The New York Giants have not had a reliable running back since Brandon Jacobs and this hurts the Gmen considering that they cannot control the clock as much as they are used to.
The Giants currently have 4 running backs on their roster, Andre Williams, Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, and Orleans Darkwa. This is a pretty pivotal offseason for the Giants as they look to return to playoff contention before Eli Manning retires.
We have already seen Coughlin and Tuck leave now this offseason its JPP and/or Prince Amukamara. One by one each one of the individuals responsible for so much success for the Giants throughout the years have left or retired. This is why especially a tough ground and pound mentality for the Giants is important. Finding their bell cow running back, that when asked can lead the game and become a focal point for this offense.
Looking at Rashad Jennings, he is 30 and currently counts $2,812,500 against the cap. Jennings in 2015 played in all 16 games and recorded 195 rushing attempts, 863 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns, and lost 2 fumbles. Jennings proved to be pretty shifty in space however struggled at the goal line.
Next is Andre Williams, who is 23 and was the Giants primary back last season. In 2015 he recorded 88 rushing attempts, 2.9 yards per carry, 257 yards, and a touchdown. In 2014 when he led the ground game he had 217 rushing attempts, 721 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Williams is a goal line power back but has trouble ripping off large chunks of yards as an every down back. He only counts $713,400 against the cap so he should be safe regardless of who the Giants add.
Next up is Shane Vereen, the running back who counts the most against the Giants cap. At $4,916,667 Vereen is the most expensive running back on the Giants roster and he did not start a single game in 2015.
Vereen is mostly a passing down back who can make plays as a receiver. Vereen is only 26 however he has not proven to be an every down back. Vereen recorded 61 rushing attempts, 4.3 yards per carry, 260 rushing yards, and 4 receiving touchdowns. Lastly is exclusive restricted free agent Orleans Darkwa who should be safe on this roster. Releasing Vereen and Jennings would help improve this unproductive backfield and open up some extra cap space for the Giants. With so many great free agent running backs the Giants have enough cap space to take a shot at any back available.
With Matt Forte no longer a Chicago Bear he could be a nice fit in the Big Apple; however the Giants would be better off with a younger free agent. Since Doug Martin and Charcandrick West should be available those players may be the Giants best shot at finding a relative young bell cow running back outside of the draft.