When the New York Giants release running back Ahmad Bradshaw several days ago, immediately I thought of how the Arizona Cardinals could get him in here for a workout in March when free agency starts. With the uncertain status of current Cards running back Beanie Wells, Bradshaw should be worth at least a conversation or two. Wells, who missed half of the 2012 season and only rushed for 234 yards on 88 carries, has spent his entire short career injured off and on. Bradshaw too has had his injuries, however has been way more productive than Wells when he does play.
Two of the four NFL seasons Wells has been active, he’s rushed for less than 500 yards thanks to lack of production and missing 11 games in those two seasons. He has only produced productive seasons in his rookie season of 2009 and in 2011. He was practically forced to play through injury during that 2011 season.
Wells has four seasons under his belt. He has rushed 625 times for 2,471 yards, a 4.0 average and 24 touchdowns. Bradshaw has two seasons on Wells, but was not a featured back in those two seasons of 2007 and 2008. He only rushed for 545 yards and two touchdowns those two seasons. However, since 2009, Wells’ rookie season, Bradshaw has 3,687 yards rushing on 921 carries. That’s a 4.6 yard average. He has 30 rushing touchdowns in those four seasons.
Oh, have I also mentioned Bradshaw is a much better receiving back as well? Bradshaw has 132 receptions for 1087 yards and three touchdowns lifetime. Wells only has 28 receptions for 293 yards lifetime and zero touchdowns.
There is also one other caveat. After being benched in December in the game against the Chicago Bears for fumbling near the goal line, he proclaimed he was no longer playing for the Cardinals. He said the next time he took the field he was now playing for the other 31 NFL teams. I don’t care if the Cards have a new coaching staff or not. Wells can’t stay in Arizona in my opinion. As a teammate you don’t want to hear that no matter the circumstances. While I don’t agree with the benching of Wells for the entire game after that fumble, I also have a stronger feeling about a player who publicly expresses his desire to move on. As a fan, I have no place to cheer for a guy that doesn’t want to play for my team anymore.
Bradshaw might cost the Cards a little bit of money and I get that. However I’d rather have a clean slate at that position, at least from a starting role. I think the Cards still need to give Ryan Williams a chance despite his two early season-ending injuries to start his NFL career. Like I said, I truly believe the idea of Bradshaw in a Cards uniform is intriguing and is worth a conversation or two. The Cards owe it to themselves to at least think about it.