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New York Giants Keep or Dump: Ahmad Bradshaw

January 14th, 2013 at 1:30 PM
By Paul Tierney

'Super Bowl-6-2' photo (c) 2012, Stephen Luke - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ The New York Giants have several offseason decisions to make after falling flat on their faces in 2012. There are questions along the offensive line, in the secondary, at linebacker and almost everywhere in between. But perhaps the most intriguing player personnel decision that general manager Jerry Reese will make in the offseason will be on how the team handles running back Ahmad Bradshaw going forward.

Bradshaw is going to be 27-years-old next season, which even in running back years, qualifies him as young. However, his chronic foot issues have caused him to miss six games over the past two seasons, and he's played the majority of the last two years at well below full strength. As a player who can no longer be relied upon as a featured running back, it may not be worth paying him $3.75 million to get 11 carries per game. Given the Giants' current salary cap struggles, Bradshaw's salary is going to be even further magnified.

Obviously, if the team were going to replace Bradshaw, there needs to be a replacement waiting in the wings. Luckily for Big Blue, David Wilson is itching to get more touches out of the backfield. Furthermore, Andre Brown has shown a propensity to make plays between the tackles and around the goal line. On paper, it appears as if the Giants have a formidable running back tandem already on the roster behind Bradshaw. However, in reality, both youngsters still have a lot to prove if they want to become starting running backs in the NFL.

Brown is a sizeable, hard nosed runner with decent speed and solid pass blocking ability. He's agile between the tackles and an asset in goal line scenarios. Brown's skill-set is not in question, it's more a matter of if he can stay healthy. In 2009, Brown ruptures his Achilles during his first ever training camp. After having a productive first 10 games in 2012, Brown broke his fibula against the Green Bay Packers. Both were season ending injuries. It's going to be hard for the Giants to cut Bradshaw due to health reasons, and then hand the keys over to Andre Brown

On the other hand, David Wilson has shown zero ability to pass block over his short career. The Giants run an offense predicated upon complicated, yet essential pass protection schemes. Wilson has the ability to score every time he touches the football. His speed is electric and he can run with a physical style between the tackles as well. However, if he can't pick up a blitzing linebacker or safety, the Giants are not going to put him in the game. Protecting Eli Manning is, above all, the primary concern for the Giants offensively and Wilson needs to learn that.

When healthy, Ahmad Bradshaw was productive in 2012. Despite missing two games, he rushed for over 1,000 yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. However, given his injury history, it's only a matter of time before David Wilson supplants him on the running back depth chart. The question is whether Wilson is ready to do so at the beginning of the 2013 season. Furthermore, it remains to be seen if Bradshaw is willing to take a pay cut. All of these factors will help Jerry Reese make an important decision in the offseason that will help shape the way the Giants run their offense in 2013.

What say you, fans? Keep or dump?

Also…

Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, David Wilson, Eli Manning, Football, Green Bay, Green Bay Packers, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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21 Responses to “New York Giants Keep or Dump: Ahmad Bradshaw”

  1.  TuckThis says:

    At the risk of sounding negative (demo)….dump. It seemed pretty obvious to me that not being able to get a running game going at times hurt Eli and the offense. I don’t dislike Bradshaw, but you can’t depend on him. He is always hurt and never practices..another one of my gripes. If he’d take a million and agree to be a part time back, he’s welcome to stay. The Giants need to fill too many holes to give Bradshaw close to $4M. Sorry!

    •  rlhjr says:

      If Bradshaw shares touches with Wilson and (hopefully Brown) he’s more likely to remain effective throughout the season. He must however take a pay cut.
      I’d pay him 1.8 which would be a good deal for him.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    I continue to think this is a tough call. I think Reese has to look at it from the perspective of what he has done, or will do, about the O-line, the tight ends, and the defense.

    If he has not shored up the O-line and made sure he has two reliable tight ends then I think Bradshaw is worth the roughly $2.5MM over a reasonable “cost of replacement” for him for this last year of his contract. You cannot go into the season with question marks everywhere on your offense except at wide receiver and quarterback. Add Bradshaw to the running backs and you can check that off as a “problem solved” for 2013 because the combo of he, Wilson and Brown would be a very good one. You might still be able to score sufficient points with an “evolving” offensive front.

    But if Reese has come up with a solution for the O-line, has signed Beatty and Bennett, and knows that Robinson has a chance to have a break-through season, then Bradshaw is expendable because Wilson, Brown and a third back (hopefully one better than Scott) should be able to do the trick as long as that third back can pick up blitzes. The Giants might not have as strong and reliable a running game, and might give up a few more sacks, but they would certainly be able to do plenty of damage as a result of Eli having excellent targets and a little more time in the pocket than was available this season (plus a more reliable short-passing game if Gilbride allows it).

    So, my view is that dealing with Bradshaw should wait until the rest of the team’s shape begins to become clear. Reese cannot wait TOO long because that would be unfair to Bradshaw. But he should not be a priority when there are so many more important decisions to be made and the one regarding AB could be contingent on the more urgent outcomes.

  3.  G-MenFan says:

    From what I understand, cutting Bradshaw would cost $2.5 million against the cap. For an additional $2.75 million they can keep him.

    So, actually, I don’t think it makes sense to cut him at all.

  4.  rlhjr says:

    REPOST

    I agree that Webster should be given a shot. Mainly because he cannot be as bad as he displayed this season. Nobody can, Jesus H Christ, Elvis Patterson was better than that.

    As for as Hosley getting better; I feel he will develop into a good player.
    But he will not be a dominant corner unless he grows three inches in height and wing span. Aint happening. Still I think Hosley will work out fine. He’s also yet another kick/punt return threat.

