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Giants have Opportunity to Save Big at RB

The RB position is an interesting one for Big Blue in that (at least from our outsider point of view) there is a lot of uncertainty and perhaps room for some change. All can agree that Jacobs’ cannot be kept at his current price and perhaps even his version of a salary cut may not be good enough for the Giants. Bradshaw should be safe and who knows, maybe 2012 is finally his monster season. Even though Ware was more than serviceable this past year they should be looking to save money anywhere they can.

While I LOVE Doug Martin from Boise, I can’t really see the Giants using a first round pick on a back in today’s NFL, where the ball travels through the air not on the land. 

Brandon Jacobs

2011 Stats: 16 games, 152 carries for 571 yards. 3.8 YPC. 7 TDs.

2012 Cap Figure: $6,862,500 million

While I am a supporter of Jacobs and think he ran very well for a good amount of games this year (Jacobs was great for the Giants while Bradshaw was out this year), the Giants can certainly find someone to replicate his production at a much cheaper rate. Getting rid of Jacobs will save the Giants $4.9 million dollars and make huge inroads in their quest to travel south of the $120 million dollar cap. Jacobs is still a leader of this team, still can deliver when the right type of run is called and sure can still deliver the blow pass blocking.

It did seem like Jacobs struggled on 3rd and 4th and short this season though, so maybe a fresh pair of legs will do the Giants good on that front. For a fraction of the cost and only at the cost of a late draft pick, the Giants can seek out Jacobs replacement. If the Giants choose to address the spot in the draft, someone like Alfred Morris from FAU (although early, considered a fifth rounder), a little known tough as nails back who is just a power back in the truest sense of the word. He’s not nearly as big as Jacobs but is more of a between the tackles power runner (they are out there!).

While it pains me to say that taking a flyer on a late round draft pick like Morris to take over Jacobs’ duties is a step in the right direction for the Giants as they look to regain some financial flexibility. Unless of course Jacobs is willing to play next season at a salary much closer to $1,000,00. We’ll know of Jacobs’ fate with Big Blue in about three weeks or so, when his $500,000 roster bonus is set to hit.

Ahmad Bradshaw

2011 Stats: 12 games, 171 carries, 659 yards. 3.9 YPC. 9 TDs.

2012 Cap Figure: 3.25 million

Bradshaw’s status is nearly a lock considering what he brings to the table for us as the nice all-around back that he has become. But doesn’t it always feel like Bradshaw is just on the cusp of being a truly great NFL back. Would love to see him hit the hole a bit harder on certain plays (some plays encourage a cut back if it is there, like the zone/stretch plays).

Just nitpicking here, because Bradshaw has really developed into a great NFL back when he is on the field. He is tough as nails—“A power back in a scat back’s body,” as Justin Tuck said. Really has come along in the pass game too, both blocking and catching. Would love to see him bang out a 50-60 catch season in 2012

D.J. Ware

2011 Stats: 46 carries, 163 yards. 3.5 YPC.

2012 Cap Figure: 1,005,000

Ware has been a solid player for the Giants even if he has become the image associated with the No. 1 pet peeve of fans (Kevin Gilbride’s penchant for the draw).

He’s got good hands and although he may have not been the best option for those WR screens we saw him run down the stretch, he still produced decent results on them. Probably won’t happen but I wouldn’t mind seeing Ware go too (could save the Giants an extra $600k). I don’t see why this isn’t another spot that we can fill and perhaps even upgrade through either the draft or in house. A lot of people called for speedster Da’Rel Scott ($465k) to get some opportunities last season. Maybe the Giants go the draft route here if they end up keeping Jacobs? To me, it’s simple any way that you slice it– $1,005,000 is a bit much to be paying a third RB when you are trying to get back on the right side of the cap.

Despite having the worst running game in the NFL, the Giants won a Super Bowl.  In order to improve in this area, Giants GM Jerry Reese has to make some tough decisions.  With the Giants being over the salary cap, areas to start slashing salaries would be the offensive line and running back positions.