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Top of running back market likely unattainable for Forte, Rice, Jones-Drew

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Getty Images

The 2012 offseason features a trio of discontented running backs, two of whom don’t have contracts and one of whom who does.  And they all want to be paid more (presumably a lot more) than they otherwise could get.

Bears running back Matt Forte and Ravens running back Ray Rice could get $7.7 million for 2012 under the franchise tag.  Both want something that provides a higher degree of long-term financial security.  Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew has two years left under contract, and he’s due to earn a total of $9.4 million in 2012 and 2013.

All three undoubtedly are targeting the top of the market.  Per a source with knowledge of the high-end tailback contracts, the non-Adrian Peterson/Chris Johnson bar currently resides at $30 million over three years.  Though the players get there via various structures and formulas, LeSean McCoy of the Eagles, Arian Foster of the Texans, and DeAngelo Williams of the Panthers each have deals that will kick out $10 million per year over the first three years, assuming that the players perform well enough to persuade their respective teams to continue the arrangement.

The bar for the very top of the market goes to $36 million over three years for Johnson, and a whopping $40 million over three years for Peterson.  That’s what Rice supposedly wants, and he reportedly is never going to get it.

The real question is whether any of these guys will get $30 million over three.  With the Bears putting out negative vibes regarding Forte’s knee and the Jaguars now reportedly questioning whether Jones-Drew is as explosive as he used to be, it’s highly unlikely.  (It’s hard not to wonder how many yards the 2011 NFL rushing champ would have gained if he were as explosive as he used to be — and if his team has something resembling a real passing attack.)

Only a very small handful of running backs will ever get truly big money, and the primary challenge for the agent is to position the player to pocket a big contract while he’s still young enough to truly earn it.  For guys with four or more years of taking an NFL-style pounding, it’s increasingly difficult for teams to justify forking over huge money — especially with the Vikings giving Peterson his contract at the outset of his fifth season and seeing him tear an ACL at what otherwise would have been the next-to-last game of his rookie deal.

With so few running backs ever truly striking it rich, the reality remains that it makes more sense for kids to quit running with the football and to start kicking it.

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62 Responses to “Top of running back market likely unattainable for Forte, Rice, Jones-Drew”
  1. sj39 says: May 30, 2012 8:37 AM

    Did they forget they are fungible?

  2. crazycane says: May 30, 2012 8:39 AM

    Aren’t these 3 guys represented by the same agent? Go figure.

  3. mikeyhigs says: May 30, 2012 8:39 AM

    “With so few running backs ever truly striking it rich, the reality remains that it makes more sense for kids to quit running with the football and to start kicking it”

    Except kids don’t play for the money. They play for fun. And kicking the ball ain’t as fun as running with the ball.

  4. hedleykow says: May 30, 2012 8:44 AM

    Seems like every time I need Ray Rice to come through, he can’t get over the goal line in four tries from the one foot line. Lat season was the last time I fall for how great that loser is.

  5. cobrala2 says: May 30, 2012 8:44 AM

    I am so not an advocate for players holding out, but with the short shelf life of most running backs it is a dog eat dog world for them. They have to do everything they can to get every penny they can for the few years of football they have in them.

  6. EJ says: May 30, 2012 8:45 AM

    The only two positions that really pay big is the guy throwing the ball and the guy that chases the QB down. Every other position pays similar to one another.

  7. johnnyjagfan says: May 30, 2012 8:46 AM

    This has to be a Gene Smith thing. No way Khan isn’t willing to shell out a couple mil more for 2 years for the NFL Rushing Title holder. C’mon, Gene…this is why big time FAs don’t want to come to JAX.

  8. ch0rn says: May 30, 2012 8:47 AM

    When paying a RB , you aren’t paying for past production. Forte will be 31 + at the end of a long term contract, you don’t pay 31 year old RBs 10 mill.

  9. daaabears says: May 30, 2012 8:51 AM

    They need to restructure rookie running back contracts, otherwise you just ride ‘em hard for 4 years (see Forte), then start all over again.

  10. fenom202 says: May 30, 2012 8:53 AM

    Sad to see that running backs are looked at as after thoughts. But every team that won the super bowl in the passing era had a running game.

