Brandon Jacobs had plenty of reasons for signing a one-year contract with the 49ers on Friday night.
First, the former New York Giants running back of seven years felt he was truly wanted by San Francisco during the free agency process after speaking with general manager Trent Baalke.
When the two talked about Jacobs bringing experience and leadership to the team, the veteran running back felt he could help on both fronts.
Jacobs is a two-time Super Bowl champion, who played in 11 postseason games (five starts) for New York, and rushed for 461 yards and four touchdowns on 120 carries, while adding eight receptions for 45 yards and one touchdown.
The power running back with 4,849 career rushing yards also joins his former Giants teammate wide receiver Mario Manningham as two of San Francisco's offensive additions through offseason free agency.
Manningham's presence played a part in Jacobs' thinking as well, but there's one last piece of the puzzle that made his decision complete. Jacobs grew up in Napoleonville La. and discovered the 49ers as his favorite football team at a young age.
"The 49ers are a great organization," Jacobs said on a conference call with local media. "I've played against the 49ers year in, year out, and it's always a great challenge. It's a great football team, great ownership and a team that's on its way up to a championship.
"It's a good football team and really close. And I felt wanted. I felt they really wanted me around and I was excited about it."
The 29-year-old running back is one of the most difficult players to tackle in the open field and and around the goal line. He stands as New York's all-time rushing touchdown leader with 56 scores. Now, months after competing against the 49ers in two closely contested games as a member of the Giants, Jacobs will now switch to red and gold threads.
It sounds like it won't be difficult for Jacobs to do at all.
"When I chose them as my team, I barely knew anything about football," Jacobs shared. "I was only 8 years old and only liked their uniforms. That's what drew me to the 49ers. And I stuck with them. I even found myself cheering for them on like Sunday nights when we weren't playing against them, seven years deep into the NFL. I was a really big fan."
Playing alongside Manningham is equally welcomed by Jacobs and will help his transition to a new team. Jacobs considered the wideout as one of his closest friends in New York.
"Knowing he's here, made it that much more comfortable for me to join the team," Jacobs said.
Jacobs' presence as a 6-foot-4, 264 pound runner gives the 49ers a different kind of weapon on offense.
"The 49ers are pleased to add a player with Brandon's wealth of experience and talent," Baalke said in a statement released by the team. "He has been productive throughout his career, and provides our offense a different dimension. We look forward to incorporating Brandon into our system."
That system currently has has running backs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon and Rock Cartwright on the roster,
Like Gore, Jacobs was a member of the 2005 NFL Draft and looks forward to working with the 49ers' all-time leading rusher in addition to the other running backs on the roster.
"All that part will work itself out. As far as competing, that will make everyone of us better," Jacobs said. "It makes us better as a team, it makes us better at our job. I'm looking forward to the opportunity of playing with Frank."
Jacobs is not promised a specific role on the offense just yet, but is looking forward to earning his carries within offensive coordinator Greg Roman's power-running formations.
"My role is going to come off how much I earn," Jacobs said. "I'm going to earn everything I get."