After another successful Sleep Out event, Saquon Barkley raised a whopping $1,310,577 as of Friday to battle homelessness. Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports Nov 26, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) warms up before the game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest signings of NFL free agency so far came on Monday when New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley chose to leave the team that drafted him and return to his native Pennsylvania to play for the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles.

The impact Barkley had on the Giants plus the sting of signing with a team they play twice a year led to a lot of emotions online.

Former Giants running back and current radio host Tiki Barker even said that Barkley was “dead to us” shortly after news of the signing broke.

Fortunately, another former running back stepped up and sent Barkley a much nicer message.

Hall of Famer and 1997 NFL MVP Barry Sanders took to his X account Tuesday and congratulated Barkley on the change, saying, “Congrats to Saquon – I know you wanted to stay with one team, but life has funny turns. No matter what, the character you have as a young man will carry you thru all you face. Can wait to see you run that rock.”

The difference in tone between Barber’s and Sanders’ messages is very noticeable. Sanders, like Barber, spent his entire career with one team, as he played for the Detroit Lions from 1989-98.

Would the message be different had Sanders played for the Giants like Barber and Barkley instead? Perhaps. Or perhaps Barber was simply trying to draw attention to himself and his radio program.

[Barry Sanders]