Updates from Wednesday, Mar. 12
Rashad Jennings announced that he has signed a 4-year contract with the Giants:
Fallon Smith of CSN Bay Area had the financial figures on the deal:
Per league source, RB Rashad Jennings has officially signed a 4yr, $14M deal with the #Giants, $3M guaranteed.— Fallon Smith (@FallonSmithCSN) March 12, 2014
The New York Giants will bolster their backfield at the dawn of 2014's NFL free-agency period, as they are set to sign veteran running back Rashad Jennings on Tuesday.
Jennings himself took to Twitter and announced that he was traveling to New York to sign the new deal after spending last season with the Oakland Raiders:
Flying to the Big Apple tonight! Looking forward to signing the dotted lines with @Giants— Rashad Jennings (@RashadJennings) March 11, 2014
Without the opportunity to be a consistent starter in his career to date, there is somewhat of a chance for Jennings to become the featured back or at least register just as many touches as the Giants' other running backs.
Last season in Oakland, the 28-year-old Jennings made a big impact, catching 36 passes for 292 yards in addition to running for 733 yards and six touchdowns on 4.5 yards per carry. ESPN's Christopher Harris feels that Jennings will fill the role previously occupied by oft-injured physical runner Andre Brown:
Rashad Jennings heads to the Giants in the Andre Brown role. There should be a bunch of work for him. (h/t @DanGrazianoESPN)— Christopher Harris (@CHarrisESPN) March 11, 2014
David Wilson is a former first-round pick who has struggled with fumbling issues and being in and out of coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse as a result. But last season a neck injury ended Wilson's season in October, and ESPN.com's Dan Graziano provided an update on Wilson's condition on Feb. 14:
[A] source close to the situation told me this week that Wilson is recovering very well from his neck surgery, lifting weights and working out and that there's "no reason to believe he won't be playing" in 2014. That's good news, but even if Wilson does come back 100 percent, they won't want to run him out their as a kick returner. They weren't going to do that in 2013 before he got hurt, and the neck injury that ended his season in October surely rules it out for the future.
Who will be the Giants' leading rusher in 2014?
There is definite uncertainty in New York with regard to its running game, but Jennings is an unquestionable asset who brings receiving ability to the table that Wilson doesn't have. The Giants sputtered in 2013 and ranked just 29th in the league in rushing offense.
That problem was exacerbated by quarterback Eli Manning's spotty play and penchant for turning the ball over, as he threw a whopping 27 interceptions. If Jennings can keep defenses more honest with his all-purpose skill set and grit to finish runs, the Giants have a great shot at taking a big step forward on offense this coming season.
After starting in obscurity in a smaller market for the Jacksonville Jaguars and being stuck behind Maurice Jones-Drew, Jennings vied for snaps in Oakland with Darren McFadden, an elite talent who couldn't stay on the field consistently. The Big Apple presents a big stage and the best shot Jennings has at proving himself as a true No. 1 NFL running back.