    Saints – Bush and Thomas
    Steelers – Mendenhal, Parker, Bettis
    Giants – Bradshaw and Jacobs
    Packers – Starks

  11. eaglesw00t says: May 30, 2012 9:00 AM

    With so few running backs ever truly striking it rich, the reality remains that it makes more sense for kids to quit running with the football and to start kicking it.

    ————————

    Is that your catch phrase for every RB story? Thats at least the 6th or 7th time you have printed that sentence.

  12. fballguy says: May 30, 2012 9:03 AM

    Do we really need another Matt Forte wants to get paid story?

  13. riverhorsey says: May 30, 2012 9:04 AM

    The real argument for the owners is Chris Johnson and his poor 2011 season.

    The agents would be smart to work a 4-5 year deal for 20-30 mil.

  14. shackdelrio says: May 30, 2012 9:09 AM

    The Giants, Packers and Steelers have proven that in the modern NFL that you do not need a superstar running back. Get yourself a quarterback and load up on receivers and pass rushers.

  15. samoanjungle says: May 30, 2012 9:14 AM

    I am all in favor of Rice holding out this year

  16. 6andcounting says: May 30, 2012 9:14 AM

    Running Backs = Dime a dozen

  17. drew902brees says: May 30, 2012 9:15 AM

    Its actually a shame to see the lack of commitment and little value teams give to the runningback position these days. Ray Rice is Mr. everything, MJD has 10 in the box against him (and still lead the league in rushing) and Forte was going to be the third back in history to recieve and rush for a 1000 yards in a season. Stop being so CHEAP…..

  18. florioleadswitnesses says: May 30, 2012 9:17 AM

    “Bears running back Matt Forte and Ravens running back Ray Rice could get $7.7 million for 2012 under the franchise tag. Both want something that provides a higher degree of long-term financial security. ”

    I could be financially secure for several lifetimes with 7.7 million dollars.

  19. FinFan68 says: May 30, 2012 9:18 AM

    “Only a very small handful of running backs will ever get truly big money…”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sorry, but $7,700,000 for one year IS “big money” and it is enough to live very comfortably for a very long time. Just because a couple of guys got over-valued by their teams does not mean that these guys should ride that gravy train as well. Many of the players have ego issues where they want to be the highest paid player at their position so they will whine and moan about it until their ego is stroked. These particular running backs surely deserve better than league minimum but they in no way can expect their teams to pay them a huge amount simply because other teams acted stupidly.

  20. SilentMajority says: May 30, 2012 9:22 AM

    Interesting to note that three of the highest paid running backs last year didn’t do too well. AP signed a huge contract then tore his ACL and MCL. Chris Johnson barely rushed for 1,000 yards and only had 4 TDs. DeAngelo Williams rushed for less than 850 yards. The Bears have a right to be cautious….

    Hey, if Forte and Cutler had stayed healthy, the Bears would have made the playoffs, and would have been forced to pay Forte. None of that happened, it sucks, but that is what happens when you gamble and lose.

  21. qj1984 says: May 30, 2012 9:27 AM

    @crazycane

    No. They are not. Please stop spreading that false rumor. Forte and MJD have the same agent. Rice is represented by Todd France. Yes, there is a huge difference between the agent representing just two of these guys as opposed to all 3.

  22. southpaw2k says: May 30, 2012 9:28 AM

    hedleykow says:
    May 30, 2012 8:44 AM
    Seems like every time I need Ray Rice to come through, he can’t get over the goal line in four tries from the one foot line. Lat season was the last time I fall for how great that loser is.

    ———————————————–

    Are we talking about the same Ray Rice? The guy who had a combined 15 TDs between rushing and receiving? I can only assume you’re talking about some other player in the NFL named Ray Rice, not the guy on the Ravens.

  23. crazycane says: May 30, 2012 9:43 AM

    EJ says: May 30, 2012 8:45 AM

    The only two positions that really pay big is the guy throwing the ball and the guy that chases the QB down. Every other position pays similar to one another.

    You named 2 of the top 3. Guy who protects blind side of #1 is the #2 paid position.

  24. tennesseeoilers says: May 30, 2012 9:45 AM

    Chris Johnson single-handedly ruined it for these guys when he suckered the Titans into a big contract and then immediately went from first to worst.

  25. bigjdve says: May 30, 2012 9:45 AM

    Every team learned from the Chris Brown experiment. The backs in question can thank him for that.

