Ahmad Bradshaw’s fantasy value rises with Vick Ballard out for the season

Vick-Ballard-ColtsJust three days ago, we listed Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard as a player you should be looking to grab on the waiver wire this week in fantasy leagues. He had twice as many carries as Ahmad Bradshaw in Indy’s Week 1 win over the Oakland Raiders and looked like the better runner. Things change quickly.

Ballard suffered a knee injury during practice on Thursday and is expected to miss the remainder of the season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That will thrust Donald Brown back into the primary backup role and likely mean Bradshaw will be leaned on to take the bulk of the carries.

The obvious question is can Bradshaw handle the extra work. The former New York Giant can be explosive when healthy, but he has battled foot problems throughout most of his career. Bradshaw had another procedure on his foot over the offseason that forced him to miss most of training camp, which helps explain why he received only seven carries in the regular season opener.

The Colts will likely be reluctant to increase Bradshaw’s workload from seven to 25 in the span of a week. However, he should make for a high-end flex option and even an RB2 the rest of the way if he can remain healthy. Indianapolis has obviously lost faith in Brown, as evidenced by their decision to sign Bradshaw and bury the former UConn star on the depth chart. If nothing else, the Colts should be taking much less of a committee approach going forward.

Jim Irsay reminds Drew Rosenhaus he has ‘SERIOUS coin’ for Ahmad Bradshaw

Jim IrsayThe Indianapolis Colts have been exploring the possibility of signing Ahmad Bradshaw to bolster their backfield. Any time a team is looking to sign a player who has tremendous upside but a history of injuries, negotiations can be tricky. However, Colts owner Jim Irsay just cannot seem to contain his excitement.

Irsay is currently recovering from hip-replacement surgery, but he took a few moments on Monday night to reach out to NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus, who happens to represent Bradshaw.

While the Colts owner did not mention Bradshaw by name, there’s a strong possibility that is who he is referring to. Rosenhaus responded by expressing a desire to finalize a deal as well.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wisely points out that it is the job of Indianapolis GM Ryan Grigson, who is the NFL’s reigning executive of the year, to negotiate a contract for Bradshaw. By admitting that the Colts are willing to pony up “serious coin” for the free agent, Irsay is crippling Grigson’s ability to negotiate from a point of leverage. Perhaps Jim should wait until he’s off the painkillers to start tweeting.

Then again, this isn’t the first time Irsay has become overly excited about free agent moves. At the end of the day, he’s more of just a fan who happens to be loaded.

Ahmad Bradshaw: Giants thought games would be handed to us

Ahmad-Bradshaw-GiantsThe New York Giants released Ahmad Bradshaw last week, and it’s a mystery how many potential suitors are going to line up for the oft-injured running back this offseason. Bradshaw had his ups and downs in New York last year, but the season ultimately ended in disappointment as the Giants missed the playoffs. One of the issues with that team, he says, was a sense of entitlement.

“We couldn’t come together as a team,” Bradshaw told the NFL Network on Tuesday, via The Star-Ledger. “Everybody seemed to think the season would come together in one game. We didn’t have the chemistry we had the year before … We didn’t play together, take advantage of the opportunities we had. … Everyone thought the games would just be handed to us. It was a tough season.”

That sounds to me like the definition of the Super Bowl hangover. One of the reasons it is so tough for a team to win back-to-back Super Bowls is the inability of players to stay as hungry as they were the year before. When you take into consideration the fact that the Giants defied the odds twice in four years and won championships as an underdog, it becomes even more difficult. Plus, it didn’t help that the back end of their schedule was so brutal.

As for his future, Bradshaw raised more than a few eyebrows when he essentially began selling himself to the New York Jets immediately upon his release.

“The New York Jets are a team that I’m excited to hear about, just to stay home, not make a big move from New York,” Bradshaw said. “It’s just right across the street from where I am now.”

