Brandon Jacobs’ pay for the 2012 season is scheduled to be $4.9 million. There’s a 0% chance he’ll get that, of course, as Jacobs has already repeatedly acknowledged. Jacobs is, however, willing to take a pay cut, but he won’t “sell his soul” (bend over) to stay with the Giants. Earlier this morning, I guessed that the Giants would probably ask Jacobs to peel off at least half that total if he wants to stay with the team (and that’s even if the Giants want him back at all). Methinks that taking a 50% pay cut would qualify as (in Jacobs-speak) “selling his soul,” but that’s likely the reality he faces. Expect the Giants to cut Jacobs before they owe him a roster bonus of $500,000 on March 17.
To back up the thinking that the Giants will expect a drastic pay cut, as a comparative measure, I thought it might make sense to look at the contracts that free agent running backs received last offseason:
|Player||Age (at start of 2011 season)||Snaps||Years||Dollars||Per year||Rushes (2010)||Yards (2010)||Avg (2010)||TD (2010)|
|Player||Age (at start of 2012 season)||Snaps||Years||Dollars||Per year||Rushes (2011)||Yards (2011)||Avg (2011)||TD (2011)|
Some notes pertinent to Jacobs:
– The Giants are already over the cap. Even worse, the cap may actually be lower than originally anticipated, which will make it that much more challenging for the Giants to get under. That’s a major factor.
– Jacobs is nothing more than a role player, at least in the Giants’ offense, as evidenced by his 373 snaps (just 26% of the Giants’ offensive snaps) in 2011.
– DeAngelo Williams and Cedric Benson aside, none of those backs above made as much as Jacobs is scheduled to make in 2012, and Benson won’t sniff the $5 million contract he received last year on a one-year deal. Meanwhile, the Williams deal is widely regarded as a ridiculous overpay on the part of the Panthers.
– Joseph Addai received a nice deal from Indy a year ago, one that I’ll bet Indy wishes they could take a mulligan on.
– The recently retired Ricky Williams aside, Jacobs is the only player among the ones listed hitting the market at over 30 years of age when the season begins.
– Michael Bush was a restricted free agent last season, so his contract numbers of a year ago are somewhat misleading, since he wasn’t free to explore the open market. Bush is a younger version of Jacobs, from a size and running style perspective. His worth on the open market would be far higher than Jacobs’. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal he’s able to land.
Continued after the jump…
Last offseason, the Giants rolled the dice and didn’t overpay for Ahmad Bradshaw, a 25 year old player coming off a 1200+ yard season. They let him test the free agent waters, and guessed that the market wouldn’t be out of control for his services. The gamble paid off, as they were able to retain him for $4.5 million per year.
Free agency begins March 13. The Giants can see how the market plays out for running backs the first three days of free agency before they “make a decision” on Jacobs’ $500,000 roster bonus on March 17. In other words, they can keep him off the market for 3 days while teams begins to talk to other running backs. The Jacobs camp won’t like that tactic, but it’s good business on the Giants’ part. If the other running backs (guys like Michael Bush, Mike Tolbert, Peyton Hillis, Cedric Benson, Ryan Grant etc.) either sign low contract offers or remain available, it’s a strong indication that the market for Jacobs’ services will be minimal. At that point, maybe you can convince the Jacobs camp to take a bigger cut than they were previously considering. If not, Jacobs risks not finding any serious suitors on the open market and is forced to settle for less than what the Giants may have been offering to retain him.
Failing a drastically reduced salary by March 17, the Giants can cut bait, let the market for Jacobs develop (or not develop), and potentially bring him back a severely reduced rate anyway.