Just as there’s nothing like a little competition to lift an athlete’s performance, there’s nothing like a little competition to drive a guy’s price down.
That’s how it worked Monday with Giants free-agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw. In search of a lucrative contract as one of this year’s elite free agents, Bradshaw was trying to leverage an offer from the Giants against interest from Cincinnati and Washington.
Then along came Jason Snelling. The Atlanta running back with a style similar to Bradshaw’s arrived at the Giants’ Timex Performance Center for a visit. And voila! A couple hours later, Bradshaw agreed to terms with the Giants, reportedly at the team’s original price: a four-year contract for $18 million, $9 million guaranteed.
The market appeared to be drying up quickly for Bradshaw, whose 1,235 rushing yards and eight touchdowns were tempered by the fact that he had seven fumbles and had lost his starting job for a time to Brandon Jacobs, whose $4.7 million deal was re-worked to make room for Bradshaw.
In all likelihood, Snelling will now have to look for other opportunities as the Giants retain their backfield trio of Bradshaw, Jacobs, and the up-and-coming D.J. Ware. Snelling played for the Falcons the last four years, backing up Michael Turner the past three and Warrick Dunn before that.
In other news, general manager Jerry Reese gave disgruntled defensive end Osi Umenyiora permission to seek out a trade Monday. But it’s going to be a costly one for any interested party, as the lucky team will have to give the pass-rusher the lucrative contract he maintains the Giants owe him, plus first-round compensation that Reese will demand.