Recently released running back Ahmad Bradshaw has vocalized interest in playing for the New York Jets. After getting cut by the New York Giants, the Jets would give Bradshaw a new home while allowing him to stay home.
The Jets are (smartly) likely to part ways with running back Shonn Greene as he will become a free agent officially in a month. Signing Bradshaw to replace him in the backfield would be a mistake.
It’s not often to be able to say a 26-year old has already lost a step, but that seems to be the case for Bradshaw. Six years into his career, Bradshaw is already a different runner than the change-of-pace speed back who helped the Giants to two Super Bowl victories.
Injuries have played a big part in that, but injuries are going to be as much as part of Bradshaw as his play on the field. In his six seasons, Bradshaw has played in all 16 games only once and has played 15 twice, but those three seasons were 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The league as a whole is starting to figure out the importance of running backs is becoming overvalued, with the Jets’ view on Greene included. It would be wise for the Jets to stay away from a back cut from a team with a much better recent track record of player evaluation.
It should also be of note Bradshaw came into the league as a seventh-round draft pick. The value for running backs late in the draft is among the highest of any position. The Jets should look to find that type of value in the draft instead of paying for what could be a declining veteran.
As the Jets continue to figure out their cap situation, they can’t afford to take a risk on hoping Bradshaw can stay healthy. The Jets need to invest a little more safely—at least for the time being
Bradshaw is still only 26—well short of the magical declining age of 30 for running backs—and can still be a productive back in some role for some team, it just shouldn’t be the Jets.
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