David Wilson Era Begins in New York as Giants Cut Ahmad Bradshaw
On Wednesday, the New York Giants cut starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty. Also, a day earlier they had cut veteran linebacker Michael Boley. All three were major contributors to the Giants winning the Super Bowl two years ago.
The moves to cut Boley and Canty shouldn’t come as a surprise. John Clayton of ESPN is projecting that the Giants would be $5 million over the salary cap for 2013. Also, the Giants have some key guys like Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Will Beatty who will be eligible free agents. These are guys the Giants have to try and resign.
Boley was set to make $4.25 million and Canty was set to make $6.25 million with two years left on his deal. These cuts free up some some money to resign the key guys mentioned above, as well as, points to where the Giants are targeting in the upcoming draft.
The cut of starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw might come as a surprise at first. Bradshaw has been a 1,000 yard rusher for the Giants as a starter. He’s been productive and is a hard working, pinball type of back. However, Bradshaw has had some injury problems. He has been playing through pain and has surgically repaired feet and ankles with screws; making him more of a liability.
With his health being so questionable, the Giants just couldn’t see paying him the $3.75 million in base salary with two years left on his deal. That moves David Wilson into the starting role and Andre Brown into the change-of-pace/goaline back. Brown had soem quality time before being injured and Wilson showed amazing speed and athleticism. The main question mark is whether Wilson can carry the full load. Or, might we see the Giants timeshare and pace-change Wilson and Brown like they did Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. Also, the Giants should be targeting running back as well in the draft.
It’s also worth noting that the Giants and Bradshaw left on good terms with lines of contact open. It just might be possible that, after the draft, and the Giants reevaluate, that Bradshaw could be resigned down the road for less money.
On the open market, it’s tough to project where Bradshaw could end up. A running back with repaired feet and ankles isn’t a question mark it’s an exclamation point. Any deal Bradshaw might get would more than likely be incentive heavy with a small base. I could see a team like San Diego or Miami possibly making a play for him. It looks like now is the point that Bradshaw’s career takes a role change and step back; making his fantasy value plunge.
The Giants are showing their business savvy and recognizing what they need to do to get better. The cuts are money driven to get under the cap as to free up space to sign upcoming free agents like Cruz and Nicks. Also, this is a huge indicator as to where the Giants are looking come draft day. It’s obvious the need to get younger on defense; especially at linebacker. There’s no doubt the Giants are looking at linebackers Manti Te’o and Alec Ogletree. They seemed to realize their situation early when they drafted David Wilson last year; putting them in position to concentrate on defense in this years’ draft.