Giants running back Brandon Jacobs during Super Bowl XLVI Media...

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs during Super Bowl XLVI Media Day at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Jan. 31, 2012) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

After seven years with the Giants that were marked by hard hits, frustrated outbursts from both himself and the fans, a deep hatred of the Cowboys and, ultimately, more rushing touchdowns than anyone else in franchise history, Brandon Jacobs was cut Friday. The two sides attempted to negotiate a new contract but could not reach an agreement as the Giants attempt to bring their payroll underneath the salary cap and prepare for the beginning of free agency.

The move seemed inevitable as Jacobs, who became a backup running back behind Ahmad Bradshaw the last two seasons, was due to earn $4.9 million in 2012, including a $500,000 roster bonus due later this month.

"It's been a great ride," Jacobs said in a statement issued by the Giants. "It's a great organization, a stand-up organization. I had fun. Won two Super Bowls here. I accomplished a lot in my career as a professional athlete here. That's it. It's been a good ride. Time to move on."

The Giants will save $5 million in space under the salary cap. Coupled with the $6.75 million they saved by restructuring Eli Manning earlier this offseason, they should meet the requirements at the start of the league year Tuesday.

The difference between what Jacobs was asking for and what the Giants were offering reportedly was $500,000, which suggests the Giants were not exactly yearning to bring him back in 2012.

"These times are always very hard for me," general manager Jerry Reese said. "We had a very good conversation [Friday]. We don't know what the future holds for Brandon, but we wish only the very best for him and his family."

Jacobs will become a free agent immediately and is able to sign with any team.

As for his role on the team, the Giants have Bradshaw under contract for three more seasons. They also have veteran backup D.J. Ware and young recent draft choices Da'Rel Scott and Andre Brown. They could look for a veteran back in free agency; Ronnie Brown and Mike Tolbert are possible targets.

Jacobs is the Giants' fourth- leading rusher with 4,849 yards and the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 56. He had two 1,000-yard seasons, in 2007 and 2008, but in 2011, he ran for only 571 yards on 152 carries.

"I might be leaving, but my name will stay," he said of his records and accomplishments.

Replacing Jacobs' recent production will be the easy part. Replacing his fire and tone-setting attitude will be more difficult.

"He loves the excitement of the game," coach Tom Coughlin said. "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 knew the end of his career was a possibility and spoke about it when the team was in Indianapolis last month preparing for Super Bowl XLVI.

"If it is [my last game with the Giants], I walk out with a Super Bowl ring," he said. "It definitely motivates me to go out with a bang."

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