Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 1,015 yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry this past season, the second time in his career he has surpassed one thousand yards. However, he is due to make $3.75 million next season and has a long history of injuries that have prevented him from staying healthy for a full season and from participating in practice on an almost weekly basis.
The New York Giants and Bradshaw might be parting ways in 2013 as the Giants try to save some money under the cap to address areas of need elsewhere. The Giants did spend a first-round pick on David Wilson prior to this season and also discovered that Andre Brown can handle himself in the backfield.
Bradshaw is a good running back. The one problem is his health. He is often missing in action during the week with the coaching staff reserving him for gameday, when he is healthy enough to play.
In my opinion, Bradshaw became expendable when Wilson emerged as a threat in the running game late in the year. Wilson’s emergence combined with Brown’s emergence gives the Giants two starting caliber running backs sitting behind Bradshaw. That just doesn’t make much sense.
With the Giants expected to be close to the cap heading into the off-season, cutting Bradshaw would save $3.75 million which could go a long way to addressing other major needs along the defensive line and in the secondary. The Giants proved that they can win a Super Bowl with a subpar running game. They ranked dead last in the NFL in 2011 in rushing and still came away with the Lombardi Trophy. With Wilson and Brown, the Giants can feature a 1-2 punch on the ground and address major needs elsewhere.
During getaway day, even Bradshaw admitted he might be done with the Giants, acknowledging you never know who will come or go next season, including himself. Bradshaw is right, in today’s NFL where the salary cap will always trump loyalty, there is no time to get a warm fuzzy over past performance.
Bradshaw has been good for the Giants, first as a kick returner and later as a platoon running back and later as a starter. He has won two Super Bowls with the team and has gained 4,232 yards and averaged 4.6 yards for his career. Not bad for a seventh-round selection.
Bradshaw, if he is cut, should have no trouble finding work somewhere. However, given his health issues, and the way the NFL has adapted a two-running back attack, he might be more of a platoon guy at this time.