I'm an Eagles fan, but here's why I'm stoked for Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants

Joe Schoen on the phone at the NFL Draft on Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants
New York Giants' general manager Joe Schoen (Image credit: Matt Swensen/HBO)

As a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan, it's a rare occurrence where I can bring myself to root for the New York Giants; heck, I rooted for the Patriots the two times the teams met in the Super Bowl. The only times I can remember doing so are when a Giants win would positively impact the Eagles (mostly against Washington or Dallas). Be that as it may, I found myself very intrigued about watching Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants, the newest iteration of the popular HBO sports docuseries. A moment from the first official trailer has me all but certain to tune in.

The specific moment comes toward the end of the trailer. After a word graphic teasing the show covering the Giants' "biggest decisions" of the offseason, we see Giants general manager Joe Schoen presumably speaking on the phone to Saquon Barkley. He says, "Saquon, can you give me your word on that or are you not going to give us a chance?"

For anyone who needs the context, the Giants drafted running back Barkley in the 2018 NFL Draft and he has been one of the marquee players on the team since then. However, entering the 2024 NFL offseason that this iteration of Hard Knocks is covering, Barkley was a free agent, allowing him to choose where he got to play — would he return to the Giants or take his talents elsewhere?

Well, as pretty much all football fans know, he opted for the latter. And not just that, he signed with the Eagles. That caused a bit of a media storm as Giants fans did not take well to him joining a division rival (on the other side, I'm excited to see what Barkley does in an offense already featuring Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, Dallas Goedert and one of the best offensive lines in the game). Critics like former Giants running back Tiki Barber had some harsh words for Barkley upon his exit.

But all that is known. Why this clip has me excited is that we are going to get some first-hand evidence of how the Giants approached Barkley's free agency. And if that clip isn't being edited to build on the drama, perhaps we'll even hear a bit of Barkley's side of things on the other end of the call (I'd be surprised if he sat down for an interview for the series). That's rare access for NFL fans, and what HBO hopes is a selling point for non-Giants fans like me.

Because no matter who you root for, it will be interesting to see what the process of free agency, offseason trades and the draft war rooms are really like. And as the trailer also shows, the Giants had themselves quite the busy offseason, swinging a trade for star pass-rusher Brian Burns and grabbing the highly touted wide receiver Malik Nabers in the draft.

Is part of the reason why I'm planning to watch based solely on the fact to see how/why one of the Giants' biggest stars in recent memory jumped ship to my favorite team? Yes, absolutely. But as a football fan in general, I'm intrigued to get a close look at a part of the football season that is typically kept hidden from us.

Watch the full trailer for Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants right here:

Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants | Official Trailer | Max - YouTube Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants | Official Trailer | Max - YouTube
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Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants premieres Tuesday, July 2, at 10 pm ET/PT on HBO and streams simultaneously on Max. The long-running version of Hard KnocksHard Knocks: Training Camp with the Chicago Bears this year — then debuts on Tuesday, August 6.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.