“This is Criminal,” McCaffrey tweeted in response to Bro Bible’s Dov Kleiman, who tweeted about the contract situations of Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants, Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys and Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders. “Three of the best PLAYERS in the entire league, regardless of position.”
By not coming to agreements on long-term deals with the three running backs, the teams have the option of franchise-tagging them on a one-year deal or making them trade candidates between now and the November trade deadline.
Jacobs, 25, and Barkley, 26, have threatened to sit out parts of training camp, according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson.
3 Star Backs, Including 2,000-Yard Rusher, All React to RB Contract-Related Post
Jacobs, Barkley and Pollard each were set to make $10.1 million this season, per Over the Cap, putting them behind seven other RBs (including McCaffrey) on the list top-paid backs in the league even though Jacobs led the league in rushing yardage and Barkley was fourth in yardage.
But the value of running backs in the NFL has plummeted in recent years. When ESPN’s Matt Miller tweeted a formula for getting the most out of a running back without giving him a big extension deal, some star running backs sounded off.
“At this point, just take the RB position out the game then. The ones that want to be great and work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization, just seems like it don’t even matter,” tweeted the Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry, a three-time Pro Bowler and the league’s last 2,000-yard rusher (2020). “I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve.”
The Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler, who tied for second in the league with 13 rushing touchdowns, also responded to Miller’s tweet.
“This is the kind of trash that has artificially devalued one of the most important positions in the game. Everyone knows it’s tough to win without a top RB and yet they act like we are discardable widgets,” Ekeler tweeted. “I support any RB doing whatever it takes to get his bag.”
Miller countered Ekeler’s assertion about winning without an RB, tweeting: “The Chiefs won the Super Bowl with no receivers having over 1000 yards and a starting RB drafted in Round 7.”
Lastly, Jonathan Taylor, who was a 2021 Pro Bowler with the Indianapolis Colts, suggested that even if you “boost the organization … doesn’t matter, you’re an RB.”
Ex-49ers Defender Also Chimes in on RB Debate
Former 49ers defensive end Charles Omenihu, who’s now with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, responded to ESPN’s Miller: “That’s tough to say that Matt some of these guys deserves deals too, they’ve proven themselves.”
Miller, though, did not argue with Omenihu’s take.
“I agree and wish it were different,” Miller wrote. “But the NFL pays for what you will do versus what you’ve done.”