  26. jutts says: May 30, 2012 9:54 AM

    Bad Agents. Bad advise= No Money.

  27. crazycane says: May 30, 2012 9:59 AM

    qj1984, thank you. I thought all 3 were for Bakari.

  28. lilmiddle78 says: May 30, 2012 10:07 AM

    Most of you who proclaim $7.7 mil is enough to live comfortably for many lifetimes, I hope you do realize that these guys are getting taxed like 50%+ except MJD who pays no state tax.. Take out the 10%-15% for the agent and you’re left with your actual earnings.. So yeah it would be great to get paid $7.7 mil for 1 year of work!! Almost as bad as it would suck to watch up to 70% of it get taken away before you lay hands!! Oh and it you take that $7.7 instead of fighting for what you’re worth, there’s a chance you may never get to earn money half this good again!! All because the people you work for are being kinda cheap, not with everyone tho, just with you!!! The employers that you didn’t hand pick, they picked you..

  29. ch0rn says: May 30, 2012 10:14 AM

    If Forte just took a more average contract last year he would already have over 10 mill in the bank and be secure. He can never recoup the money he lost by waiting for the big contract and playing for the minimum in his prime.

  30. jacksaysfu says: May 30, 2012 10:15 AM

    McCoy has as much talent & as a high a ceiling (or
    higher) as any of these guy’s , and he’s only 23 years old . No way that any of the 3 should get paid more .

  31. eaglesw00t says: May 30, 2012 10:17 AM

    bigjdve says:
    May 30, 2012 9:45 AM
    Every team learned from the Chris Brown experiment. The backs in question can thank him for that.

    ————————–

    Are you talking about Chris Brown beating his lady? And Jay Z wanting to jack him him?

    Is that the experiment youre talking about?

  32. ajknox88 says: May 30, 2012 10:18 AM

    To people that say the Bears would have made the playoffs last year if injuries were not a problem, you’re wrong.

    The only way the Bears make the playoffs last year was for them to win their final 5 games and for the Lions to lose 3 out of 5.

    The Lions didn’t lose 3 out of 5. They still would have came up short even if they won out.

  33. shackdelrio says: May 30, 2012 10:23 AM

    “johnnyjagfan says:
    May 30, 2012 8:46 AM
    This has to be a Gene Smith thing. No way Khan isn’t willing to shell out a couple mil more for 2 years for the NFL Rushing Title holder”

    Gene Smith made him one of the highest paid backs in the league three years ago, so that wouldn’t make sense.

  34. Pacific NW Mark says: May 30, 2012 10:27 AM

    It’s odd that $7.7 million a year – for most people, including professional athletes, a fair sum of money – is considered a serious diss.

    As historically tight-fisted as the Bears franchise has been, it’s hard to see Forte getting treated better anywhere else – his market price might actually be lower than the franchise tender amount.

  35. noquickreactionshere says: May 30, 2012 10:39 AM

    fenom202 says:
    May 30, 2012 8:53 AM
    Sad to see that running backs are looked at as after thoughts. But every team that won the super bowl in the passing era had a running game.

    Saints – Bush and Thomas
    Steelers – Mendenhal, Parker, Bettis
    Giants – Bradshaw and Jacobs
    Packers – Starks

    __________________________

    Are you making the point that every team that won a superbowl had running backs on their roster? Then I will say that you are correct sir but you have to look over your list…

    Bush-Bum
    Thomas- 2nd tier
    Mendenhal- Bum
    Parker- One year wonder
    Bettis _ Great
    Starks- Bum
    Bradshaw and Jacobs- Combined make one solid running back

    How many rings between CJ, AP, Rice, MJD, Forte, Michael Turner, Rickey Williams, Gore, Stephen Jackson?

  36. bigjdve says: May 30, 2012 10:41 AM

    eaglesw00t:

    Great catch – Chris Johnson experiment.

    Though, I would think that the Titans and their fans felt pretty bloodied after CJ’s performance last year. He didn’t even buy them dinner or give them a kiss.

  37. rbrtcross7 says: May 30, 2012 10:54 AM

    You can’t blame the running backs for wanting gauranteed money. They are prone to knee injuries due to the rough wear and tear of the position. If you take a crappy deal and get hurt, you have not future. I would hold out if I were them. Yeah, you can find backs that are OK, but special ones need to be kept.

