Hunt for the Money or Hunt for the Ring

Nick Laham

Or, How Little We Should Care about Brandon Jacobs' Supposed Problems.

Brandon Jacobs has sent out some odd tweets. You all have seen them. In fact, you guys and gals had a pretty darn good discussion about them yesterday. Before going further, though, I just want to say that we have no idea what is going on in Mr. Jacobs' life. While I think it's pretty stupid for one to post tangently work-related statements online when one is a public figure and beholden to a character limit, it does behoove us not to extrapolate too much from these tweets. Let's not go searching for the black spot on his hand. Until he isn't a 49er, we should all have his back.

But, this also shouldn't stop us from musing upon the nature of a sport / business enterprise. Let's, for a moment, pretend or assume that these tweets are what they appear to be in a worst case scenario: public complaints at the team's expense - particularly the coaching staff's expense. What of it? As a fan, what should I think about it?

Frankly, I don't care. The only major problem I can see arising from this is the typical, NFL "locker room" problem. But, come on. In Jim Harbaugh's locker room? Psh, yeah right. That guy could run S.H.I.E.L.D and get a certain Mr. Tony Stark to fall in line. Harbaugh's had a strong history of locker room loyalty. I don't really see this getting out of hand, again acting under the assumption that Jacobs is even near that point, that is.

But the question still remains: how should a fan think of this? Well, let's take a hint from Mr. Jacobs himself. This offseason, Jacobs had a choice to make. Obviously, it's somewhat revisionist to claim that he could have signed with any team he wanted. For all we know, nothing was going to work out at all with any other team. Maybe a version of this last offseason exists in which Jacobs' only option was coming to the 49ers.

I really doubt it though.

It sure seemed like Jacobs could at least have stayed in New York. If memory serves, I'm pretty sure Jacobs decided to test the waters as a Free Agent. And that is totally his right. 100%. Just as it is his right to sign with whatever team offers him the most money. I'm all onboard with that.

But look at what he gave up. He had a chance to say with the team that JUST gave him a ring. He had a pretty defined role there, even if things might have been up in the air a bit. Instead he came to the team he had just beaten en-route to a Super Bowl. The same team that has Frank Gore - one of the more established runners in the NFL. And this ignores Kendall Hunter, a back who was getting a surprising amount of national respect. All of this suggests (again, this is somewhat assumptive, so let's respect all caveats that entails) that Jacobs' number one priority this offseason was money.

And, good for him. Guess what everybody else's number one work priority is? Yeah, money. And that's okay. I really am not going to fault an athlete for going where the most money is - especially when he goes from one established team of winners to another. I mean, the 49ers have about as good of a chance as any other team to get him a ring. No, what's bothersome is the hypocrisy. Don't make money making your number one priority and then get all panty-bunched on twitter when secondary and tertiary priorities fall by the wayside. If playtime is a priority, then go to a team where you will get playtime.

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