Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw got one of his postseason obstacles out of the way over the weekend when doctors performed successful cleanup surgery on his left ankle.
If only the others were as easy to solve.
Bradshaw certainly seemed optimistic about a quick recovery late Sunday when he tweeted “everything went great thanks for the well wishes!” This was relatively minor stuff compared to last offseason, when doctors cleaned out the same ankle and implanted screws in cracked bones in both feet. So Bradshaw should have no problems rehabbing in time for training camp.
The bigger roadblock is his contract status. He has none. Like some 500 other players, Bradshaw is an unrestricted free agent in limbo. Until a new collective bargaining agreement is signed, he will not be able to negotiate with anyone, including the Giants, because nobody knows the conditions under which the parties will work.
There could be a salary cap. There may not be a salary cap. Players could be allowed to hit the open market after four accrued seasons, or they might have to wait longer. With the owners’ walkout on last Wednesday’s bargaining session increasing the possibility of a lockout, the fate of Bradshaw and his unrestricted brethren’s hopes for major paydays becomes more uncertain.
And the NFL’s filing of an unfair labor practice suit against the players association Monday — an expected move to try to head off the union’s intentions to decertify and sue the owners for antitrust violations — may only increase the animosity.
The Giants have told their 1,235-yard rusher that he’d be a priority signing. But affording both Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, due $4.65 million in the third year of a four-year contract, might be impossible.
A decision on that will have to wait until a new CBA defines the rules surrounding player contract talks.
If only large-scale negotiations were as easy as cleaning up an ankle.