This offseason, we saw the running back market take a significant step forward from where it had been recently. With one of the best free-agent classes in recent memory at the position, seven different backs signed contracts with an average annual value of $7 million or more.

The largest of those deals was the three-year, $37.75 million deal that former New York Giants star Saquon Barkley signed with the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. And now that he's in Philly, Barkley's once and future teammate Parris Campbell thinks the running back will have a chance to showcase why he was lavished with such a significant payday.

"I think he's going to show people why he's the best running back in the league," Campbell, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I know there's a bunch of debate between him and Christian McCaffrey. And don't get me wrong, Christian McCaffrey's by far one of the best running backs in the league. But being able to see Saquon up close and personal, being in the same locker room, on the same team, man, he's a different guy when he's on that field, honestly. 

"And running behind that offensive line that we have, I think it's going to be pretty scary for defenses. You pair that with Jalen Hurts and the things he can do with his feet, just as far as extending plays, getting outside the pocket, I'm sure there will be some type of read-option game that we go on and RPO stuff that'll happen. So just the possibilities of it are endless."

Barkley is coming off a season where he ran for 962 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games, averaging only 3.9 yards per carry. His 41 catches for 280 yards and four scores were also on the low side for a season in which he played at least 13 games. New York's offensive line was one of the NFL's worst last season, but Barkley was also slightly below average in creating yards after contact last season, averaging 2.91 such yards per rush, according to TruMedia. (The average for running backs with at least 100 carries was 2.93 per rush.) Barkley also had a mere 12.6% avoided-tackle rate that ranked 43rd out of the 49 backs with 100 carries or more.

In other words, playing behind a better offensive line should afford Barkley better opportunities to gain yards, but he'll also need to improve on his performance in areas that are more under a running back's control in order to make good on Campbell's assertion that Barkley is the best running back in the NFL. Running backs typically don't improve in those areas as they hit their late 20s (nor when they have injury histories as extensive as Barkley's), but perhaps working in an environment more conducive to rushing success will bring the best out of a player who is certainly one of the most talented backs in the league.