The New York Giants got a great amount out of Brandon Jacobs in his seven years with the team, but, unable to reach to an agreement on a restructured contract, the Giants terminated the bruising running back’s contract Friday.
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"Brandon has truly been a great Giant," said general manager Jerry Reese, who met with Jacobs on Friday and informed him of the team’s decision. "These times are always very hard for me. We had a very good conversation today. We don’t know what the future holds for Brandon, but we wish only the very best for him and his family."
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said, "Brandon helped us win two world championships. He always did what was in the best interest of team. No matter what you asked him to do, he performed.
"He really was a team player. I have always felt like Brandon could be counted on. He’s a guy that is very, very good in meetings for me. He pays attention. He picks up on the message. He loves the excitement of the game."
Jacobs, 29, wanted to return and knew he was not going to be able to play for the $4.4 million he was scheduled to earn in 2012. Last week, he reiterated he wanted to stay but cautioned, "I’m not willing to sell my soul, you know? It’s a great organization and I want to be a part of it, but if not, if they’re not feeling the same way, then so be it."
The Giants wanted Jacobs to return for an eighth season but only at their price. He has dropped on the depth chart, from starter to reserve running back behind Ahmad Bradshaw and this season was one of his least productive, with 571 yards and an average of 3.8 yards per rushing attempt.
He had a roster bonus of $500,000 scheduled to be paid March 17, a bonus he was not going to see come his way. With the salary, roster bonus and $100,000 workout bonus wiped off the books, the Giants save $5 million.
That saving, added to the $6.75 million in salary cap relief gained when Eli Manning restructured his deal this week, was imperative because the NFL free agency signing period begins Tuesday.
"It’s been a great ride," Jacobs said. "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."
Jacobs leaves as the fourth-leading rusher in franchise history with 4,849 yards, and no Giant has more than his 56 rushing touchdowns.
His best seasons came in 2007 and 2008 when he had his two 1,000-rushing seasons. In 2008, he had 15 rushing touchdowns.
"They’re all great accomplishments," Jacobs said. "I might be leaving, but my name will stay. The fans have been great for me . . . I can’t say anything negative about anybody in the organization."