San Francisco 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs recently told some West Coast reporters that he and the New York Giants were only “a couple of hundred thousand dollars apart, that’s all” before he left the Super Bowl champions as a free agent.
What’s interesting is that while he admits that his exit was all about the money, the subtext is that he would have stayed if he and the team could have agreed on a contract. Really? As it was, he could have made about $1.6 million, including a $500,000 roster bonus, to stay with the Giants. This year, he gets a bump from San Francisco and will earn $1.5 million with incentives that could push his take up to $2 million.
So it was just about money, he said. After coming off his worst season in the NFL, gaining just 517 yards and scoring seven touchdowns on 152 carries, and getting ready to hit 30 years of age, it had to be about the money.
However, the Giants would likely beg to differ. They had a price for him and that was that. After all of his griping and belligerence, injuries and inexplicable behavior, let alone his spotty play, can one believe that the Giants would have let a few hundred thousand dollars stand in their way? Heck, they gave Osi Umenyiora a $3 million raise, didn’t they?
The reality is that the Giants weren’t all that interested in keeping him, a strong indication that the team felt his best days are long behind him. San Francisco, among the favorites to reach the Super Bowl this year, happily signed him for what some saw as a bargain. And yet, the 49ers are loaded at running back and Jacobs is no lock to make the team. He will still have to compete in training camp with Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon and Rock Cartwright for a roster spot behind Frank Gore.
Think the Giants will come calling if he’s unemployed at the end of August? Think again.