Thursday, August 4, 2011
Despite deal, Bradshaw promises best
By Ohm Youngmisuk ESPNNewYork.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Like most running backs in the game, Ahmad Bradshaw saw dollar signs when DeAngelo Williams re-signed with the Carolina Panthers last week.
Williams turned heads when he agreed to a five-year, $43 million deal that included $21 million in guaranteed money. Bradshaw figured he would soon be cashing in as well, since he was one of the top free-agent running backs available.
"We are the same talents," Bradshaw said of he and Williams. "He is a great back. He does a lot of the same things I do. I felt that way too, but it is a business."
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Bradshaw found the market to be a lot less welcoming, re-signing a four-year pact with the Giants worth $18 million, including $9 million guaranteed.
The teams that were reportedly interested -- Miami, Washington and Cincinnati -- all went in different directions, leaving Bradshaw with little leverage.
"We didn't really get what we expected to get but I'm happy with what I got," Bradshaw said. "I love the Giants and this is where I wanted to be."
And he can thank Brandon Jacobs for helping him remain in New York. Jacobs, who called Bradshaw "every day" during free agency, took a paycut to help the Giants re-sign Bradshaw.
"He loves me, man," Bradshaw said of his best friend. "I respect him more than anything for doing that. He called me when he had done it, he said, 'I want you here.' I said, 'This is where I want to be.'"
Now that both are back, the Giants backfield duo could share more carries than they did last season.
Ahmad Bradshaw led the Giants with 1,235 yards rushing last season, but could lose carries to Brandon Jacobs in 2011.
Coach Tom Coughlin reiterated that he would like to get Jacobs more carries. Last season, Jacobs carried the ball 147 times for 823 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry.
Bradshaw, who gained 1,235 yards on 276 carries, said he is open to sharing more.
He also says he has worked on protecting the football better. He lost six fumbles last season. Coughlin said Bradshaw will have to somehow curb his penchant for fighting for every extra yard since sometimes it leaves him and the football vulnerable.
"It will be a change," Bradshaw said of changing his mentality to fight for every yard. "I will always fight for extra yards regardless. Just got to keep it close to my body, keep it tight. It's like a habit."
Bradshaw also say he feels healthy after having a procedure to clean out his ankle in February. He also played with a small fracture in his wrist but says everything is ready to go.
And even though he didn't get as much money as he'd hoped, Bradshaw promises to continue running as hard as he always has.
"[When] I touch the field, you will get everything you've gotten since then," Bradshaw said. "I love this game. Regardless of how much money I have, I'm always going to give it my all."