Despite not totaling 100 rushing yards in a game this season, New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings believes he still has room to grow.
"I'm confident in my talent," Jennings said Tuesday, according to the New York Post. "There's no doubt. I've got a lot of football left in me. Trust me. I've got an even bigger chip on my shoulder to prove people wrong, and I'm looking forward to it."
In New York's 38-13 season-ending loss to the Green Bay Packers in the wild-card game, he had five rushes for 29 yards.
Despite the Giants falling short of the Super Bowl, Jennings is confident in the offense and head coach Ben McAdoo, who led the Giants to an 11-5 record in his first season as head coach.
"We'll be moving forward," Jennings said at a fundraising dinner for the Muscular Dystrophy Association at Chelsea Piers. "We've got a solid foundation. McAdoo is the guy. We've got the coaches, the GM, the players, everything is set up. Now we just got to make sure we key in on the details going into next season."
Jennings probably could play a few more years in the NFL and his character and work ethic would be of value in any NFL locker room. But he's facing the reality that he'll turn 32 years old in March -- and running back is increasingly a young man's position.
That's among the reasons why it's unlikely Jennings will be brought back to the Giants next season, even if he was willing to accept a significant cut to the $2.48 million salary he's due in 2017. Jennings only gained 593 yards this season on 181 carries, and totaled just 2,085 yards on 3.8 yards per carry in three injury-plagued years in New York.
And the future of the Giants' backfield arrived this season in Paul Perkins, the Giants' fifth-round pick who gained 456 yards on 112 carries as a rookie, including 271 as his workload increased over the Giants' final four regular-season games.
Now, the Giants might want to have a veteran running back to share some of the workload with Perkins, since they don't yet know how he'd hold up as the featured back, even for a short time. But they are still likely to look to someone younger. And if they spend their offseason fixing their problems along the offensive line, that should give their sagging rushing attack a boost.
Unfortunately for Jennings, the market for a 32-year-old running back isn't likely to be strong -- especially considering he's only played 16 games once and has never rushed for 1,000 yards in any season of his seven-year NFL career.