Barkley vows to 'grow as a leader' after OBJ trade

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The running social media joke is that the New York Giants' offense will be Saquon Barkley running into a brick wall 750 times in 2019.

The bitter snark, however, offers a sliver of truth after the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. out of town. Barkley, after his award-winning rookie season, will be asked to take on a large role of the offense.

Attending Penn State's Pro Day this week, the former Nittany Lion told Matt Lombardo of NJ.com he also knows his leadership role will need to increase with OBJ jettisoned.

"I have to grow as a leader more," Barkley said. "Whether it's being a vocal leader or leading by example, it's a team effort. We have to have other players grow as leaders, continue to believe in each other."

Barkley said Beckham told him about the trade to Cleveland before the media caught wind of the story (NFL Network's Mike Garafolo being first) and provided the young running back with some advice about navigating New York's landmines.

"We talked over Facetime, he had just gotten traded, so I don't think he was really happy about it," Barkley added. "He just gave me some advice about how to handle stuff in the league. He was the same old big brother to me that he's always been."

With that big brother now gone, Barkley must shoulder a larger portion of the load both on and off the field in 2019.

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