Ain’t no love in the heart of NFL ownership for running backs

sports gates الثلاثاء 18 يوليو 2023 - 17:30

On the field, running backs have an offensive line to protect them. Off of the field, all they have is each other. The position with the shortest career span in the NFL has become the one that comes with the hardest fight to receive a contract that properly compensates their contributions. The deadline for players on a franchise tag to negotiate a multi-year deal has passed. Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, and Tony Pollard are stuck with one-year contracts.

Their peers were displeased with those outcomes. Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, Jonathan Taylor, and others took to social media to express how they feel that their position is not being shown the proper respect.

All NFL players are at a disadvantageous bargaining position against management. It’s why both strikes in 1982 and 1987 resulted in minimal gains for the players. Neither one even got the players free agency, and when they finally got it a salary cap was instituted. With 53 players on a team — many not making much money while a few stars rake it in — it’s nearly impossible for the entire player’s association to stand firm long enough to make a real economic difference. When most of the union isn’t going to play five seasons, they will likely not reap the benefits of any sacrifice that they make.

It is why the NFL has this hard salary cap, and as a result, teams are reluctant to spend a large percentage of it on a running back. The thought is that there are plenty of rookie running backs, and veterans going from team to team on one-year deals, that can perform well enough as a group to keep a defense honest.

The days of great running backs sharing the marquee with the quarterbacks as the faces of the league are over. With the rookie wage scale crippling players’ earning capabilities, a talented running back right out of college can run circles around the NFL on 350 touches. Game breakers in the backfield are no less capable of turning games than they were in 1993.

But these days they take even worse of a pounding. The defensive linemen of today look like they all had Bruce Banner accidents. Vita Vea, Aaron Donald, Ed Oliver, men built like that are who 21-year-olds are sent face first into, repetitively. A running back healthy for 17 games is a luxury.

The excuse that quarterbacks take up too much of the cap can be used by some teams, but certainly not the New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders. The Giants can get out of Daniel Jones’ contract after 2024 if they choose, and Jimmy Garoppolo can be cut if he hurts his foot again this season. Neither of them is close to $50 million per year players.

Jacobs and Barkely are necessary for either of their teams to have success in 2023. The Raiders appear headed for the bottom of the AFC West and will arrive there with great speed without Jacobs. The Giants are coming off of a playoff season. In Daboll’s second season, a team with Barkley and an improving young defense could be noisy in the NFC. But with Barkley’s return to the roster nowhere in sight, go ahead and pencil the Giants in for last in their division and possibly the Caleb Williams sweepstakes. They made the playoffs for the first time in six years, have a quarterback on a team-friendly deal, and still chose to not find the money to sign their best player to a multi-year extension. Matt Breida and Eric Gray aren’t taking them back to the postseason.

Typical corporate resource restriction. Instead of putting out the best product possible, teams would rather knowingly put a worse roster on the field and save a few million dollars knowing that fans won’t stop buying tickets and watching games, and also those new television deals have already been signed. Why not beat up some of their best athletes for a few years and then refuse to even pay them a $15 million annual value contract that the franchise could probably get out of after two years?

This is the market that Taylor has to look forward to when it comes time to renew his contract. He already has a 300-plus carry season under his belt, and needed ankle surgery this offseason. Taylor could get stuck like Barkley and Jacobs on a franchise tag, or worst case scenario released like Dalvin Cook.

Appreciation is not in the cards for running backs these days. For all of the busted shoulders, lower body surgeries, and head injuries, a good situation is if a team wants them around at all after 25 years old. They get pats on the back from coaches for picking up blitzes and fighting for first downs, but no dough.

All they really have in football is each other, because only they know the sadness of getting their bodies chewed up every week with no way to know if they will ever be properly compensated for it.

Source link

أضف تعليقك

1000 / 1000 (عدد الأحرف المتبقية)

من شروط النشر : عدم الإساءة للكاتب أو للأشخاص أو للمقدسات أو مهاجمة الأديان أو الذات الإلهية، والابتعاد عن التحريض العنصري والشتائم.



مقالات ذات صلة

السبت 23 سبتمبر 2023 - 10:23

Gilas’ ‘cheat code’ Justin Brownlee provides answers for PH

Matt Riddle
السبت 23 سبتمبر 2023 - 10:15

Matt Riddle confirms WWE exit minutes before SmackDown

السبت 23 سبتمبر 2023 - 10:08

Unselfish play key for Gilas in Asian Games, says Kouame

Jayson Valdez during the men
السبت 23 سبتمبر 2023 - 09:59

PH shooters target Paris Olympics, elusive Asian Games podium