2017 running back market has gone bust

Sell, sell, sell.

With plenty of recognizable names available at running back, only one has signed a contract. And he’s the one who is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in September.

Danny Woodhead’s deal with the Ravens covers three years and pays out $8.8 million, with $4.25 million guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. (The report doesn’t specify how much is fully guaranteed at signing.)

That a far cry from last year, when in the early days of free agency multiple running backs got significantly better deals. Consider the following.

1. Doug Martin, Buccaneers: Five years, $35.75 million, $15 million fully guaranteed at signing.

2. Chris Ivory, Jaguars: Five years, $32 million, $10 million fully guaranteed at signing.

3. Matt Forte, Jets: Three years, $12 million, $9 million fully guaranteed at signing.

4. Bilal Powell, Jets: Three years, $11.25 million, $6 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Those are the deals that the likes of Eddie Lacy, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Charles, and Adrian Peterson will be pointing to when the time comes to talk turkey. They’ll also likely look to the significant fullback contracts done this week (Kyle Juszczyk’s $21 million over four years, Patrick DiMarco’s $8.4 million over four years) as proof regarding the value that ball carriers bring.

On the other side of the not-so-much coin is the one-year, $1 million deal signed by fullback/running back Mike Tolbert in Buffalo, and the one-year, $775,000 contract inked before free agency by C.J. Spiller in Kansas City.

So what does that mean for the firm of Lacy, Murray, Charles & Peterson? It means that the deals given last year to Martin and Ivory will be very, very, very hard to even come close to matching when the time comes to collect checks from Duke & Duke.

37 responses to “2017 running back market has gone bust

  1. LMAO at the Trading Places references…lol

    I’m sure lots of the younger fans don’t even get the humor.

    We’re getting old Florio…..

  2. .
    Some may have to wait until after the draft, as the usually reliable draft sources believe that this year’s RB class is the best in a decade.
    .

  3. There are probably a number of teams counting on landing the best all around running back in the draft in the third round. The smart team will draft him in the second.

  4. Maybe a lot of this is the realization that you don’t need to overpay for the running back position. It isn’t as imperative to winning titles as it used to be. You can usually find serviceable ones on the scrap heap or develop one out of the draft.

  5. Lacy, Charles, and Peterson are coming off injury plagued seasons. Murray was good, but not a game breaking rb. The contracts these guys would get would be overpaying them since you really don’t know what kind of production you will get from them.

  6. Bad year to be a free agent running back. AP is going to take a huge pay cut, but then again he’s been way overpaid the last few years.

  7. A bunch of semi washed up backs and a couple that still have a little bit left in the tank, all that want big money.

    Vs a draft pool that sounds like its rich in RBs this year.

    Not a hard choice for any competent GM. They are likely to get a better player far cheaper in the draft than what this group of vets brings to the table.

  8. As Father Guido Sarducci said so eloquently: “You gotta da supply….. and you gotta da demand.”

  9. Wish the Chiefs would offer Charles the league minimum with a bunch of incentives, instead of taking a chance on Spiller. Don’t know what Dorsey thinks he’s getting with Spiller except a training camp tackling dummy.

  10. “With plenty of recognizable names available at running back, only one has signed a contract.”

    WRONG!

    Jacquizz Rodgers signed a two-year deal for $3.3 million with a shot to earn another $1 million in incentives.

  11. Somebody, other than MN, please sign AllDay.
    Unless he comes really cheap…like league average cheap.

  12. Charles and Peterson are old and multiple knee injuries they have little left to request top dollar and they know that they have to…but there value could come by a team who drafts a young talented back Split there time working them into a full roll with all time great running backs

  13. u4iadman says:
    Mar 12, 2017 11:16 AM
    Pats sux.
    ————————————————————
    It’s Pats suck. If you’re going to be blatantly wrong with your opinion at least use something close to proper english to express it.

  14. petedutcherjr says:
    Mar 12, 2017 12:14 PM
    “With plenty of recognizable names available at running back, only one has signed a contract.”

