With Ahmad Bradshaw shopping his services around from NY to Miami and now to Cincinnati, the Giants are still looking for their #1 RB option for 2011. Let’s take a look at what those options are right now.
1. Brandon Jacobs – recently agreed to restructure his contract to help the Giants come under their salary cap restrictions. Tell me this former #1, #2 to Ahmad Bradshaw, and then #1 RB again option is showing right away he wants to be a team player. Gone are the days of excessive ego for #27… sounds like he wants to be in Giants Blue for the rest of his career and take up the charge in getting back to the championship winning ways he knows the Giants are capable of. Filling whatever role the team needs him to is going to be priority 1 as the Giants filter through the rest of their options in the backfield.
2. D.J. “Danny” Ware – the #3 RB for the last few seasons, Ware has shown glimpses of poise and is always ready to break into the next tier in the rotation for the Giants. Last year, we barely saw him as Bradshaw and Jacobs filled out the 1-2 punch for the run game – and it worked well. In 2009, the Giants used him a lot more in a more steady 3-back rotation along the lines of their 2008 scheme that won the Giants their NFL leading rushing title. If Bradshaw bolts, Ware has paid his dues and deserves to move up to the #2 spot behind Jacobs. He has decent hands out of the backfield, good vision and quickness. My only personal feeling here is that I much prefer to see a guy like Bradshaw with extremely quick and elusive moves taking the bulk of the snaps. At any moment, you feel like things can bust wide open with Bradshaw in the backfield, and my memories of Ware’s play never got me quite that excited. But he should be healthy in 2011 since he rarely played, he’s familiar with the offense, it might very well be his time to shine and prove me wrong.
4. Jason Snelling – word is everywhere today that the Atlanta Falcons #2 RB is coming to NY to visit the Giants. His size, blocking, speed, and ball catching abilities are certainly something to think about, reminds you of the Derrick Ward mold the more one thinks about it. But the Giants don’t have a ton of extra money to throw around so any indication here that Snelling or the Giants are remotely feeling good about this is, to me, a big deal. In 2009 Snelling proved to be a formidable backup to Michael Turner when the Giants faced Atlanta, a game they almost lost in fact. But it was that game where Snelling racked up 76 yards against a very, very talented NY Giants run stopping machine and most everyone took notice… apparently the Giants staff has him on their radar even still. I wonder though if they shouldn’t put more pressure on AB44 since he was rated by PFF as the 4th overall best RB of 2010, while Snelling finished toward the bottom and had pretty average numbers aside from his pass catching ability.
5. Ahmad Bradshaw – who would have thought the breakout player of 2011 for the Giants would be last in this list? After a tremendous 2011 campaign for a new contract was hampered by high turnover numbers, particularly in scoring situations, the pint sized bulldog we came to know and love for fighting for extra yards is now fighting for a spot on someone’s roster. The fact that he’s out of contention for Miami and now Cincinnati should bode well for a Giants/Bradshaw reunion, but training camp has already begun and AB44 is certainly a key player that’s missing reps while D.J. Ware impresses the onlookers. And Mike Garafolo nailed it this morning. Time for Bradshaw to look in the mirror and figure out if he wants to be loved or hated in NY… because my #44 jersey is hanging in limbo right now.