NFL Coach of the Year : News Center

Barkley joined the Giants on October 31, filling in for the injured Taylor and starting quarterback Daniel Jones. His main competition was DeVito, with Eason later joining them on the practice squad.

Despite Barkley and Eason having better pedigrees as former fourth-round draft picks compared to DeVito, Daboll ultimately chose DeVito. DeVito’s success, leading the Giants to consecutive victories over the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots, solidifies his position as the likely starter against the Packers. However, Taylor’s impact on the Giants’ wins this season adds an extra layer to the quarterback situation.

Taylor’s notable performances, including two touchdown passes against the Commanders and a strong showing against the Bills, have led some, such as Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire, to believe that the Giants are more effective with Taylor in the lineup. Farrar highlighted Taylor’s better performance on vertical throws of “20+ air yards” compared to Jones.

Statistically, Taylor’s average intended air yards per attempt, according to Pro Football Reference, was 7.7, surpassing DeVito’s 7.2. Restoring Taylor to the lineup could address the Giants’ challenge in pushing the ball vertically, a struggle during Daboll’s coaching tenure.

While DeVito is popular and winning, the presence of a more experienced quarterback like Taylor or the re-signed Barkley could contribute to the Giants’ recent improvement. The value of experience is crucial for Daboll to maintain a quarterback room with players familiar with his offensive scheme.

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