The Jets have many needs outside the running back position, so Bradshaw would likely have to take a significant pay cut to stay in New York. He could also return to the Giants on a new deal, which he has not yet ruled out. He better sort this thing out fast. Fantasy owners are already curious.

Ahmad Bradshaw: ‘A lot of things would have been different’ if I played

Ahmad-Bradshaw-GiantsThe New York Giants suffered their most embarrassing loss of the season on Sunday — a 34-0 throttling at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons. In the process, the G-Men allowed the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys to climb into a three-way tie with them atop the NFC East. Ahmad Bradshaw missed the game with a knee injury, and the running back feels he could have helped the team spare some embarrassment had he suited up.

“It was just a couple pieces missing, a couple things we couldn’t finish,” Bradshaw said Monday according to the Star-Ledger. “I just would have liked to have been there. A lot of things would have been different.”

Bradshaw, who said he expects to play against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, is one of the better backs in the league when healthy and certainly plays with passion — even taking it too far in some instances. However, to think one player could have done much to change the fortune of a team that lost by almost five touchdowns would be ridiculous.

Rookie David Wilson ran for 55 yards on 12 carries, meaning he averaged an impressive 4.6 yards per carry. When a team digs itself into that big of a hole on the road by way of turnovers and missed field goals, there’s very little a running back can do. New York is certainly a better team with both Bradshaw and Wilson healthy in terms of versatility, but it’s tough to agree that much would have been different if Bradshaw played. Total domination is total domination.

Ahmad Bradshaw yelled at Tom Coughlin to ‘run the ball’ against Redskins

If you were watching the second half of the New York Giants’ win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday, you may have seen Ahmad Bradshaw shouting at head coach Tom Coughlin. It was a somewhat heated exchange, and it was clear that Bradshaw was upset with Coughlin about something. As it turns out, the running back had taken issue with the play calling.

According to the Star-Ledger, Bradshaw wanted to make sure his head coach knew New York needed to run the ball more after Giants defensive back Stevie Brown picked off a Robert Griffin III pass in the third quarter.

“I was just saying, ‘Run the ball,’ going onto the field,” Bradshaw admitted on Monday. “A lot of my emotions kick in, and I just want to help my team win as much as possible.”

Coughlin wasn’t the only one who got an earful during the game, as Bradshaw also yelled at Victor Cruz and smacked him in the helmet after a play where he thought the receiver missed a block.

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I’m Guessing Ahmad Bradshaw Wasn’t Supposed to be Partying With Plaxico

When the Plaxico Burress shooting news came out on Saturday, reports said teammates Antonio Pierce and Derrick Ward were present at the club along with Plax. My boy Monty at Sporting News Radio talked with Ward and got the lowdown that it was really Ahmad Bradshaw at the club with Pierce and Plax on Friday when Burress shot himself in the thigh. Bradshaw you might remember served a 30-day prison sentence over the summer for violating his parole. This is the same Bradshaw who never played a game for Al Groh at Virginia after getting arrested for underage drinking his freshman year, and the same guy who got busted for petty theft not much later. So if Bradshaw’s violated his parole once, he probably wasn’t supposed to be out at a club where alcohol was being served. The way the Giants are going, this incident could result in the loss of two players.

Plaxico’s days as a Giant are probably numbered now. He was already on thin ice for missing meetings earlier in the season, having been fined by the team a bunch of times. He’s a distraction and this year he’s injury prone on top of it. Sure, Plax was a big reason why they won the Super Bowl last year, but at this point you have to wonder if dealing with his shenanigans is worthwhile. Another interesting point to this whole incident was raised by Florio at PFT: what were Burress’ intentions? Was he carrying the gun for protection knowing that teammate Steve Smith had been robbed the week before? Would that excuse even fly with Commissioner Goodell? And why wouldn’t Burress just get licensed to carry the firearm in the first place?

It’s too bad the Giants have to deal with all this crap when they’re having such a good season and looking to repeat as Super Bowl Champs. By the way, does Jerry Jones have enough money left for Plaxico?