    The great teams all had a great back. What were the Rams without Marshall Faulk, Dallas without Emmitt, 49ers without Craig, Pittsburg without Harris and Bettis? Elway only won a super bowl when he got a great back.

    They can try to devalue the position all they want, but you can clearly see a special back is a need!

    The real question in these cases is, can the teams win while these guys are in thier prime? How long till Jax is competitive? Ravens are damn close to winning it all. Bears still have some question marks.

  38. ruthlssjag says: May 30, 2012 11:06 AM

    MJD is 27, lead the league in rushing with 9 man boxes constantly. When you feed the ball to him 300+ times a year, of course his tires are gonna burn out, but he earned it. Khan NEEDS to get into these talks & let them know, “if its a matter of a couple more mill for one of the top 3, if not the best RB in the league, I’ll pay it.
    And for those who think he’s lost explosiveness, put on his you tube vids & watch 2011 highlights. Its alot more than bulldozing opposing player’s for extra yardage.
    These organizations can “kick rocks!”

  39. lucasjaypauley says: May 30, 2012 11:06 AM

    fenom202 says:
    May 30, 2012 8:53 AM
    Sad to see that running backs are looked at as after thoughts. But every team that won the super bowl in the passing era had a running game.

    Saints – Bush and Thomas
    Steelers – Mendenhal, Parker, Bettis
    Giants – Bradshaw and Jacobs
    Packers – Starks

    —-

    Is this real life? James Starks just might be stretch… just maybe.

  40. jagsfanugh says: May 30, 2012 11:14 AM

    Great article and i agree also you don’t pay for what they have done..you pay for future projection and MJD most likely won’t repeat.

  41. benlw2 says: May 30, 2012 11:27 AM

    “With so few running backs ever truly striking it rich”

    Let’s say I get paid $7 million. Minus 18% that I would put away for taxes, that still leaves me $5.74million. If I put that in the bank in a standard checking account gaining 1% interest, I would earn $574000.00 annually. That is $544000.00 more than I currently earn a year. I think I could find a way to live on that.

  42. imsmarterthanyou says: May 30, 2012 11:30 AM

    ajknox88 says:
    May 30, 2012 10:18 AM
    To people that say the Bears would have made the playoffs last year if injuries were not a problem, you’re wrong.

    The only way the Bears make the playoffs last year was for them to win their final 5 games and for the Lions to lose 3 out of 5.

    The Lions didn’t lose 3 out of 5. They still would have came up short even if they won out.

    ——————————————

    couldn’t be more wrong. When Cutler broke his thumb, the Bears were 7-3 and the Lions were 7-3. The teams had split the season series and at that point, the Bears were ahead of the Lions in the playoff hunt. The Bears had just won 5 straight in a very convincing fashion. The Lions ultimately limped into the playoffs, with a healthy team no less. At that point in the season, the common opponents were TB, ATL, and CAR (outside of the division). Both teams disposed of TB and CAR, but the Lions, if you remember, lost to ATL. So, in closing, you’re wrong. The Bears only needed to go 4-2 down the stretch to beat out the Lions. The injuries were strong side of the reason why the Bears missed out on the playoffs last year, but not the only reason.

    Go Bears.

  43. daaabears says: May 30, 2012 11:33 AM

    @ajknox88 says:
    May 30, 2012 10:18 AM
    To people that say the Bears would have made the playoffs last year if injuries were not a problem, you’re wrong.

    The only way the Bears make the playoffs last year was for them to win their final 5 games and for the Lions to lose 3 out of 5.

    The Lions didn’t lose 3 out of 5. They still would have came up short even if they won out.
    ==================================
    In week 11 Bears and Lions were 7-3 and had split the division series.
    Your math skills?
    Priceless.

  44. crazycane says: May 30, 2012 11:52 AM

    ajknox88 says: May 30, 2012 10:18 AM

    To people that say the Bears would have made the playoffs last year if injuries were not a problem, you’re wrong.

    First off, when Cutler went out here were 6 games remaining. 5 of those were W’s. The ONLY game the Bears got blow out without Cutler was the Packer game.

    The Bears would’ve wound up with a 12-4 record best case, 11-5 record at worst case. Both of those are better than 10-6, which is what the Lions and Falcons went in on.

