Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is a lock to go in the top five of the NFL draft but it seems like his team really doesn’t want him to go at #2 or #4 to the Cleveland Browns. According to a report from Sports Illustrated, Barkley’s personal manager has implored him to refuse to sign with the Browns if they draft him the same way Eli Manning forced the Chargers to trade him when they picked him #1 overall in 2004.
His Roc Nation handlers, however, don’t want him to be taken No. 1. They don’t want him in Cleveland. They want him to go second to the Giants and play in the media capital of the world. That’s where you can become the Face of the League. His manager even implored him to pull an Eli Manning and demand that the Browns not draft him. Barkley never considered the option. Sure, he likes the idea of being back in the city of his birth—even playing for the Jets, the team he grew up rooting for. And of course he’s heard countless people tell him that if he ends up in Cleveland, his career will be ruined.
It appears that Barkley isn’t going to have to make any drastic decisions on draft night because all signs are pointing towards him getting drafted by the NY Giants second overall.
–Update- Roc Nation Sports is disputing SI’s story and they also want to point out that Barkley’s personal manager is not employed with Roc Nation Sports.
Via Mary Cabot of Cleveland.com
“I can say on behalf of our entire team that we would be thrilled for Saquon to go to whichever team drafts him,” his agent, Kim Miale told cleveland.com in a text response. “We know he will be a resounding success for any team fortunate enough to select him.”