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Grading The Deal: Giants Franchise Jacobs
Christopher Reina. 13th February, 2009 - 10:07 pm

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In placing their franchise tag on running back Brandon Jacobs, he will make $6.621 million in 2009, which of course constitutes the average salary made by the top five earners at running back in 2008. LaDainian Tomlinson, Edgerrin James, Ronnie Brown and Clinton Portis were all part of that top-earning five.

Jacobs was ranked 22nd in season FIC and 'deserved' a cap hit of $3.0M, giving him a Reina Value of +178%. Clearly, he was due for a big raise and this buys the Giants some time and prevents him from hitting the open market where he was reportedly looking for something in the neighborhood of $45M over seven years.

New York was only looking to guarantee $12M with a $25M contract.

The reluctance on GM Jerry Reese's part certainly stems from two distinct factors that confuse his value:

1. A propensity for injury

2. The strength of New York's offensive line and run blocking

Jacobs missed three games in 2008 and five in 2007 and his upright running style and unusual height have made him a back that is not expected to have extended longevity.

On the other issue, Tiki Barber was a stat machine until his retirement following the 2006 season and both Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw rush for better than 5.0 yards per game, just like Jacobs.

The Giants are transparently buying themselves one year and possibly two if there end up being major changes in the NFL's CBA.

It's rare for a team to give a running back a long term deal and live to not regret it, something being dealt with by the Chiefs and Larry Johnson and the Chargers with Tomlinson and those players have had past seasons that completely eclipse anything Jacobs has done.

The Giants don't typically use the franchise tag and there wasn't a free agent with a more pressing need than Jacobs and he was clearly more valuable to them than Ward, given how he can wear down opposing defenses with his size and strength.

Grade for Giants: A