Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry fume in frustration as Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs fail to get contract extensions

Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry fume in frustration as Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs fail to get contract extensions
Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry fume in frustration as Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs fail to get contract extensions

Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor, and Austin Ekeler are ticked off that Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard, and Saquon Barkley didn’t get contract extensions.

The deadline for tagged players to get a multi-year extension lapsed, but the last three running backs mentioned did not secure long-term contract security.

McCaffrey tweeted:

“This is Criminal. Three of the best PLAYERS in the entire league, regardless of position.”

Meanwhile, Henry posted:

“At this point, just take the RB position out the game then. The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization just seems like it don’t even matter. I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve.”

Taylor chimed in by saying:

“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…
Doesn’t matter, you’re a RB”

Finally, Ekeler expressed:

“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. I support any RB doing whatever it takes to get his bag.”

Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard will have to play under the franchise tag if they suit up for their squad in 2023. While Pollard already signed his tag Barkley and Jacobs haven’t.

The tag is a one-year, fully guaranteed deal worth $10.01 million. That value is three times what Pollard has earned in his first four seasons. Meanwhile, Barkley took home $38.6 million in five seasons, while Jacobs had $12 million in four.

Teams can tag a player for a second consecutive year but for a 20 percent increase. With the way the running back market is going, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, and Josh Jacobs might be headed in this direction.

It’s an unfortunate development considering that Josh Jacobs led all running backs in rushing yards (1,653) last season.

Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley (1,312 rushing yards) was a massive contributor to a New York Giants squad that entered the playoffs. Tony Pollard also had a 1,000-yard season despite starting only four games in 2022.


Will Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs sign the tag?

Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs have two options: sign their franchise tag and play in 2023 or skip the entire year, starting with training camp.

Le’Veon Bell did not play in 2018 after the Pittsburgh Steelers offered him the franchise tag for the second straight year. Sadly, his performance started to crumble after missing out on that season.

What’s worse is that the running backs who expressed their frustration also face similar challenges contract-wise.

Ekeler is in the last year of the four-year, $24.5 million deal he signed in 2020. The same goes for Taylor, who is in the final year of his rookie contract worth $7.2 million.

Henry is also in the final season of his four-year, $50 million contract, which only has $25.5 million in guaranteed money.

The odds might not be in their favor, considering how the league has devalued the running back position.

Ironically, rookie Bijan Robinson will earn more this season than Henry, McCaffrey, and Nick Chubb, even if he hasn’t taken an NFL snap.

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Edited by Lance Fernandez