By Ernie Palladino
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It’s amazing how good a former team can look once you’ve sampled someplace else, and how bad things can be when you’re there in the first place.
Brandon Jacobs and New York’s most famously unloved tandem, Darrelle Revis and Tim Tebow, must be feeling those emotions right now.
You remember Jacobs, right? The big guy who played for the Giants? He couldn’t wait to get out of here after losing his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw. So off he went last year to San Francisco, where he proceeded to injure his knee and finish with all of five carries for seven yards in two games.
After sitting behind Frank Gore — a back who he had virtually no hope of unseating for the starting job — and an up-and-comer in Kendall Hunter, Jacobs is now making noises about returning to the Giants. At least he’d like to in a perfect, Jacobs kind of world. But life on this planet, particularly in the little piece of it known as the National Football League, doesn’t quite work that way.
All the whining he did while sitting behind Bradshaw left a bad taste in management’s mouth; about as bad as the 49ers had when they handed him a three-game suspension for insubordination at the end of 2012. At that point, Jacobs tweeted a photo of his Giants-clad self with a critical message about the 49ers under it. Then, just a couple of days ago, the free agent tweeted another picture of himself running over a Patriot in a Giants uniform with the message: “Trying to get back in this uniform.”
A Jacobs redux would make sense if the 30-year-old had about five fewer years of pounding on that ever-degenerating chassis of his. But it’s unlikely that Jerry Reese will ever look in his direction again, especially now that young, fast David Wilson and a Jacobs-like Andre Brown stand atop the running backs depth chart, with Da’Rel Scott providing added talent.
A source told the New York Post that the Giants haven’t “closed the door” on re-signing Jacobs. That’s French for “nothing short of a massive catastrophe would move Reese to make that call.”
Still, the Giants look awfully good right now to a guy who couldn’t wait to venture westward to greener pastures one short year ago.
While Jacobs dreams about returning, the Revis-Tebow combination will probably get a change of scenery, even if it doesn’t come in time to save them the embarrassment of showing up at the Jets’ offseason program that starts on Monday.
Life in Florham Park couldn’t stink worse for them right now. Tebow is in a waiting game, and only general manager John Idzik knows why. And he’s not talking. Certainly, the Jets could by now have acquired a mid-round draft pick or two for him if they wanted. His presence behind Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms is an undeserved humiliation to a good, team-first guy who has absolutely no shot at sticking with this roster, even in its horrible current state.
Revis’ situation is different, but just as uncomfortable. He’s trying to rehab his knee in Arizona. Yet, the Jets are forcing him to come to the “voluntary” workout by holding the $3 million in workout bonuses over his head. Regardless of their motivation — whether they truly want to see how far he’s come or whether they want to inspect him to determine if he’s returned to credible trade-bait status — it’s a heck of a way to treat the best player on the roster.
At this point, both players would welcome a trade or, in Tebow’s case, a release. And no, unlike Jacobs, they won’t be looking to come back to Woody Johnson’s Cirque du MetLife production anytime soon.
Unlike the Giants, the Jets exude finality.
Just as well. Sometimes it stinks hanging around with the team that signed you. But sometimes escaping from it stinks just as bad.
Which teams will Brandon Jacobs, Darrelle Revis and Tim Tebow be on in 2013? Let’s hear your predictions in the comments section below…