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It's June 11th and Dalvin Cook, Exekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Myles Gaskin, Darrel Williams, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon are all free agents...all but Gordon are in their 20's.  More than ever, the RB position has become short lived.

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That position has by far the shortest shelf-life in the NFL.  It's always been that way, but has gotten progressively worse as the years have gone by.  Forget even the passing focus of today's NFL, when it comes to the running game far more teams have come to realize that they're better putting the long-term investment in the OL, and then seeing the next young, fresh, cheap body you can throw behind them be a success.

I'll freely admit that as good as he looked last year, it's the reason I didn't love the Hall pick when it was made and still don't have the level of confidence in it as some.  While he undoubtedly has the talent, the question will be how long it can last, particularly when he's already had his first major injury, which historically isn't a great place for a RB to be.

Ultimately, not only is it a position that players tend not to last too long, but it's really the most easily replaceable in the league, which is why teams are becoming increasingly more happy to move on and not make serious investment, and often tend to regret it when they do (e.g., Elliot had one of the dumbest contracts ever seen).

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30 minutes ago, Bleedin Green said:

That position has by far the shortest shelf-life in the NFL.  It's always been that way, but has gotten progressively worse as the years have gone by.  Forget even the passing focus of today's NFL, when it comes to the running game far more teams have come to realize that they're better putting the long-term investment in the OL, and then seeing the next young, fresh, cheap body you can throw behind them be a success.

I'll freely admit that as good as he looked last year, it's the reason I didn't love the Hall pick when it was made and still don't have the level of confidence in it as some.  While he undoubtedly has the talent, the question will be how long it can last, particularly when he's already had his first major injury, which historically isn't a great place for a RB to be.

Ultimately, not only is it a position that players tend not to last too long, but it's really the most easily replaceable in the league, which is why teams are becoming increasingly more happy to move on and not make serious investment, and often tend to regret it when they do (e.g., Elliot had one of the dumbest contracts ever seen).

While I do agree with all the points you have made, I do feel like having an elite rb1 has a lot of value.

Outside of qb, no one else is touching the ball more than the rb. So you might as well have a really good one.  An elite rb is getting 20+ carries a game and probably catches a few out of the backfield as well. Having a guy who can get 5 yards a run also opens up the passing game and makes the qbs life easier. The defense also has to gameplan around that running back. Where in a committee it’s more of an afterthought (imo atleast) 

if Breece stayed healthy he probably would have won offensive rookie of the year over G Wilson. He was our best player on offense (averaged 5.8 ypc). Yes his shelf life will be shorter but if you can get 6-7 good years out of him then I see nothing wrong with that.

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You still need veteran presence and experience to know the schemes however the point is well taken that RBs only last 5-6 years before teams transition onto the next young one. Ironically, the Jets have newbies and need a veteran presence in the backfield for the next year or so while Rodger is the QB. 

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It is the only position in football where I totally get a guy holding out for a pay day. Because generally speaking when their rookie contract is up. Rarely do teams want to pay the guy big money. So I get RBs chasing money. This is the only position like that in the NFL though.

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7 minutes ago, Darnold Schwarzenegger said:

While I do agree with all the points you have made, I do feel like having an elite rb1 has a lot of value.

Outside of qb, no one else is touching the ball more than the rb. So you might as well have a really good one.  An elite rb is getting 20+ carries a game and probably catches a few out of the backfield as well. Having a guy who can get 5 yards a run also opens up the passing game and makes the qbs life easier. The defense also has to gameplan around that running back. Where in a committee it’s more of an afterthought (imo atleast) 

if Breece stayed healthy he probably would have won offensive rookie of the year over G Wilson. He was our best player on offense (averaged 5.8 ypc). Yes his shelf life will be shorter but if you can get 6-7 good years out of him then I see nothing wrong with that.

I agree with you that a really good RB is a massive value-add to a team, but the problem seems to be the injury rate at that position.

Why give anyone big money to a position that's seemingly most likely to miss games?

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4 minutes ago, RedBeardedSavage said:

 

I agree with you that a really good RB is a massive value-add to a team, but the problem seems to be the injury rate at that position.