  45. jagsfan9674 says: May 30, 2012 11:55 AM

    Anyone who thinks MJD needs to be paid more is wrong. Sure he is the focal point of the offense right now but that could change very soon. Running backs usually get their 1 big pay day sadly for him it came right before the CBA expired so he got less than what they’re getting now but it still paid him as 1 of the top in the league.

    It doesn’t make sense from a business perspective to give a guy more money when you have him under contract for 2 more years and he is approaching thirty. Let him play it out and go from there.

  46. rabidbillsfan says: May 30, 2012 11:58 AM

    Wow, some people really don’t know football. The guy who mentioned the backs for the teams that have won the superbowl, he’s right, without the running game, those teams would have been on the outside looking in. Take Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas away from the saints in ’09 and you have a 11-5, 12-4 team that might make it to the confrence finals, but would get stomped by the Vikings. Take Starks away from the Packers, and they lose to the Eagles, handily. Take Bettis and Parker away from the Steelers, they don’t even make the Playoffs in ’05. Heck, Joesph Addai was as big of a cog in the Colts Superbowl run as Peyton was. Remember that other great Packer team in ’07? Without Ryan Grant, they probably wouldn’t have made it to the confrence final. To say teams don’t need a good running back to win the big one is one of the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The Patriots haven’t won crap since Corey Dillion (Or Spygate, whichever you choose, I guess.) Without LT the chargers are mediocre. Look at the Steelers after the Mendenhal injury. You need the running game to ride into the Superbowl, unless you have a future legend at QB. There are only 2, maybe 3 of those guys in the NFL. Teams who neglect the RB position and refuse to use it will not be winning a SB anytime soon. Don’t spout of yardage statistics, the running game, in this type of leauge, is now a situational tool and not a philosphy, but it is still extremely important.

  47. johnnyjagfan says: May 30, 2012 12:12 PM

    @shackdelrio:

    If Gene wanted to pay him then why hasn’t he? I believe his “paid” him once, as you point out and isn’t going over that figure. Feels like his managment style. We’re talking about a tip, here, for MJD in all honesty. It wouldn’t take major money to get him back to the top-3 and has all the justification to do it because MJD won a Rushing Title. I just don’t get it. It’s the only negative right now in an optomistic and forward looking Jacksonville. I say pay the guy that’s the face of the franchise and was the best RB in football last year and make this go away. No downside. Let’s get him in the building. He gives us 100%.

  48. hutch119 says: May 30, 2012 12:20 PM

    I agree with the less explosive MJD thing. He got caught from behind multiple times this year when I have never seen that happen to him before. Man imagine if he had not lost a step he would have been pushing 2k.

  49. jwreck says: May 30, 2012 12:28 PM

    sj39 says: May 30, 2012 8:37 AM

    Did they forget they are fungible?
    ___________________________

    Tailback fungibility is greatly overestimated nowadays. While it’s true that the era of a single back carrying the load for his team is almost certainly over, that doesn’t mean their aren’t running backs who dwarf (ironically in Jones-Drew’s case) the competition, and whose contributions to the team could not be easily replaced. Ryan Grant is fungible; James Starks is fungible; Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are fungible; even Marshawn Lynch could be considered fungible; but the three guys in this article, while they may not deserve quite the salary they’re looking for (especially given the nature of the running game in today’s NFL), are anything but easily replaced.
    _____

    fenom202 says:
    May 30, 2012 8:53 AM
    Sad to see that running backs are looked at as after thoughts. But every team that won the super bowl in the passing era had a running game.

    Saints – Bush and Thomas
    Steelers – Mendenhal, Parker, Bettis
    Giants – Bradshaw and Jacobs
    Packers – Starks
    __
    Okay, you proved the point that every Championship team in recent years had a running back, but a running game? Not so much.

    First off, the Packers and the Saints run less than any other teams in the league. Even when Bush, Thomas, Starks, or Ryan Grant somehow ended up with the ball in their hands, it was usually a from a checkdown or screen pass rather than a handoff.

    More importantly, your list of names actually proves the point you were arguing against. Forgetting Bettis for a second, and Bush’s spectacular college career and a few dynamic plays in the NFL, these are all very middle-of-the-pack halfbacks. A group shot of the guys on your list would go well next to the word mediocre in the dictionary. If, like I mentioned above, sj39 can call Rice, Drew, and Forte fungible, what would you call the backs listed here?