    As far as drafting is concerned, what position will have the most impact on this defense? I would have to believe DT, followed closely by LB and then a DB.
    I really cannot see any reason to further rehab Austin. I like Kuhn better.
    So a strong penetrating kid at DT would fill the order very well.

    I’d take the backer second provided I could not get him in the third round.
    The type and amount of talent required at MIKE for the Giants almost demands a day one pick. If that guy is not there, I’d look for the best OG/OT swing player on the board.

    I would then take the best corner on the board third. Picks four through 9?
    (I think) would consist of the usual project suspects. A big raw receiver would definitely be on the radar late in the draft as well as a running back and a kicker.

    If Reese can find kids who can play (DT/OL) out of training camp with his draft choices, then he can fill in the gaps with careful FA signings. Chances are he will only be able to afford two top tier FA’s. Of course this means getting rid of the current FA’s waiting for bump in pay. He’s already on record as saying the team will look different. I think he’s telling the absolute truth.

  5.  Tim Bahlman says:

    What about a restructure of Bradshaws contract to pay him in full if he stays healthy, deducting for games missed? If not acceptable to him, he’ll go elsewhere and we draft a back. Also Jacobs is available for $500,000?

  6.  Dirt says:

    I maintain that until proven otherwise, no one knows if Wilson can or cannot pass block. For certain, her cannot do so on the sidelines.

    An interesting thing I’ve noticed in watching other teams lately. We seem to keep backs in to block a lot more than other teams. And so Eli stays upright more than any other QB. But it also means we’re attacking 7 or 6 with 4. Other teams are attacking with 5, and stretching horizontally and vertically. And if you’re always in 3rd and long or in compact goal line sitiations, that makes it harder to move the ball with only 80% of your possible eligible receivers

    •  Krow says:

      Much truth there. I’m getting a little tired of writing people off because they can’t fathom our incredible blocking schemes … yet somehow geniuses like Jacobs, Bradshaw, and street pickups Torain and Blumpkin have no problem. Wilson is either a complete idiot … or it’s bullsh1t.

      As for Bradshaw … G-MenFan has it right. The savings is $2.5 mil. The smart move is to restructure over 2 or 3 years. Keep him around, but increasingly ride Wilson.

      I love me some Andre Brown … but we have no idea what he can or can’t do … or how long he can last. Depending on him is a class-A risk. Think about it … we dump Bradshaw … then Brown gets hit by a meteor (hey, could happen) … then the only thing between Eli and a near-death experience is the moron David “Too Stupid to Block” Wilson. Not gonna happen. And if it does then I refer you to paragraph 1.

    •  TuckThis says:

      Good point re: blocking. We’ll never know about Wilson until he gets to play, but one thing we do know for sure…..Bradshaw will be injured, miss games and miss practice. I’m not sure why we think he’s so valuable?

  7.  TuckThis says:

    I meant to add – pay Bradshaw accordingly.

  8.  Liberal Giant says:

    It has been a while since I have been able to follow the daily commnets on Giants101. I see; however, FAN55 has not lost the ability to write several paragraphs without really taking a hard line stance on just about any question regarding team personnel. The man is a true politician.

    Dump Bradshaw. Then I would take poor Jacobs back for one year and less than 500K. Manning could use a sixth OL. I know. It won’t happen. As for the other players, gee, I think the Webster, Canty, and Rolle reflect a tougher call because one of them, perhaps two, will have to restructure or leave.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Not that I care, but I think I was pretty clear: if situation A occurs keep him; if situation B, dump him. But I guess that logic escapes some.

      And I assume that either: a) You’ve not been around long enough to know that I’ve taken plenty of positions on plenty of players (way more than members of the peanut gallery such as you); or b) Like many other “liberals” (or “conservatives” for that matter) you love stirring things up but have no real program that is, you know, actually practical in the real world.

      But carry on. No rule against opinions around here, regardless of value.

  9.  GOAT56 says:

    Great question. At first I felt like we should keep Bradshaw especial at a lower salary if he was willing to restructure. But I think keeping Bradshaw not only ties up salary but holds back our young RBs. I understand there are legit concerns about Wilson as a pass blocker but I think there are ways to limit those like getting him out in pass patterns more. Seing the Pats RB yesterday made me think wilson could do those things as a pass receiver. I think you can get a decent vet for the minimum like Ware or Jacabs to help on passing downs with Brown should Wilson not improve. Bradshaw does have value and I’m not saying it’s a simple choice. But I think we can possibly improve our running back position by letting Bradshaw go though we take a hit in the proven and depth department. But I rather trust youth and a cheap replacement at RB than at some other positions like DT or CB. It’s more about the talent of Wilson and Brown and RB being the easiest position to replace with a JAG than Bradshaw as a player. GB was in the playoffs with all JAGs at RB. Looking at all the rookie RBs that contributed from later rounds I think that’s an option as well. Not all rookie RBs struggle as much as Wilson in pass protection so we could draft a RB that could help us there instead of a re-tread vet RB.

    I think cutting Bradshaw could have some positives by putting everyone on notice. It’s seems that players were too comfortable last year. So when you cut a guy as respected as Bradshaw it really does serve notice.

    •  Krow says:

      Bradshaw is far from the biggest problem on the team. Whether he’s cut … retained … or restructured he still had more big games in 2012 than Canty, Webster, Diehl, Snee, and all our ‘LBs not named Boley’ combined.

  10.  fanfor55years says:

    Of course Wilson cannot block. He also cannot carry the ball without fumbling it. His coaches say so. So it’s a fact.

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