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Ahmad Bradshaw Sympathizes with Hakeem Nicks Over New York Giants’ Way of Doing Business

April 26th, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants are not shy about letting aging players walk in free agency or cutting them outright. In recent years they've done it with Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Osi Umenyiora, Chase Blackburn and, only a few short weeks ago, both Hakeem Nicks and Justin Tuck.

It's a tough part of the business to let players who have historic ties to the franchise leave, but a decision that has to be made with the brain and not the heart. Still, it's difficult for some to grasp, whether it be fans of the team or the players themselves. That's why, after the Giants cut him a year ago, running back Ahmad Bradshaw can sympathize with wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, whom Big Blue let walk earlier this offseason and whom now re-joins Bradshaw in Indianapolis.

"I know how it is over there. How they work," Bradshaw told ESPN. "It gets bad as you get more years in the league with Giants. You get the younger guys coming in. They visualize, and with me, they visualize me leaving and David Wilson coming in and being that guy. Andre Brown being that guy, and they had those two guys. They were like, 'Leave that money alone. Let him go, take care of the little guys.' That's how this league is becoming. As the year was going when I was with the Giants, my coach was like, 'They're just talking about younger, faster, healthy.' Nowadays these younger guys aren't as healthy. They come in and have some different stuff."

Unfortunately, the business side of the NFL can take a toll on players. For Bradshaw, whom the Giants may have considered bringing back this season, he was cut due to salary reasons and that's something that clearly rubbed him the wrong way — and perhaps rightfully so. After all, he had given the organization everything he had, but still, business is business and 32 NFL teams are in the business of winning, not crumbling due to loyalty.

Still, the experience is a humbling one and something difficult for veteran players to accept. In the case of both Bradshaw and Nicks, they feel they were made out to be team cancers when, in fact, they really weren't.

"I've been there," Bradshaw said. "They try to make you feel like you're a cancer to the team. Different things. It's really they want to try to get the younger guys experience and sit you down. Not that you've done anything wrong. I've been there and I know where he comes from. He's telling me, 'They said I was cancer there.' I know how it was cause I was there. I've been through that."

To be fair, no one in the Giants organization ever made a public or anonymous comment claiming either were cancers, although the local media did crack down relatively hard on Nicks. And while Brandon Jacobs initially felt disrespected — as did defensive end Osi Umenyiora — after only a year way, each were back to praising the Giants and expressing either their desire to return (Jacobs) or offering advice to other pending free agents, telling them to do whatever they could to stay with the Giants (Umenyiora).

Time heals all wounds and, hopefully, time will eventually pave the way to good feelings between Bradshaw/Nicks and the Giants once again.


Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, Brandon Jacobs, David Wilson, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Justin Tuck, New York, New York Giants, NFL

11 Responses to “Ahmad Bradshaw Sympathizes with Hakeem Nicks Over New York Giants’ Way of Doing Business”

  1.  jb322 says:

    Of course the fact that neither Bradshaw or Nicks could ever stay healthy had nothing to do with them being cut…

  2.  6string says:

    ” It’s really they want to try to get the younger guys experience and sit you down. Not that you’ve done anything wrong.”
    Most fans want to see the younger guys get some playing time. Bradshaw brings up the other side of it. Veteran players feel disrespected and threatened when the rookies get playing time. Coaches have to keep this in mind.

  3.  6string says:

    I never heard anyone say Bradshaw was a cancer to the team, he gave percent all of the time. Nicks on the other hand seems to have left himself open to that label with what appeared as a lack of interest at times last year.

    •  Dirt says:

      If apparent lack of interest is worthy of dismissal, then every single person on the offensive side of the ball not named Victor Cruz should have been dismissed after last year.

      •  Dirt says:

        And I include Eli “6 or 26 INTs, no difference to me” Manning in that list of those who didn’t appear to give a sh|t.

        Fortunately, there’s more to it than just showing you care. The difference is that Manning is the franchise QB and it’s hard to find one of those, while Nicks had question marks at a position where you can always find help.

        I don’t believe in those question marks – I think Nicks is going to have a monster year this year. But when you have effectively zero cap dollars as the Giants had (don’t fool yourself, every cent of the $100M+ they spent was necessary given the 25 or so roster openings), question marks give way to other needs.

        •  6string says:

          Nicks may have a monster year, right now nobody really knows, but with the 1 year, 3 million contract he got it doesn’t look like the rest of the NFL agrees with you. I wish him well. When it comes to not offering players a contract, Reese seems too have made good decisions in the past. If he really didn’t even make an offer to Nicks, that says a lot more than we can’t afford him.

          •  Dirt says:

            I don’t disagree.

            But, I believe $3M right now wouldn’t allow the Giants to sign any of their draft picks. It says to me more “allocation of resources” than “we don’t like Nicks.”

  4.  Krow says:

    Clearly the Giants made a mistake with Bradshaw … since leaving the team he’s run roughshod over the NFL, and has re-established himself as a premier RB. Right … uh huh.

    Hey, I loved the guy. But c’mon … he was paid millions, and if he didn’t blow it he’ll never have to work again. No one ever disrespected him either. He just came to the end of the line. It sucks, but that’s the way it goes.

  5.  skinnydoogan says:

    I am pretty sure these guys know what they are getting into when they enter the NFL, so nobody, including themselves, should feel bad for them. Tough business, it is what it is.

  6.  BillyS says:

    Why would Bradshaw complain about the Giants? He got to the point where they couldn’t rely on him because he was already banged up. They also gave him his money. He should be THANKING the Giants for taking him. I seem to recall them taking him in the 7th round after EVERY OTHER TEAM passed him over…for nearly the entire draft. Bradshaw seems to forget how he was in trouble for stealing a Playstation in college (and many teams thought of him as a bit immature, thus not drafting him). The Giants rolled the dice and it worked out great. But for him to come out and stay this stuff is BS. Hakeem Nicks has nobody to blame but himself and Bradshaw is making himself look pretty immature right now, as well as unintelligent, because the reason neither are still in Blue is because they are always too hurt. Plain and simple.

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