The Giants today likely made a decision on who they want to run the football in the 2009 season as their feature back, as they locked Brandon Jacobs up for at least the 09 season by putting the “franchise player” tag on him.
It’s only the second time ever that the Giants have used the tag, the other time was in 1993 when they used it on Jumbo Elliott. The move means that Jacobs is going to make a guaranteed salary of $6.621 million in 2009.
Jacbos is not going to be happy about the decision to tag him, as he just said at the Super Bowl that he “would be angry” if the Giants tagged him, and added “It would probably cause some problems.” He did, however, say, that “it’s nothing that we couldn’t deal with.”
The New York Daily News reported today that the team and Jacobs will probably keep talking about a long-term deal with the club. However, according to a source close to Jacobs, if the two sides can’t come to an agreement he does eventually plan sign the franchise tender in time to report to training camp.
Jacobs has topped 1,000 rushing yards each season — 1,009 in 11 games in 2007, and 1,089 in 13 games last year. And at 6-4, 264 pounds, he’s one of the best big backs in the NFL. Considering the drop off in the Giants’ rushing attack when he’s not on the field (which was about 70 yards per game last season) Jacobs believed he was indispensable, which is why he was seeking the same contract the Dallas Cowboys gave Marion Barber last year.
Back in January, Jacobs said he was “confident” he and the Giants would reach a deal long before they even had to consider the “franchise” tag. He also made it clear that returning to the Giants was his priority.
“I really want to be back,” he said. “I’d be fairly upset and angry if I’m not back, because that’s where I want to be. That’s the team I want to play on. I’m confident. When you know it’s something that you want, you just put it on the line and come out and get it done.”
His return most likely means the Giants will not look to re-sign Derrick Ward, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 27. According to a report, Ward was planning to meet with Giants officials about his future this week. However, neither Ward nor his agent, Peter Schaffer, were planning to be in New York this week.”
As far as I’m concerned this had to be done. Jacobs is the key to the offense, and will be needed if the Giants want to repeat as division champs.
GiantsGab.com editor Jeremy Fuchs also contributed to this story