Saquon Barkley & Josh Jacobs Are Playing With Fire
Le’veon Bell’s Mistake that Barkley/Jacob Should Learn From
In today’s newsletter:
Barkley and Jacob’s Contract Dispute
Le’veon Bell’s Mistake that Barkley/Jacob Should Learn From
What Dalvin Cook is Looking For
The Dilemma Facing Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs
The unfortunate reality for running backs is that they don’t have nearly as much leverage in contract negotiations as quarterbacks and wide receivers. The NFL doesn’t value the running back position like they once did. Teams now understand that paying backs exorbitant amounts of money is not the best allocation of resources. Let’s be honest, an offensive line opening holes is more important than the guy in the backfield.
Time and time again late round backs enter the league and become productive. Why pay guys millions of dollars when you can find replacements for a more reasonable price tag? Add on the wear and tear that every down backs deal with and quickly they aren’t the same player they once were.
Raiders Josh Jacobs and Giants Saquon Barkley were given the franchise tag by their teams earlier this off-season which would pay them $10,091,000 in 2023.
Neither of them have signed the tag as of today. They have till July 17th to come to an agreement on a long term extension. If they don’t they have no choice but to play on the tag in 2023 or sit out the season.
It looks like the Raiders and Giants are willing to stick to their guns and not cave to the demands of their running backs. We are still one month away from the July 17th deadline, but neither back holds any real leverage. If they don’t sign the tag the only option they have is to sit out the 2023 season and not get paid.
I feel for the backs. They wish that they could make just as much money as wide receivers. But the market is the market. The harsh truth is that top tier wide receivers carry more value than top tier running backs and they are paid accordingly.
The compensation that both players would receive by signing the tag would make them the 7th highest paid backs in the league. The top 3 compensated backs on a per year basis is Christian Mccafrey at $16 mil per year, Alvin Kamara at $15 mil per year, and Derrick Henry at $12.5 mil per year.
What Happened Over The Weekend
Jacobs and Barkley both made public comments over the weekend.
First off we have Josh Jacobs posting this on twitter,
“Sometimes it’s not about you. We gotta do it for the ones after us.”
My assumption is that he wants to make sure that running backs get paid what they’re worth. Jacobs led the league in total scrimmage yards in 2022 with 2,059. There’s no question that he was one of the more productive backs in the league.
Here’s the thing, he ranked 13th among backs in yards per carry in 2022 with 4.9 YPC. If the 12 other backs ahead of him had as many opportunities as Jacobs, there’s a chance they would have been more productive. Jacobs is not head and shoulders above other backs around the league.
Saquon Barkley spoke with reporters over the weekend and here are the biggest takeaways.
He wants to be a Giant for life
He’s not trying to reset the running back market
Details released about $13-14 million offers he received are misleading
We don’t know the specifics about the deal Barkely received earlier in the off-season. Even if the $13-14 million per year number is accurate, we don’t know how much was guaranteed. There’s a chance that’s what Barkely had a problem with. Barkley mentioned that he wouldn’t count out sitting out if they’re not able to come to a deal by July 17th.
Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs Should learn form Le’veon Bell’s mistake
It is a very bad idea to sit out the 2023 season if they don’t sign the franchise tag. That’s what former NFL back Le’veon Bell did and in hindsight it was a very poor decision. He refused to sign the franchise tag the Steelers placed on him and sat out the entirety of the 2018 NFL season.
He got paid $0 in 2018. He then became an unrestricted free agent after 2018 and signed a four year $52.5 million deal with the Jets with $27 million guaranteed. In 2019 he finished with only 789 yards and 3.2 yards per carry. He never got back to the elite level of play we witnessed from him in Pittsburg.
If Bell would have agreed to play with the Steelers in 2018 he would’ve made $14.5 million. It was a poor decision on his part to sit out even though he was frustrated. He could’ve pocketed the money and then signed with another team a year later. He only hurt himself.
Even though Barkely and Jacobs don’t want to play on the tag, it’s their best option if they are unable to come to long term agreements with their team.
Insight Into Dalvin Cook’s Contract Desires
Dalvin Cook was released by the Vikings last week. They didn’t want to pay him the $14 million due in 2023. They saved $9 million with the move. Now Dalvin Cook is a free agent and free to be signed by any team that wants his services. The big question is what kind of contract Cook is looking for.
Late last week NFL reporter Tom Pelissero was on the Rich Eisen show and shared inside information about Cook’s desires.
“Dalvin Cook is not looking to sign a $4-5 million contract, That is not going to happen. This is going to be a significant contract.”
Another running back attempting to be paid what he believes he’s worth. I wonder what that number is. If Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs are having trouble getting paid, Cook is likely going to experience a similar problem. I doubt he gets a deal worth more than $10 million per year. But in the end it just takes one team willing to open their checkbook.
Random Stat Of The Day
Because today was all about running backs I figured we’d stick with it for the stat of the day. The NFL running back who averaged the most yards per carry in history is Jamaal Charles who averaged 5.4 yards per carry over his 119 game career.
Random Question Of The Day
“What's your favorite daily routine?”
I’d probably have to say my morning coffee. I love it. There’s a few times over the years that I wasn’t able to get it and it was a problem. Mostly because I had no caffeine and when your body is programmed to have caffeine every morning and you don’t, well, it doesn’t go well. It’s not even just the coffee, it’s the whole morning experience. I’ve always been a morning person. I enjoy waking up early and giving myself a good amount of time to sit peacefully and pray before I get into my day.
That’s all for today!
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