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Tate’s two-year deal reflects the depressed tailback market

Tate AP

Before free agency, many had ranked Ben Tate as the best available tailback option in free agency.  The open market didn’t agree.

Per multiple reports, Tate’s new contract with the Brown is worth “up to” $7 million over two years.  The presence of “up to” implies that the base value is lower.  Which would make the per-year base value lower than the per-year base values of the contracts signed recently by Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart and Chargers running back Donald Brown.

Gerhart and Brown each signed three-year contracts with base values of $10.5 million.  Both will pay out $7 million over the first two years.

The reports on Tate’s deal also omit the guaranteed money, which could mean it’s nothing to brag about.  Gerhart got $4.5 million, and Brown pocketed $4 million.

Of course, all three deals are far better than Darren McFadden’s one-year arrangement in Oakland, which has a paltry $100,000 in guaranteed money.  The clear message from all running back contracts is that the market remains depressed, but for the rare difference makers like Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy.

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32 Responses to “Tate’s two-year deal reflects the depressed tailback market”
  1. chawk12thman says: Mar 15, 2014 3:33 PM

    Without a running game the pass happy teams can be stopped…….Not sure why RB’s are of significantly lessor value? The fact that the Running Plays are less per game only means that the RB’s life expectancy in the NFL will go up a slight bit. Their importance is still there…….

    Supply and demand would seem the more important driver here……..

  2. pacodawg says: Mar 15, 2014 3:33 PM

    This team is serious

  3. willking9 says: Mar 15, 2014 3:33 PM

    Looks like the NFL spending habits have finally caught up to the devaluation of the RB position on the field. So much of their production is contingent on OL/QB/Receiver play. Outside of a few elite HOF type guys (AP), theres no reason to pay top dollar for what’s usually damaged goods no more than two years after the ink hits the contract.

  4. deerhuntinfool71 says: Mar 15, 2014 3:34 PM

    Even better signing now! That’s a bargin signing and hopefully allows us more cap space to extend joe haden, cameron jordan. Go browns!

  5. smokingconch says: Mar 15, 2014 3:35 PM

    So only good, proven players are making big money? That’s the way it should be. The quarterback market is ridiculous.

  6. tennesseeoilers says: Mar 15, 2014 3:37 PM

    It’s going to be hilarious to see how little Chris Johnson makes from his new team. Here’s to the new CJ2K ($2,000 guaranteed).

  7. kd75 says: Mar 15, 2014 3:42 PM

    Not surprising since you can find a decent RB in the 4th round of any draft.

  8. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 15, 2014 3:46 PM

    I can see Ben Tate becoming a top rb in the nfl with the Browns. Especially if they get a qb thats decent. I think Johnny football or derek carr would be great fits. The offense Kyle shanny is going to run is great for tate and those types of qbs. Personally i’d rather see Johnny football there. Plus with a field stretcher like Josh Gordon… That offense could be real decent this coming season. As long as they hit a good qb.

  9. realfootballfan says: Mar 15, 2014 3:59 PM

    Why don’t they just get it over with and line up 5 wide every down. Then the coach who still realizes smash mouth football still wins will be my favorite team to watch every week.

  10. blackngold4life says: Mar 15, 2014 4:05 PM

    IF he is conciderd the best free agent RB that is depressing

  11. inthezone4 says: Mar 15, 2014 4:15 PM

    Now the clowns can pull off 5 wins this year. HA! HA! HA!

  12. jayniner says: Mar 15, 2014 4:17 PM

    CJ2K should be blamed for all their problems.

  13. stevincinci says: Mar 15, 2014 4:19 PM

    The clear message from all running back contracts is that the market remains depressed, but for the rare difference makers like Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy.

    You can add Giovanni Bernard and Eddy Lacy to that list of difference makers. Last years two top drafted RB’s.

  14. kwjsb says: Mar 15, 2014 4:21 PM

    Browns still need a fullback and guards that can plow the road.

  15. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 15, 2014 4:30 PM

    trent richardson> ben tate, thanks browns org. for paying trents whole signing bonus

  16. elwaysagenius says: Mar 15, 2014 4:32 PM

    With the new CBA it’s just so much smarter to take a RB in the mid rounds of the draft and get him for 4 years with relatively little wear and tear.

