San Francisco 49ers News: Brandon Jacobs' Move West Fails Miserably, Player Suspended for Rest of 2012 (Commentary)

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Dec 11, 2012 08:55 AM EST
Brandon Jacobs with Giants 2008
New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs celebrates scoring the winning touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in overtime during their NFL football game in East Rutherford
(Photo : Mike Segar / Reuters) "

Brandon Jacobs's attempt at revitalizing his career in San Francisco is now officially a failed venture.

The two-time Super Bowl champion running back has been suspended for the remainder of the regular season by the San Francisco 49ers. The move appears to be in response to Jacobs's self-publicized frustration with his low rank in the organization's deep stable of power RBs.

As former teammate Antonio Pierce indicated on Twitter, Jacobs had hoped his vocal complaints would evoke a response from team officials. However, a contractual release is believed to be what he had in mind. Jacobs stated via the social media outlet, Instagram that he was "rotting away" as a member of the San Francisco roster.

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The suspension not only prohibits Jacobs from taking the field for his current team, but also blocks any other club from acquiring the RB's services.

Cutting Jacobs would have allowed possible 49er postseason opponents such as the Packers and (his former club) the Giants to shore up their banged up backfields with his legs and educate their defense with his memory of the San Francisco playbook. Jacobs is expected to appeal the suspension with the league, but regardless of the outcome, it is not likely that San Francisco will release him into the open market.

After his production slowed with the team that had drafted him, Jacobs found himself removed from the New York Giants future plans at the end of the 2011 Super Bowl run. Jacobs had been forced to take a significant cut in pay in order to remain with the team prior to last season. He also found himself demoted to the "change-of-pace" slot behind the more agile Ahmad Bradshaw. 

While Jacobs's departure from East Rutherford surprised few after a lean 571-yard performance in '11, analysts and fans alike were puzzled by his landing in San Francisco. Jim Harbaugh's 49ers already enjoyed a reliable duo of power runners in Frank Gore (currently with 1,035 yards on the 2012 season) and Kendall Hunter.

Despite the crowded conditions, Jacobs inked a deal with San Fran only months after helping to extinguish their aspirations of a Super Bowl berth. He promptly injured his knee during the preseason and upon his return to health, the first public signs of trouble revealed themselves. Harbaugh's staff was reluctant to include Jacobs in their active game day lineups.

Before his season was officially ended on Monday afternoon, Jacobs had only been handed the ball five times and had accumulated a mere seven yards. He played in only two games. Jacobs made his NFL debut with the New York Giants in 2005 as the backup to Tiki Barber and the replacement for Ron Dayne as New York's short yardage specialist. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound rookie notched his first career touchdown in the season opener against Arizona. He would eventually replace Barber (following the former starter's early retirement) as the top RB in the Giants rotation in 2007.

On the heels of the Giants victory in Super Bowl XLII, Jacobs notched 1,089 yards in 2008 despite missing three games and sharing the backfield with Derrick Ward who eclipsed 1,000 yards on the ground himself that very season.

If Jacobs ever returns to the form that allowed him to make such an impact in 2008, it will not be in the Bay Area unless a silver helmet is involved.

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