Even C.J. Stroud couldn't convince Saquon Barkley to sign with Texans

Houston Texans, Saquon Barkley
Houston Texans, Saquon Barkley / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Prior to the NFL free agency period kicking off this year, one of the hottest rumors around the league had to do with former New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley being connected to the Houston Texans.

It was as close to a sure thing, in the minds of Texans fans, as you could get. It almost seemed like a foregone conclusion that Houston was going to sign Barkley. But, in the end, he chose to ink a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

On a recent episode of the New Heights Podcast with Travis and Jason Kelce, Barkley revealed that he was close to signing with the Texans, just as everyone assumed he would.

“Probably the team that had my first interest was Houston. I got to communicate with C.J. and a couple of those boys, but this was before when you could actually put offers on the table and talk to teams," Barkley told the Kelce brothers.

I can only imagine how that conversation with C.J. Stroud went. It's too bad even Stroud couldn't convince the Pro Bowl running back to sign with the Texans, but in the end, Barkley's reasoning made sense.

Saquon Barkley spurning the Texans looks to be what was best for he and his family

“I probably never imagined myself playing for Philly six years ago, but I get to come back to Pennsylvania," Barkley said.

He went on to say why Philadelphia made so much sense because of his family ties:

"My family is from Pennsylvania, my lady, our kids, grandmas all that is from Pennsylvania and we’re already close and we can even get to get closer and get a chance to compete. I got to admire them from afar, admire what he was able to build over there and get to be part of that culture. It was a no-brainer for me."

You might forget, but Barkley played his college ball at Penn State. So, his ties to the state are pretty strong. Being able to return home to his family had to play a key part in his decision, so it's tough to blame Barkley for opting not to sign in Houston when all was said and done.

Now, we'll see if the move to acquire Joe Mixon ends up being a nice consolation for this Texans offense after missing out on the former Giants star.