Ramses Barden says it’s time to move on from the Giants. That may not exactly be a unilateral decision on his part, but he’s the first to say it so he gets to be the dumper and not the dumpee.
As they say on Seinfeld: He’s got hand, and (ahem), as a receiver, he’s gonna need it.
“As much fun as I’ve had in New York and I’m comfortable there, it’s probably best for me to start looking in other places for a new system, a refreshed sense of welcoming,” Barden said today on Sirius XM’s NFL Radio. “I think everybody can benefit from newness in their lives at times and this is going to be one of those for me.”
Barden got even deeper and more philosophical about the desire for change later in the interview.
“There’s something important,” he said. “There’s something about renewal, refreshment. Every so often a dog sheds, an animal sheds, and they become bigger and grow into a new skin or a new coat. This is just my process, this is my evolution as a receiver where I feel like I’m ready for something new.”
Barden was a third-round pick of the Giants in 2009 – the same class that produced Hakeem Nicks and recently re-signed Will Beatty – who dazzled during his rookie training camp with acrobatic catches and charming interviews. He probably had a better camp that year in Albany than Nicks did. Eventually, though, the obvious differences between them began to show. While Nicks has gone on to become one of the most invaluable pieces of the Giants’ offense (see 2011), Barden spent most of his career as an afterthought. Every so often he would look to be turning a corner, like his game against the Cowboys in 2010 in which he injured his ankle. He flashed for one game last season against the Panthers, catching 9 passes for 138 yards. In the other 28 games he appeared in for the Giants he caught a combined 20 passes for 256 yards.
“Obviously there were some issues early on, but when it came to opportunities I always seized the opportunities,” Barden said. “I can stand proud on that. I was always a team player, I was always working. A lot of times I was open. There’s no ill feelings from me. I had a great experience with the Giants. Had I had more opportunities to seize I would have seized them.”
He has an opportunity now as an unrestricted free agent. He still believes he can be not just a starter in the NFL, but a star. He even suggested that if he stayed with the Giants he could beat out Nicks for playing time.
“I have ultimate confidence in my ability,” he said. “I don’t think anybody can keep me under them. That’s not even how we look at it, but there’s not a player in this league who I was just sitting behind. If it’s up to me I’m going to compete and I’m going to earn the spot I deserve.”
So it’s off to another team … presumably. Barden still has the 6-6, 224-pound frame that intrigued the Giants when they drafted him. One of the 31 other teams in the NFL will likely take a chance on bringing him in.
“It’s the time in my career where I get to be that guy, I get to be the man on the field, and I get to be the strong voice in the locker room, the calming voice, the centering voice, the championship voice,” Barden said. “I’m excited to bring that wherever I go.”