Day one of the 2012 NFL season has come and gone. There will be many new faces with new teams, but there are many questions waiting to be answered. One of the players in free agent limbo at the moment is Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs, who has played for the New York Football Giants since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 draft, has had a pretty productive career. Although Jacobs has had to share a backfield with such players as Tiki Barber and Ahmad Bradshaw , Jacobs has accumulated 4,800 yards on 1,078 attempts for a 4.5 yard per carry average. Jacobs leads the Giants all-time rushing touchdown list with 56, and helped the Giants win Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. Although Jacobs can be a bit inconsistent, I feel he still has plenty of gas left in the tank to be an efficient change of pace back. Here are a couple of options for Jacobs to think about as free agency continues.
1. Oakland Raiders
The hardest aspect of this season that Jacobs will have to realize is that he will not be offered top dollar for his services. At 30 years old, Jacobs is going to have to accept that he is no longer going to be able to carry a teams running game all lone. The Oakland Raiders are a perfect fit. As of right now the Oakland Raiders have Darren McFadden , Taiwan Jones , and Lonyae Miller . McFadden and Jones are both speed backs who have some issues pushing a pile. McFadden has proven over the past couple of years that he can be an effective every down back, but his injury issues still leave something to be desired. Jones was drafted in 2011 and played mostly on special teams. Miller was acquired as a free agent at the beginning of 2012, and has no career statistics at this point. If Jacobs were to sign with the Raiders, he would find a role as a change of pace, short-yardage, goal line back on a team that desperately needs a power back. With McFadden's injury history and the fact that Jones and Miller are essentially unknowns, Jacobs could find himself carving out a larger role as the season wears on.
2. San Diego Chargers
In 2011, the San Diego Chargers saw their back field develop into one of the most dynamic back fields in the league. Mike Tolbert and Ryan Mathews were the perfect one-two punch that teams dream about. Mathews has the ability to run outside the tackles, and Tolbert was the smash-mouth power back that gain the extra yard for a first down. San Diego is now in a tough position. As of today Mike Tolbert is an unrestricted free agent and seems poised to test the free agent market. This leaves San Diego with a huge (pun intended) hole in their backfield. The Chargers only have Ryan Mathews and Curtis Brinkley under contract for the 2012 season. The Chargers also just lost Vincent Jackson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the Chargers want to maintain any offensive integrity, they had better act fast and acquire a back that can not only spell Mathews but also gain that extra yard. Jacobs would be able to fit that role just fine. The Chargers seem to want to expand Mathews' role in the backfield, and Jacobs would be the perfect complement. Jacobs wouldn't be able to take on the work load that Tolbert was able to, but he should be effective when brought in to spell Mathews and work as a short-yardage/goal-line back.
Brandon Jacobs should be excited about the 2012 season. He can play a very effective role with which ever team he signs with. Jacobs is a powerful, hardworking, intelligent football player who has the work ethic and poise to be a leader on which ever team chooses to sign him.