The New York Giants surprisingly decided to release RB Ahmad Bradshaw this offseason, but it was widely believed there would be a solid market out there for him. There was initial interest from several teams, and he even landed a visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was thought that he would soon sign with the Steelers, especially after taking a physical.
However, that didn’t happen.
Bradshaw was hurt deeply during the 2013 NFL Draft, when some teams used high draft picks on running backs. Among the interested in Bradshaw were the Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos. All four of those teams drafted a running back in the second round, effectively eliminating the possibility of Bradshaw joining those teams.
So why aren’t any teams interested? Bradshaw has had some durability issues, but there are teams out there with feature backs who don’t come close to being as effective as Bradshaw. For instance, the Indianapolis Colts have a solid young quarterback, but they can use a better every down back.
RB Vick Ballard is believed to be holding down the starting job for the Colts, and Bradshaw is certainly better than him. This is why the Colts have decided to bring him in.
The New York Jets got RB Mike Goodson in free agency and acquired RB Chris Ivory in a trade. Bradshaw is easily better than the two, in addition to RB Bilal Powell. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a solid young starter in RB Doug Martin, but they really don’t have anyone behind him. They can use Bradshaw to back up Martin.
Sure, Bradshaw has suffered from foot injuries more often than anticipated. However, he has shown the ability to play through his injuries and still be effective. He’s also one of the more solid blocking backs in the NFL, and many teams can use that skill right away. It’s unfortunate teams haven’t seen Bradshaw’s true value, and whichever team signs him will be getting a steal.