Giants Designate Brandon Jacobs as Franchise Player

The Giants made sure that Brandon Jacobs wouldn't be heading to another team without their say on Friday afternoon. They hung a non-exclusive franchise tag on Jacobs, which guarantees him a one-year salary of $6.621 million in 2009, the average of the top five running back salaries, if he stays with the Giants. It also means that another team will lose two first-round picks if they sign Jacobs and the Giants choose not to match their offer. 

Jacobs is likely not a happy camper about this news. He said he'd be angry if the Giants tagged him during Super Bowl week, because he wants a long-term contract. That anger is nothing new for players who get slapped with the franchise tag, but there's another issue this season. If the league and the union can't reach agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, 2010 will be an uncapped year with unusual contract stipulations. One of them is that players with five seasons under their belt, like Jacobs, will be restricted, rather than unrestricted, free agents.

That would essentially make this a two-year deal for the Giants, who might not want to extend themselves any further. According to Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News, negotiations for a long-term deal never really got going because the Giants wanted to lard the contract with incentives to protect themselves against Jacobs getting hurt. Negotiations can continue, but Jacobs has a lot less leverage now that he's tagged.

The move also means the Giants will be saying goodbye to Derrick Ward and breaking up Earth, Wind and Fire. Ward will be one of the top players on the market when free agency opens in two weeks, and could wind up with the long-term deal that Jacobs wanted so badly.

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