    With the exception of Bettis, no one will remember any of these guys’ names ten years from now, unless Jacobs throws his helmet again and hits a celebrity.

    Also, for the record, Mendenhall did not play in his only championship with the Steelers, and rushed for a grand total of 58 yards that season. Though he had potential to be franchise style back, his career may be already be over, almost before it began. And if, ten years from now, people even remember Mendenhall’s name, it will not be as a great running back, but as “that guy who could have been good, but was just kind of a (I worked too hard on this to have it deleted by the censors so fill in your own word here)”

  50. dcbassguy says: May 30, 2012 1:00 PM

    I’m supposed to feel bad because they would “only” be guaranteed to make 7.7 million this year?

    Get over it, sign the tender, and play.

    Mojo already got a second deal, that he agreed to, so he certainly gets no sympathy from me.

  51. bunkmcnulty says: May 30, 2012 1:10 PM

    benlw2 says:
    May 30, 2012 11:27 AM
    “With so few running backs ever truly striking it rich”

    Let’s say I get paid $7 million. Minus 18% that I would put away for taxes, that still leaves me $5.74million. If I put that in the bank in a standard checking account gaining 1% interest, I would earn $574000.00 annually. That is $544000.00 more than I currently earn a year. I think I could find a way to live on that.
    _________________
    You have to love the simplicity of thought, but Mr. Benlw2 needs some help.

    First, the tax bracket would not be 18%. The combination of state and federal taxes at that income level is 50% +. Don’t forget to pay the agent.Another 10% there. So you net 40% of $7.7. That equals $3.08. 1% of that is $30,800. Dude, that’s not setting the world on fire. Your number above was 10% of $5.74, not 1%.

    Your most eggrigous error was to say that you would “put away 18% for taxes.” You make it sound like that is put aside for a rainy day. I am just picky but that wording sounds very naive.

    If you consider the short career these guys have, unless they are very good investors, they are not set for life unless they get good paying jobs after football. Hope they got their degrees too.

  52. rabidbillsfan says: May 30, 2012 1:16 PM

    @JW

    You’re wrong, and on so many levels. They should have censored youre post, it is highly inaccurate. In ’07, it was the emergence of Ahmad Bradshaw that led the Giants to the post-season, ecspecially that long run against my Bills. Jacobs hammered the Packers in the NFCCG. Again, James Starks was the reason GB won in Philly 2 years ago. You don’t have to have a HOF worthy running back to have a running game. Dorsey Levens anyone? You also mention Mendenhal as only having one shot at a title, but if I recall, he played against the Packers in ’11, he was the one with the costly fumble. Ray Lewis knocked him out his Rookie season, 2008. Nobody will remember Corey Dillon. Heck, Ricky Watters doesn’t even get love. The Saints actually don’t run less than any team in the leauge, they ranked 6th this season in team rushing, and 6th in the year they won the Superbowl, so again, you’re wrong. The Giants were 4th the year they won. So please, type another novel to try and prove I’m wrong.

  53. comeonnowguys says: May 30, 2012 1:18 PM

    tennesseeoilers says: May 30, 2012 9:45 AM

    “Chris Johnson single-handedly ruined it for these guys when he suckered the Titans into a big contract and then immediately went from first to worst.”

    It was the Deangelo Williams and Frank Gore contracts that blew up the pricing levels for RBs.

    It’s a catch-22. You can’t fault a RB for trying to get every dollar he can because of his potential for a shortened career, but you can’t fault an NFL team for not wanting to overpay for a shortened career.

    Forte was given what was a great deal pre-Williams and pre-Gore, but he passed on it. And then he injured himself after the 10-week point after which he would have had to come back had he held out.

    Unfortunate, but that’s the risk.

  54. bhindenemylines says: May 30, 2012 1:24 PM

    lilmiddle78 says:
    May 30, 2012 10:07 AM
    Most of you who proclaim $7.7 mil is enough to live comfortably for many lifetimes, I hope you do realize that these guys are getting taxed like 50%+ except MJD who pays no state tax.. Take out the 10%-15% for the agent and you’re left with your actual earnings..
    —————————–

    Agents are capped at 3%, so your whole post is based on incorrect figures.