    WRONG!

    Jacquizz Rodgers signed a two-year deal for $3.3 million with a shot to earn another $1 million in incentives.
    —————————————————————
    Who? RECOGNIZABLE names, not backups.

  15. 6ball?iframe=true&theme_preview=true says:
    Mar 12, 2017 11:00 AM

    .
    Some may have to wait until after the draft, as the usually reliable draft sources believe that this year’s RB class is the best in a decade.
    .

    What sources? The guy I listen to says it’s a defensive draft with a variety of different types of rbs. Glad people are listening to the hype because I can obtain very good, young rbs who have produced in the NFL.

  16. It’s a readily replaceable position in the draft or on the waiver wire, where you can find someone for the vet minimum or a $1-2 million.

    Paying 3x more for a RB makes no sense on any level.

  17. .
    6ball says

    Some may have to wait until after the draft, as the usually reliable draft sources believe that this year’s RB class is the best in a decade.
    _______-_

    Cadreamer1969 says

    What sources? The guy I listen to says it’s a defensive draft with a variety of different types of rbs. Glad people are listening to the hype because I can obtain very good, young rbs who have produced in the NFL.
    __________
    .
    Bleacher Report, Sports illustrated, and Great Blue North draft report have all said that this is a stellar crop of RBs. They’re both talented and the supply is deep. With that said, the best overall talent is, in fact, on the defensive side of the ball. There is an excellent crop of edge rushers, CBs and, this year, even safeties. You can have a great crop of RBs in a defensive draft year.
    .

  18. There are about 10 running backs worth paying for. Nobody on that list is in that group of David Johnson, McCoy, Elliott, Bell, D. Murray, Howard, Gordon, Freeman, and Gurley.

  19. And then there is Buffalo’s GM Whaley, who is considering
    giving the BACKUP RB Gillislee a $4MM/YR contract avg.
    He also signed 2 fullbacks this free agency period.
    Who does that since the 1950s ended?

    Whaley is in the bottom 5 of the worst NFL GMs today.
    Sadly the owners are equally clueless and will keep Whaley
    around for at least 3 more years. The Bills will end up with
    20 straight years of no playoffs.

  20. If Zeke was a free agent he’d get a 100 million dollar contract. So would Dak for that matter.

  21. “bucnasty says:
    Mar 12, 2017 1:12 PM
    Charles and Peterson are old and multiple knee injuries they have little left to request top dollar and they know that they have to…but there value could come by a team who drafts a young talented back Split there time working them into a full roll with all time great running backs”

    I read comments because I’m actually interested in them and want to understand what the commenter is saying. So, a couple of suggestions:

    “there,” “they’re,” and “their.” Check ’em out. And I think “role” is the word you’re looking for, in place of “roll”? All that, and a little punctuation would probably make your comment easily understandable.

  22. Eddie Lacy has a reputation of motivational problems. Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles have had injury problems. Latavius Murray was not very productive last season Those are the reasons teams are not rushing out to pay them big bucks.

  23. When these guys (especially Peterson and Charles)demand big money, the team rep should just hold up a picture and say “let me tell you about this guy named Shaun Alexander…”

  24. Trading Places is another legendary cinematic accomplishment overlooked by the academy awards.

    Easy Money is another classic.

    Pesci as ‘Nicky’ was all time.

    And if you don’t agree, I’ll give you a slap, you half a sissy.

    RAIDER NATION

  25. And then there is Buffalo’s GM Whaley, who is considering
    giving the BACKUP RB Gillislee a $4MM/YR contract avg.
    He also signed 2 fullbacks this free agency period.
    Who does that since the 1950s ended?
    _______________________________________
    Gillislee led the league in YPC, scored 8 TD and gives the Bills a league leading 1-2 punch at RB. He also signed his 1 year RFA tender of 1.79 million. A far cry from 4mil a year. But have fun trolling with your Trump facts!

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