Overreactions, reality checks after first week of free agency: Giants better off without Saquon Barkley?

The first week of free agency is essentially completed, with plenty of moves around the NFL that resulted in one of the busiest weeks of transactions in recent years. Kirk Cousins went to the Atlanta Falcons, Saquon Barkley went to the Philadelphia Eagles, and Christian Wilkins went to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Those were a few moves that highlighted the free agent signings, some of which sparked some more overreactions around the league. Which of the top signings and lack of moves deserved overreactions and which deserved a reality check? 

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

The Falcons are certainly a better team with Cousins at quarterback, the missing piece Atlanta needed to win the NFC South the last few seasons. Atlanta had a contending team in the division last year, but quarterback performance between Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke kept them from winning the division.

With Cousins at quarterback, the Falcons are certainly division title contenders in a weak NFC South. Atlanta also added Calvin Ridley and Rondale Moore to an offense that already has Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London at the skill positions. The Falcons also have one of the best run blocking offensive lines in football. 

Are they a Super Bowl contender with this group? There are still teams in the NFC that are more playoff tested and better than Atlanta. Cousins also have to prove he can make a deep playoff run of his own too. The Falcons are a playoff team in 2024, but the rest is to be determined. 

Overreaction or reality: Reality

The Giants built a team around Barkley over the last six years, but have just a playoff win and a 34-64-1 record to show for it. They were wise to move on from Barkey, not make an offer, and allocate their money elsewhere. 

New York spent that Barkley money on improving the offensive line, adding Jon Runyan and Jermaine Eluemunor. Their big move was trading for Brian…


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