NFC Notes: Saquon Barkley, Commanders, Cowboys, Giants


Commanders DC Jack Del Rio had high praise of LB Khaleke Hudson and thinks he’s carried confidence into the offseason. 

“Guys like Khaleke Hudson have been really been playing outstanding,” Del Rio said, via CommandersWire. “I think gained a little bit of confidence from that last outing against Dallas. He went out there and played really well, and so he’s coming to the offseason full of energy and getting a lot of reps because Jamin is not going.”


The Cowboys have an interesting competition brewing for training camp for the second off-ball linebacker spot next to MLB Leighton Vander Esch. Third-year LB Jabril Cox, second-year LB Damone Clark, and third-round rookie LB DeMarvion Overshown are the contenders. Cox might be staking an early claim, as he’s had a strong spring after it seemed like a torn ACL late in his rookie year still impacted him in 2022. 

“When you have players that have a major injury, that first year back, there’s a first time getting through a number of thresholds they need to get over,” Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said via the Athletic’s Jon Machota. “I can only tell you based off what I see, I do feel like he is back. He’s had a really good offseason program. And obviously, there’s more competition there (at linebacker) too. Major joint injuries take time. I think you see it each year. Some guys, they never really totally come back clean immediately. It’s usually the second year where they really feel back to normal.”


Giants RB Saquon Barkley drew some attention for his comments on ongoing contract talks with the team, specifically where he took issue with the leaks that he felt unfairly characterized where his camp is coming from in talks. The obvious intimation was those were coming from the team and Barkley specifically used the term “family business.” Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown provided some comments in response at minicamp and also used that term. 

“Obviously, we’ve been going around with Saquon in communication since probably about nine months now, but that’s above my paygrade in terms of divulging some of the stuff that we’re going to keep in-house,” Brown said via the Athletic’s Dan Duggan and Charlotte Carroll. “But we love Saquon. He knows how I feel about him, he knows how we feel about him collectively, but we’re going to keep the family business inside with him. I’m excited whenever he’s back, but I know he’s taking care of his business right now.”

Brown added they’re not worried about any lingering resentment despite negotiations that Barkley admitted have been frustrating. 

“I think when you’re dealing with someone who is extremely mature like Saquon, you can separate the personal and the professional,” Brown said. “I think that’s when you have honest and open conversations. You take the feelings out of it. You’re able to establish common ground. It doesn’t mean you’re going to agree, but that’s what I appreciate about him. He can listen, and he can digest the information we’re giving him, and he can tell us his feelings as well.”

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