    But using your other figures, $7.7 million x 47% = $3,619,000

    If you want to live on that for 20 years (without any interest) that comes out to $180,950 a year.

    How many people wouldn’t be happy to live on that TAX FREE (remember, you already accounted for taxes upfront) for 20 years?

    And like you said, that’s just 1 year. If any of these guys get a multi year deal in that range per year, then yes, they are set for life.

    Boo hoo…cry me a river.

  55. jakek2 says: May 30, 2012 1:31 PM

    The position of running back is going the way of the spotted owl. With the money drying up and the league proving that you don’t need a running game to win the SB (Giants were ranked dead last), gifted “runners” in h.s. and college will learn how to run routes or throw. Sad. But we all know who to thank for killing the running game.

  56. bhindenemylines says: May 30, 2012 1:32 PM

    benlw2 says:
    May 30, 2012 11:27 AM
    “With so few running backs ever truly striking it rich”

    Let’s say I get paid $7 million. Minus 18% that I would put away for taxes, that still leaves me $5.74million. If I put that in the bank in a standard checking account gaining 1% interest, I would earn $574000.00 annually. That is $544000.00 more than I currently earn a year. I think I could find a way to live on that.
    ————————————–

    Sorry, but 1% of $5,740,000 is $57,400.

    10% would = $574,000.

  57. shorttracknews says: May 30, 2012 2:05 PM

    To people that say the Bears would have made the playoffs last year if injuries were not a problem, you’re wrong.

    The only way the Bears make the playoffs last year was for them to win their final 5 games and for the Lions to lose 3 out of 5.

    The Lions didn’t lose 3 out of 5. They still would have came up short even if they won out.
    ——————————————–

    Ajknox88 – The Bears finished 2 games behind the Lions & Falcons. I’m pretty sure without injuries and having to (horror flashbacks) use Caleb Hanie they beat the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos. All 3 were losses by a touchdown or less. That would have put them 11-5. Maybe the GB and Seattle games would have been different for a better record but 11-5 still beats 10-6. Even if they win 2 of 3 of those games they are 10-6. They beat Atlanta early in the season so wouldn’t that have been the tie-breaker?

    It’s OK to be a Lions fan but roll down the window once in awhile so the smoke doesn’t affect your judgement.

  58. fsf7 says: May 30, 2012 2:17 PM

    Sad to see that running backs are looked at as after thoughts. But every team that won the super bowl in the passing era had a running game.

    Saints – Bush and Thomas
    Steelers – Mendenhal, Parker, Bettis
    Giants – Bradshaw and Jacobs
    Packers – Starks
    ————————-

    The only Super Bowl team that has featured a 1200 yard RB since SB XL has been Mendenhall in 2010. Not one other team has even featured a 1000 yard RB that season.

    Its the Goodell NFL. RBs are phased out because it’s become easier and easier to pass with each passing (no pun intended) season. 2009 featured 10 4000 yard passers. It’s very skewed.

    Ravens without Rice will be in a lot of trouble.

  59. raideralex99 says: May 30, 2012 2:22 PM

    Football has it’s “moneyball” too.
    It’s the RB.
    The league has become a passing league. Look at the Pats … put in any RB and as long as he does not fumble … all is good because of Brady. How about the Colts with Peyton they had a decent running game without Peyton … the RBs looked useless.
    It’s sad because the RBs take a beating and have a short life span in football but the bottom line is money in a salary cap league and paying RBs big money (Chris Johnson) is not worth the risk.

  60. londonbengal says: May 30, 2012 2:27 PM

    all hoping Ray Rice holds out this year.

    signed,

    all AFC North teams not called the Baltimore Ravens……..

  61. randallflagg52 says: May 30, 2012 6:28 PM

    Maybe if Ray Rice would’ve shown up in the playoffs last season Baltimore would reward him. Baltimore rode Flacco’s arm in both playoff games due to Rice being ineffective, and luckly Flacco played very well with over a QB rating in the mid 90’s. If Rice showed up (although I gotta give credit to Wilfork also) I’d bet the Ravens would’ve been in the superbowl.

  62. reed20fence says: May 31, 2012 8:15 AM

    Does anyone know of a bank or credit union currently paying 1% on their CDs, much less on their standard checking accounts for millions?

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