News broke Wednesday evening that the New York Giants had cut ties with their starting running back, Ahmad Bradshaw. The move was a surprise to most as Bradshaw had been New York’s leading rusher for the past three years, and had rushed for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns this past season.
The biggest question now is where will he end up? There will be a decent market for the 26-year-old running back as many teams are looking to implement a solid two-back system after the Giants, amongst others, have had much success with it for the past few seasons.
There are also a handful of teams who are looking for a workhorse running back like Bradshaw to carry the load for them. Here are three teams that would be greats fits for the recently-released Bradshaw.
San Diego Chargers
Three years ago, the Chargers drafted a running back in the first round by the name of Ryan Mathews. Mathews was expected to come in and be the next great running back in San Diego, but hasn’t had much success so far in his injury-riddled career.
He has only surpassed the 1,000-yard mark once (2010). This past season, he was expected to have a break-out year, but after breaking both of his clavicles, he wasn’t able to play for a good part of the year, and was only able to get in the end zone once.
While Mathews is still a young guy and has potential to come in and perform well for the Chargers, it definitely would not hurt to bring in a guy like Bradshaw to not only push Mathews, but to also split carries with him in order keep both runners fresh.
The Chargers do still have Ronnie Brown on their roster, but he will be 32 years old this year and is certainly past his prime. Bringing in a tough, between-the-tackles runner like Bradshaw would be beneficial for not only the Chargers’ running game, but would also help open things up for Philip Rivers in the passing game.
While it would be somewhat of a surprise, don’t be shocked if Bradshaw ends up with the Bolts.
The Broncos are on this list because this past season highlighted how little talent they actually have left at the running back position. Former first round pick Knowshon Moreno has yet to reach the 1,000 yard mark in a season for his career and is close to reaching bust status.
Willis McGahee is another 30-something running back who has struggled with injuries in recent years, and is also past his prime. Ronnie Hillman hasn’t been able to prove himself as more than a scat-back for Denver and wasn’t expected to do much for them anyways.
Okay, now add in Bradshaw.
Bradshaw is a guy who would likely take some pressure off of McGahee in the run game and would also give them a solid 1,000-yard runner. This wouldn’t be the first time head coach John Fox used a two-back set, as he had much success with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart during his tenure with the Carolina Panthers.
You have to think that Peyton Manning would have had an even more impressive season if he had had a more dependable running game, and that’s what Bradshaw would provide. The type of stability that Bradshaw would bring to Denver is something that would make them an even more dangerous team in the AFC.
It would also be fun seeing Bradshaw play with Manning after spending six years in New York with the younger Eli Manning. Bradshaw played a key role in both of the Giants’ past two Super Bowl victories, and could help deliver Manning his second ring, if they can afford him, that is.
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay is the best spot for Bradshaw. He would be joining an explosive passing game and they would be a huge upgrade in the running game. Although the Packers had some success with no-name runner Dujuan Harris towards the end of the season and into the playoffs, they could certainly use an upgrade.
The Packers have had one of the best offenses in the NFL the past few seasons, but have seriously lacked in the running game. Bradshaw would be playing behind one of the league’s best offensive lines, and with the threat of Aaron Rodgers and the passing game, he would likely have much success running the ball.
While Green Bay’s general manager, Ted Thompson, does not normally sign big name free agents, he might change his mind when it comes to Bradshaw. Bradshaw was instrumental in beating the Packers in the playoffs in the Giants’ past two Super Bowl runs.
Don’t be surprised if you see Bradshaw doing Lambeau leaps in 2013-14.