The state of the running back position hit an all-time low on Monday when all of Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, and Tony Pollard could not reach long-term extensions with their teams, continuing a troubling trend that hurts the position in the long run. Now, the running backs are taking to social media to speak out against the sentiment that running backs do not matter and that they deserve better contracts. The Steelers experienced something similar with Le’Veon Bell.
One of those players speaking out is Steelers RB Najee Harris. Harris did say at minicamp that he would not be against a running back union, among other things that could help running backs get paid. His tweet takes a stance with the running backs of the NFL.
“I agree with my running back brothers around the NFL- history will show that you need running backs to win- we set the tone every game and run through walls for our team and lead in many ways- this notion that we deserve less is a joke,” Harris said.
I agree with my running back brothers around the NFL- history will show that you need running backs to win- we set the tone every game and run trough walls for our team and lead in many ways- this notion that we deserve less is a joke. https://t.co/rWJkGIEgmW
— Najee Harris (@ohthatsNajee22) July 17, 2023
For reference, Harris expressed his exasperation with the running back market at minicamp, too. This seems to be an escalating situation around the league where running backs simply do not get paid. There’s no obvious solution to the situation, either, which exacerbates it all the more. But Harris did have his two cents to chime in over a month ago.
“Yeah, man, you know, they say what they say about the running back. They say the position is kind of going downwards but, if you looked at some of the offenses, the running back is featured a lot,” Harris said. “So, just what the guys (Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs) were saying, just show a little more appreciation you know. Obviously it’s a rough position. What we’re asked to go through, it’s probably one of the roughest positions. I’m just advocating and I agree with pretty much what those guys are saying. I’m a running back myself and I’m pretty sure any running backs who will want to come into the league or just even people going around and telling them “if you want to get paid, don’t be a running back.”
That’s a good way to put it. But the front offices argument is not wrong when it comes to the data. There is a reason why running backs continue to decrease with their contract value. But there is likely something coming to a head that can produce change in this arena.