With the release of Brandon Jacobs, I came to thinking about the Giants running back situation, and who should we go after to compliment Bradshaw and fill a need on our team. Does Big Blue have the answer in D.J. Ware, Da'Rel Scott, or Andre Brown who only have 88 career carries between them? Scott's speed presents the best upside of the three and Ware was a decent, if unspectacular option in limited playing time. I came across a decent article on sbnation. Link is here: http://www.sbnation.com/2012-nfl-free-agency/2012/3/2/2836438/nfl-free-agency-2012-running-backs
There's alot of decent options on the list, which no doubt contributed to the release of Jacobs (this and his contract vs. cap situation). It just made business sense to let Jacobs go. The market is full of players a team like the Giants could benefit from. We could probably erase Peyton Hillis and Michael Bush off the list, because they would command too high of a price. Ditto on BenJarvis Green-Eliis and Cedric Benson (I wouldn't want Benson anyway, very one dimentional and huge character issues) Giants just got under the cap, and have too many holes to fill to spend it all on one person. Basically they would be looking for someone to come in for a year or two contract, veterans minimum to about 800k per year. This would probably rule out Mike Tolbert, although I would love to see the big bruiser softening up the defense for Bradshaw. Another bruiser on the list is Le'ron McClain, but his strength is when he's lined up as a fullback. He's a great run blocker, but thats about it at this point. He hardly had any carries last year despite injuries in KC's backfield. Not mentioned in the post were two recently cut RB's: Clinton Portis and Joseph Addai. Considering their proneness for injury (Portis missed 27 games in last 5 years, Addai missed 17 games in last 4 years) I wouldn't touch either. Kevin Smith falls in this category as well.
So far from the list sbnation posted, it doesn't seem like theres any good fit for the Giants. Again, I would absolutely LOVE Tolbert, but can't see it happening because of the cap. All is not lost from that list, however two name stick out to me, Ryan Grant being one of them. I immediately thought back to 2007, when the Giants traded him to Green Bay and Grant finished out the last 10 games of the season with 929 yds and 8 TD's. He then followed that up with back to back 1200 yd seasons. An early season ankle injury derailed his 2010 season and it didnt seem like he was 100% recovered from it last year. The market for Grant's services are slim and his future is dimming. He will be 30 years old in December and will be playing for his NFL career this year. He could be had for very cheap and with another year removed from his ankle injury could prove a valuable asset for our backfield, backing up Bradshaw. The other player that sparks my interest is Justin Forsett. The biggest reasons I like him is that he's young (will be 27 years old in October) and his legs should be very fresh considering that the last 2 years his main role has been very similar to his days at Cal: backup Marshawn Lynch. If anything, Forsett is a good backup and for this his pricetag will be right on line to what the Giants are looking to spend.
Of course the other point of view is to forget all these guys, roll with what we have and draft a RB in this years draft. There could be some very solid backs available to us. Va tech's David Wilson has been speculated to us at pick 32. Lamar Miller or Doug Martin could fall to us in the 2nd. LaMichael James or Chris Polk could be available in the 3rd. I also like Temple's Bernard Pierce who looks like he could turn into a very good goaline back in the 4th. The way I see it, is you can still draft a RB, but some serious thought should be put into bringing in either Grant or Forsett. If there's one mantra in the NFL, it's "you can never have enough depth." Both of these backs would be a cheap signing, provide competition to Ware, Scott, and Brown for Bradshaw's backup and fill up the depth chart in case of injury.