The lack of extensions Monday for three key running backs caught the attention of the entire position.
Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard were unable to reach long-term deals with their respective teams before Monday’s deadline, leaving them with the decision to either hold out or play under the franchise tag.
Therefore, several veteran brokers have started a group chat to discuss why their market is disappearing and how they can improve the situation.
According to Pro Football Talk, the plan of action was to speak out on social media, which many, including Barkley, did.
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«This is the kind of crap that has artificially devalued one of the most important positions in the game,» Los Angeles Chargers starter austin ekeler, who has dealt with his own contract drama this offseason, tweeted. «Everyone knows it’s hard to win without a top RB, and yet they act like we’re disposable gadgets. I support any RB who does whatever it takes to get the bag from him.»
«At this point, just take the RB position out of the game,» added the Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry, who is entering the final year of his four-year, $50 million contract. «Those who want to be great and work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization, it seems like it doesn’t even matter. I stand with every RB who fights to get what they deserve.»
«1. If you’re good enough, they’ll find you. 2. If you work hard enough, you’ll succeed… If you succeed… 3. You boost the Organization… and then… It doesn’t matter, you’re a RB,» said Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts.
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It’s not just Barkley, Jacobs and Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, who did sign his franchise tag this offseason, who aren’t getting paid. Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette are among the top running backs still on the market right now with training camp looming.
The running back market has been devalued because teams have discovered that draft picks with rookie contracts have the knack for setting the tone, as Harris said, in the running game.
Kansas City ChiefsIsiah Pacheco was a seventh-round rookie last season who ended up starting for them in the Super Bowl in February. The Houston Texans also love what fourth-round pick Dameon Pierce brought to the table as a rookie last season, and he’s slated to start once again in 2023.
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The last running back to sign a contract worth $10 million or more per season was Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns, who signed a three-year, $36.6 million deal with $20 million guaranteed in 2021.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.