Tommy DeVito, an undrafted free agent rookie, is the current starting quarterback for the New York Giants. He wasn’t their first, or even second, choice, but he’s the starter now.
DeVito was the backup to the backup, which meant the Giants had to go find a new backup, which they did when they signed Matt Barkley to the practice squad before adding him to the active roster.
Barkley hasn’t recorded a stat in the NFL since 2020. He’s a career backup who’s played for eight different teams in nine seasons. He spent last season backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo, so it’s not as if he’s out of football shape. But is he ready for the field?
The Giants quarterbacks sit behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league, so the likelihood that Barkley gets in the game is high. And if he does, head coach Brian Daboll says he’ll be ready.
“Yeah, he’s prepared,” Daboll told reporters this week. “He stays here late; we’ll be with him as much as we have to. I think Shae (Tierney) and (Mike) Kafka do a good job with those guys. They spend a lot of time with them, you know. DeVito, obviously a young player, and Matt is new, so a lot of work in that area.”
The problem with this response is that Daboll is never going to say he’s not ready to the public. That’s something they would discuss privately, but it also doesn’t mean he’s lying. Barkley very likely is ready for the field, and as a nine-year veteran, his knowledge of the game can do nothing but help DeVito.
Barkley was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has bounced around the league as a backup. His last recorded stats are from five games played for the Bills in 2020, where he threw for 197 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and was sacked once.
While the hope is that nothing happens to take DeVito out of the game, if that time should come, Barkley is truly ready to take the helm.