The Giants released RB Brandon Jacobs on Friday; the news was first reported by Mike Garafolo of the (Newark) Star-Ledger. The team has been trying to figure out a way to work out a financial agreement with Jacobs on a new contract, but according to the report, the two sides were still far apart.
Jacobs was set to be owed $4.9 million in 2012, but the team was hopeful he would restructure his deal to stay in New York so the Giants could get under the salary cap before free agency begins. However, Jacobs was unwilling to do that, and now he will hit the open market.
"Brandon has truly been a great Giant," GM Jerry Reese said. "These times are always very hard for me. We had a very good conversation today. We don't know what the future holds for Brandon, but we wish only the very best for him and his family."
Jacobs was a fourth-round pick of the Giants in 2005 and has been a key member of two Super Bowl-winning teams for the franchise.
"Brandon helped us win two world championships," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "He always did what was in the best interest of team. No matter what you asked him to do, he performed and played in whatever role we asked him to perform. He really was a team player.
"I have always felt like Brandon could be counted on. He's a guy that is very, very good in meetings for me. He pays attention. He picks up on the message. He loves the excitement of the game. He loves everything about it - the pregame routine, the talking to his teammates, trying to motivate his teammates. He loves every part of it."
Jacobs joined the Giants as a fourth-round draft choice in 2005. He played in exactly 100 regular-season games (starting 48). In 11 postseason games, Jacobs rushed for 464 yards and scored four touchdowns and caught eight passes, one for a TD.
"They're all great accomplishments," Jacobs said. "I might be leaving, but my name will stay. The fans have been great for me. Everything has been good. A standup organization. I was very close with a lot of people in the organization. They're all a bunch of great people. The Mara family, the Tisch family, everybody's great. I just want to thank them for the opportunity that they've given me.
"But it's time to move on. We tried, couldn't reach an agreement. It's been great, though. I can't say anything negative about anybody in the organization. (Running backs coach) Jerald Ingram, hands down, probably the best coach I've ever experienced as an athlete. He knows so much about the game and I learned a lot from him as well."
The way we see it
For weeks, the Giants and Jacobs have discussed a revamped contract that could allow him to return next season, but they never could make the numbers mesh for both sides. He was due a $4.4 million roster bonus on March 17, and the team never was going to pay that.
Jacobs started campaigning to return almost as soon as the Giants won a Super Bowl, but it apparently will not happen. Although the door might remain slightly open for a return, it's not likely. His frequent outbursts and reduced workload over the past 2-3 seasons were indications that the Giants had moved on.
Look for the team to target a power back in the draft or through free agency, as the Giants likely could use another body for some help with only Ahmad Bradshaw, DJ Ware and Da'Rel Scott on the roster.