Adam Schefter: NFL Running Backs Aren’t Innocent Victims of a Bad Market
NFL running backs don’t have the financial value that they used to have.
Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard made headlines when they failed to sign long-term contracts with their respective teams before the July 17 deadline.
Pollard has accepted the $10.09 million franchise tender for 2023, but Barkley and Jacobs still have uncertain futures just a few days before the beginning of training camp.
The talk of the football world has shifted to the changes surrounding the running back position over the last 20 years.
Is it as simple as the “plug and play” formula that applies to the kicker and punter positions? Are NFL organizations reading the running back situation correctly?
It’s over 100 plus running backs in the NFL and typically 32 Kickers am I missing something. It’s a average fellas pic.twitter.com/4TuiiqkFby— Asante Samuel (@pick_six22) July 18, 2023
Adam Schefter on NFL Running Backs
Adam Schefter weighed in with a unique point of view as a guest on The John Kincade Show.
“I think there’s a little bit of a misperception here this week…Yes, the market has crashed. Yes, it’s not the position you would want to play in this day and age. It is far more lucrative to play wide receiver or cornerback or linebacker…Running backs are being punished, but it’s not like they’re not being offered money.” -Adam Schefter
Barkley passed up over $22 million in guaranteed money on a multi-year extension from the New York Giants, according to the New York Post.
“My strong recommendation would’ve been: do not bypass over $22 million in guaranteed money. I know it’s not what you want. I know you’re worth more. I know it’s unfair what’s gone on with the (running back position). It’s still 22 million in guaranteed money over the next two years, so take it. Take it!” -Schefter
It’s certainly a fair point about an unforgiving league. Front office executives aren’t worried about what’s fair to NFL running backs. They’re worried about constructing a cost-effective roster that also has the best chance to win.
Some NFL fans still make the case that some star backs are still worth significant financial investments.
However, Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley, Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, and Ezekiel Elliott have all signed lucrative deals in recent seasons that now look like misguided investments.
It’s why Elliott and Dalvin Cook still haven’t signed with an NFL team less than two months before the season. The value of the position has absolutely plummeted.
Schefter simply pointed out that running backs aren’t innocent victims of the situation. Some have overplayed their hands, and many high-priced backs have underperformed. It’s the reality of football in 2023.
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