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#pounditThursday, May 30, 2024

Ryan Leaf believes Jim Harbaugh has 1 player atop his wishlist

Jim Harbaugh being introduced by the Chargers

Feb 1, 2024; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh speaks at an introductory press conference at YouTube Theater at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Newly hired Los Angeles Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh is busy preparing for the start of free agency, which officially begins on Wednesday, March 13. And his former teammate, Ryan Leaf, believes he has an inkling of who Harbaugh intends to pursue.

During a Friday appearance on “Good Morning Football,” Leaf named New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley as a likely target of Harbaugh.

“Austin Ekeler’s a big part of what it could be with them running the football, but I do think that Saquon Barkley is going to be at the top of (Harbaugh)’s list, in terms of, what he wants to do with the running back position with him being a free agent,” Leaf said.

“I think (the Giants) could franchise tag him again, I know that’s a lot of money. But it’s something I know that Jim Harbaugh wants to do. He wants to run the football, and he wants to use those guys down the field with play-action.”

While Barkley does fit the Harbaugh bill, the Chargers are relatively cash-strapped and the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year will command a significant contract if he’s not franchise tagged. The Giants also have some time to negotiate with Barkley and intend to meet with his representatives at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis later this month.

While Barkley to the Chargers would be an intriguing marriage, Harbaugh will likely be left to find his workhorse elsewhere.

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