Eagles’ Saquon Barkley admits dad would still cheer for Jets over Philly in Super Bowl matchup

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Saquon Barkley’s move to the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles was a shocking reality for most New York Giants fans. But one fan, arguably Barkley’s biggest, is likely unfazed by the decision. 

During Wednesday’s appearance on the “New Heights” podcast with Jason and Travis Kelce, Barkley revealed his father, Alibay Barkley, would undoubtedly root for his New York Jets if they were to ever face the Eagles in a Super Bowl. 

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates with quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) after scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter of a game Dec. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Barkley didn’t hesitate when asked who his father, a New York native, would root for, adding his father was born the same year the Jets won their first and only Super Bowl with Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. 

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Barkley admitted his father would root for him to have “a good game,” but when pressed further, he said his father never even wore his Giants jersey.  

“He doesn’t even wear my jersey,” Barkley said. “I’m serious. He doesn’t wear my jersey. He wears – I got him a Joe Namath Jets jersey. He wears that jersey.

“He’s never [seen] the Jets win a Super Bowl. I’m pretty sure my dad would — I would hope he would probably switch up. But if I had to take a guess, I think he would probably cheer for the Jets to win the Super Bowl, which is sad to say out loud.”  

Saquon barkley

Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley gestures during a press conference after signing with the team. (Kyle Ross/USA Today Sports)

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Considering his allegiance to the Jets, Alibay Barkley might be the only supporter who was not upset by the two-time Pro Bowler’s move to the Eagles. 

Barkley signed a three-year deal for $26 million guaranteed with the Eagles earlier this month after six years with the Giants. The deal had its critics, most notably Giants legend Tiki Barber, who said the running back was “dead to me” after news broke.  

During the podcast, Barkley revisited the issue. He said while he understood fans’ position, he was surprised by Barber, who should’ve understood the “business side” of his decision. 

“I love seeing NFL guys. I love seeing OGs. I love seeing you guys. You have a platform. This is a place where you know ball, you can talk, you can educate fans. Maybe use that time to show, ‘Maybe this is why Saquon is going to Philly.’

Saquon Barkley stands on the sideline

Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants on the sideline prior to a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium Sept. 10, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

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“I’m not saying you got to have loyalty to me because I don’t care for that, to be honest, but you are an ex-NFL player, an ex-NFL athlete. Don’t feed into the BS. Let fans do that. They’re supposed to do that. They’re emotional.”

Barkley played in 14 games last season, missing three because of a high ankle sprain. He ran for 962 yards and six touchdowns and had 41 catches, including four touchdowns. 

The Giants used the franchise tag last season on Barkley and eventually worked out a one-year, $10.1 million contract before the start of training camp. A franchise tag this year would have cost the team $12.2 million if he accepted the offer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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