Several veteran NFL running backs have reportedly started a group chat to discuss why their market is disappearing and how they can improve the situation.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has reportedly set up a Zoom call with other running backs to discuss his wage decline and his lawsuit.
Pro Football Talk reports that the NFL Players Union will be involved «in some way» in Saturday’s call.
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The lack of contract extensions on Monday for three key corridors caught the attention of running backs from all over the league.
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 choice to hold out or play under a franchise tag.
Ekeler and other runners spoke about it this week.
«This is the kind of crap that has artificially devalued one of the most important positions in the game,» tweeted Ekeler, who dealt with his own contract drama this offseason. «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 remove the RB position from the game,» he added. derrick henry of the Tennessee Titans, 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,» he said. Indianapolis Colts‘Jonathan Taylor.
It’s not just Barkley, Jacobs and Pollard who don’t get paid. Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette are among the top running backs still on the market with training camps looming. Ekeler even requested a trade.
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The running back market has been devalued because teams have discovered that draft picks with rookie contracts are just as effective as those with veterans.
He Kansas City ChiefsIsiah Pacheco was a seventh-round rookie last season who ended up starting in the Super Bowl in February. The Houston Texans love what fourth-round pick Dameon Pierce brought to the table as a rookie last season, and he’s slated to start again in 2023.
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The last running back to sign a contract worth $10 million or more per season was nick chub of the Cleveland Browns. He signed a three-year, $36.6 million deal with $20 million guaranteed in 2021.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.