When the New York Giants drafted WR Ramses Barden out of Cal Poly in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Barden was seen as the next WR Plaxico Burress. Of course, just several months earlier, during the 2008 season, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg and was subsequently suspended by the team. The Giants would go on to release Burress in the off-season.
The demand for a big red zone target was there. The Giants thought they were immediately filling that demand by drafting Barden. Barden is 6’6” but the Giants knew he would be a project. The Giants figured they could mold him into a productive red zone target through practice and working on chemistry with QB Eli Manning.
Four seasons later, Barden has very little to show for the Giants using a third-round selection on him. Barden will now be a free agent this off-season, and he’s hoping the Giants re-sign him. That’s very unlikely considering the Giants are looking to get under the salary cap. The Giants seem intent on bringing back the players they deem absolutely necessary to bring back.
Did Barden get a chance to prove what he could do? Year after year, the Giants have drafted wide receivers and they have seen some playing time while Barden mostly got his playing time on special teams. Barden made the first start of his career in Week 3 this season against the Carolina Panthers. It was something special for him as he caught nine passes for 138 yards.
He played in the game the following week against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, it was his offensive pass interference penalty that backed the Giants out of field goal range, and K Lawrence Tynes came up short on a 54-yard field goal attempt. Barden was relegated back to the bench, and he wasn’t seen on offense for the rest of the season.
In 29 games he’s played in with the Giants, Barden only has 29 total receptions and has not scored a touchdown in his NFL career. That is very disappointing, but maybe Barden can play better on another team. The Giants are expecting production from the receivers they intend on bringing back for the 2013 season. That would mean Barden would be behind WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Victor Cruz, WR Jerrel Jernigan, WR Reuben Randle and possibly WR Domenik Hixon if the Giants re-sign him as well. Barden will never get a shot to produce.
We’ll see what comes of Barden’s NFL career. So far, it’s been very disappointing.