  17. mapedog1 says: Mar 15, 2014 4:43 PM

    Browns had to get somebody. The only reason we all know Arian Foster’s name is because Tate can’t stay healthy. 4 years in the NFL and hasn’t had one full healthy season. He has been injured in 24 of 64 NFL games, so he is heaolthy about 62.5% of the time. That should equate to playing 11 out of 16 games for the Browns. Fun fact: In his NFL career Tate has 10 TDs and 10 fumbles.

  18. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 15, 2014 4:49 PM

    If you go down to the market you can see the depressed tailbacks hanging out there. Unable to find work, too old to hire, and not old enough to collect a pension. Moving around slowly and with a limp. Mostly they just play cards and smoke when they can afford to.

  19. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 15, 2014 5:00 PM

    Hmm, I wonder what the 14/15 people who disliked my prior Ben Tate foreshadowing post about the dreary market have to say about these numbers? I wonder, but I don’t really care!

  20. jeremycrowhurst says: Mar 15, 2014 5:12 PM

    His contract is more a reflection of his injury history than the marketplace overall.

    Gerhart’s contract is a better yardstick of the market. Donald Brown’s is a better yardstick of the extent to which San Diego’s front office is overflowing with optimism.

  21. houstontexans99 says: Mar 15, 2014 5:15 PM

    Great move for yall at $3.5 mil per year. His stats would have been better if he hadn’t gotten in kubiak’s doghouse in 2012 & got his ribs destroyed by Dontari Poe last year. He’s closer to a $6 mil a year back if he can stay healthy.

  22. jdbaker01 says: Mar 15, 2014 5:23 PM

    Kickers get more money than RBs.

  23. The Red Rifle says: Mar 15, 2014 5:32 PM

    Andy Dalton deserves respect. No one has done what he has done in their first three years. He is already a legend. He will win many Super Bowls putting the Bengals on his back because we have a crap owner who won’t spend for help and he is content with terrible coaching. Dalton has to do it all by himself. No receivers other than Green, no line. He is the most talented QB in the league right now and he is quickly becoming the smartest. Be afraid.

  24. theworkhorsebackdotcom says: Mar 15, 2014 5:34 PM

    It doesn’t help that the upcoming draft will having a decent crop of fresh legs, and won’t demand a huge cap number.

  25. panamajimmy54 says: Mar 15, 2014 5:49 PM

    2red rifle…Dalton is weak man. you will see next yr.. there will be no improvement..

  26. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 15, 2014 5:54 PM

    If things don’t pick up soon they’re thinking of hopping a freight and heading out to California. They heard there might be work there.

  27. ytownjoe says: Mar 15, 2014 5:58 PM

    Browns have an OL that can run block?

  28. blackngold4life says: Mar 15, 2014 6:16 PM

    Lol you bein sarcastic right??

  29. 25cuts says: Mar 15, 2014 6:23 PM

    Glad we got McCoy and sproles Djax Mac erzt and coop. Go birds! 👍

  30. alsonot says: Mar 15, 2014 7:15 PM

    Ohhh MJD… ditching the Jags doesn’t look so good now does it?

  31. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Mar 15, 2014 7:17 PM

    chawk12thman says:
    Mar 15, 2014 3:33 PM
    Without a running game the pass happy teams can be stopped…….Not sure why RB’s are of significantly lessor value? The fact that the Running Plays are less per game only means that the RB’s life expectancy in the NFL will go up a slight bit. Their importance is still there…….

    Supply and demand would seem the more important driver here……..

    I don’t think the dry market for RBs has anything to do with whether or not team value the running game or or not. They certainly do.

    I think it is more a result of the fact that time after time teams have replaced high paid veteran RBs with replacement rookies and low cost FAs and gotten similar production for much less money.

    Outside of maybe 5-10 guys, there really aren’t alot of running backs out there that you can’t honestly say could have 80-90% of their production replaced by a lower cost option.

  32. mjhutmkr says: Mar 15, 2014 7:54 PM

    Both AP & McCoy will take pay cuts over the next few years.

    The QBs like Flacco, Ryan, etc. will be next ones to take pay cuts.

    The days of paying a player 1/6th of the team’s total salary cap is over.

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