Dec 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) breaks off big run against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 42-7. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
The New York Jets need some help running the football. Anybody that watched the team play saw that. Shonn Greene had some flashes, but not nearly enough of them to make his continued employment worthwhile. Could there be an answer to the problem, right in the area already?
Ahmad Bradshaw was recently released by the New York Giants, and will be a free agent when the free agency period opens up next month. He believes he may be back with the Giants, but he is also interested in playing for another team:
“In playing with the Giants, they had mentioned that there was a chance for me to come back. I’m always up for that,” Bradshaw told “NFL AM” on Tuesday. “Whatever, whoever needs me, whoever can use me. Whoever I feel that I can get a better chance of playing and helping which team. The New York Jets are a team that I’ve kinda been thinking about, just to stay home, not make a big move from New York. It’s just right across the street from where I am now.”
Now, Ahmad might just be using the Jets, in order to gain leverage on the Giants. It would certainly be smart on his part, to pit the stadium housemates against each other, as one doesn’t really like the other. But, for purposes of this piece, we are going to look at it as a legitimate question, and decide if the Jets should take a look at Bradshaw.
For one thing, Bradshaw isn’t that old. At only 26 years old, he is younger than Shonn Greene’s 27 years of age. In 2012, despite playing in only 14 games and starting 12, he ran for 1,015 yards on 221 carries for 6 TDs, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Greene, by contrast, averaged 3.9 yards per carry, which goes down quite a bit if you take out his game against the Colts.
Ahmad’s PFF grade put him in the top 10 at #6 overall with a 14.1. This put him higher than Ray Rice, Doug Martin, and Frank Gore, among others. Shonn Greene’s grade was a whopping -2.7. Obviously Ahmad would be an upgrade. Ahmad’s 4.8 grade in the running game bested Shonn Greene’s 2.9 as well. The numbers in the passing game are pretty embarrassing in Bradhsaw’s favor as well, 3.7 vs -4.3. Yards after contact? Bradshaw faired a bit better than Greene at 2.5 to 2.1 YAC per rush.
December 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter of an NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Our friends at Pro Football Focus have put together a lot of unique stats at all of the positions, and running back is no different. They have come up with an “elusive rating”, which takes into account forced missed tackles, and yards after contact, among other things. We have talked about how being able to be elusive is important in the West Coast system, so let’s see how these two guys faired:
Bradshaw had a 27.5 rating, while Greene posted an 11.7.
The biggest issue is the fact that Ahmad Bradshaw is coming off of foot surgery. Assuming the Giants don’t bring him back, like we said before, this could be an interesting piece that could go both ways.
On one had, he really shouldn’t command top dollar on the open market. He has only recorded 2-1,000 yard seasons so far. Although he is only 26, coming off of surgery will make teams hesitant to pay a ton for this guy. This could well play to the advantage of the New York Jets, whom we all know are a bit strapped in the salary cap department.
But, we all know the negative coming off a surgery, especially one to any part of the lower extremity for a running back. Obviously, these are the parts that the player uses, and there is always that possibility that the player won’t be the same. He also has a lot of carries under his belt for a 26 year old. 921 carries is not a small amount. Could he be nearing the point where he would start going backwards?
The bottom line? Ahmad Bradshaw, if healthy, would be a major asset. But, the Jets would have to make sure, due their due diligence to make sure he is healthy. If he is, and the Jets are interested (there are conflicting reports at this time), throw their hat in the ring.