Ahmad Bradshaw re-signed with the New York Giants today, August 1, 2011. Bradshaw was drafted by the Giants in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft and was a contributor for the Giants late in the regular season of that year as injuries to Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward forced him into action, rushing for 190 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. In his second season, Bradshaw played the role of “Fire” in the Giants’ three-back tandem named “Earth, Wind and Fire” and averaged just 4.5 attempts per game, but was certainly effective (67 attempts, 355 yards, one touchdown) in a limited role.
The Marshall graduate entered 2009 as the second back on the Giants’ depth chart behind Brandon Jacobs, moving up a spot with the departure of Derrick Ward in free agency. Despite playing the role of back-up, Bradshaw stole the spotlight from Jacobs, outperforming him in yards per carry (4.7 to 3.5) and touchdowns (7 to 5), even though his season was mired with ankle and foot injuries. After off-season surgeries to his ankle and feet, Bradshaw emerged as the lead back for the Giants in 2010 and finished the season with 1,235 yards rushing, eight rushing touchdowns, 47 receptions and 314 receiving yards.
This transaction was anticipated throughout the off-season and the start of free agency, despite a brief flirtation by Bradshaw with the Cincinnati Bengals. For the Giants and fantasy owners, the status quo will be maintained. Bradshaw will be the Giants featured back, with Brandon Jacobs cutting into the workload as a complement. Last season the two backs accounted for 88% of the Giants rushing attempts, splitting 421 carries about 65-35, with Jacobs stealing some goal line touches (Jacobs did not act as a touchdown vulture last year as Bradshaw did manage eight touchdowns) and Bradshaw on the field for passing downs. All in all, this makes Bradshaw an RB2 and Jacobs a flex or bye-week replacement and handcuff. Unless there is a drastic change from last season, don’t expect Danny Ware to be a factor in fantasy.