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