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Steelers free agency: Breaking down the broken down Ahmad Bradshaw

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How much value would free agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw bring to the Steelers in the event the team signed him? He visited with the team Thursday but did not sign a contract.

Jamie Squire

When unsure, go to those who know.

Big Blue View editor Ed Valentine characterized former Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw quite well in a piece he wrote in February:

Bradshaw has suffered ankle and foot issues throughout his career, and has had broken bones in his feet in 2009, 2011 and 2012. He rarely practices and has missed six games with injuries the past two seasons.

And that's just the whole thing, isn't it? You can't make the club from the tub 'n all that.

This isn't to suggest the recent report that Bradshaw had a physical while in Pittsburgh Thursday and left without a contract (with no mention of whether the results of that physical led to the lack of contract, or if Bradshaw was going to swim around the market a bit more) wasn't worth the Steelers' time at all.

But with a backfield that saw literally every player it had miss multiple games with various injuries, inviting in a player who seems to have chronic broken bones in his feet stands in contrast of what one would hope the team would want to avoid.

Now, Bradshaw has always showed himself to be an outstanding player when he's healthy. Such is the rep of many players in the league, and that's often the rationale used to justify signing a player - even though the same thought is often used to justify letting him go.

What's the risk here? It all depends on the contract, but looking at Bradshaw when healthy, he's certainly a talented runner.

If it's worth anything, of the 762 votes on Big Blue View's poll asking the question "What should the Giants do with Ahmad Bradshaw in 2013?" only 15 percent of the community voted for "Cut him."

In Valentine's words, "It is certainly possible that the Giants part ways with Bradshaw, but best guess here is that the Giants keep him but hand the reigns of the running attack to Wilson. That would be much like how they kept Brandon Jacobs when Bradshaw initially became the featured back. That might require re-structuring Bradshaw's contract, but it seems more likely than simply getting rid of a good player."

Obviously the Giants ended up cutting him, and that very well could have been more contract-related than a lack of desire on the part of the Giants.

As the saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. A variation of that, though, as one of our readers pointed out, one man's trash is sometimes another man's trash.