Why give anyone big money to a position that's seemingly most likely to miss games?

I wouldn’t pay big money to sign a rb. You draft them. Breece is locked in for 4 years at 9 mill total. 

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I agree that avg RBs grow on trees. There's no shortage of avg RBs in the league. But seeing Breece run for that long TD with all 51 of the Packers who dressed for the game chasing him down the field was a sight to behold! 🤣

I also believe that Breece Hall (along with Garrett Wilson) went A LONG WAY in making up AR's mind of what to do next in his career.

When Arron was on the field, our Defense crushed him. When his D was out there, the two best athletes on the field were Breece and Garrett. A lot to like. Welcome, Arron Rodgers.

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1 hour ago, Darnold Schwarzenegger said:

While I do agree with all the points you have made, I do feel like having an elite rb1 has a lot of value.

Outside of qb, no one else is touching the ball more than the rb. So you might as well have a really good one.  An elite rb is getting 20+ carries a game and probably catches a few out of the backfield as well. Having a guy who can get 5 yards a run also opens up the passing game and makes the qbs life easier. The defense also has to gameplan around that running back. Where in a committee it’s more of an afterthought (imo atleast) 

if Breece stayed healthy he probably would have won offensive rookie of the year over G Wilson. He was our best player on offense (averaged 5.8 ypc). Yes his shelf life will be shorter but if you can get 6-7 good years out of him then I see nothing wrong with that.

I definitely get that mindset about the potential contribution and don't necessarily disagree, but considering both the short shelf-life of RBs and there being a rather immediate return at the position, to me that's always more of a final piece and a bit of a luxury.  It's only worth putting a serious investment in once the rest of your team is ready to go, which is why I didn't love the pick last year, as they still had many other issues to deal with.  In fairness, the acquisition of Rodgers could very well quickly change that perspective this year, so it may now turn out to be a great success, health permitting of course.

Regardless though, in today's NFL I think 6-7 years is a generous estimate for any RB.  As far as I'm concerned, the best moves of that position are either letting someone play out their rookie deal and then having another team give the big payday there's unlikely to be a good return on, or go bargain hunting for guys like those mentioned to start this thread, who will now suddenly come much, much cheaper and can perhaps be more successful as a complementary piece.

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https://www.metroleague.org/what-nfl-running-back-has-the-longest-career/

WHAT NFL RUNNING BACK HAS THE LONGEST CAREER?

Frank Gore

Screenshot_20230611_140312_Google.jpg.17e715b2fc7bd981784f8a7dbc93c244.jpg

is the most career games by a running back, with 241 games. Adrian Peterson has the second most career games by a running back, with 239 games.

LaDainian Tomlinson has the third most career games by a running back, with 237 games. Barry Sanders has fourth place in total career game played at 236.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF A RUNNING BACK?

Running backs are an important part of the NFL and have a relatively short average lifespan. Although running back injuries are common, they seldom end careers prematurely.

You should expect to see a running back retire after around 2-3 years in the league. If you’re looking for longevity in your fantasy football team, consider selecting a runner with more than three years of experience under their belt.

Don’t forget to rotate your backfield often – freshening up the unit can keep you competitive on any given week.

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4 hours ago, NIGHT STALKER said:

It's June 11th and Dalvin Cook, Exekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Myles Gaskin, Darrel Williams, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon are all free agents...all but Gordon are in their 20's.  More than ever, the RB position has become short lived.

Myles Gaskin signed with the Dolphins. 

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4 hours ago, NIGHT STALKER said:

It's June 11th and Dalvin Cook, Exekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Myles Gaskin, Darrel Williams, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon are all free agents...all but Gordon are in their 20's.  More than ever, the RB position has become short lived.

I agree with your premise.

But every RB you list above is significantly flawed in some way. 

Premier backs are still in demand and worth the investment.

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4 hours ago, NIGHT STALKER said:

It's June 11th and Dalvin Cook, Exekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Myles Gaskin, Darrel Williams, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon are all free agents...all but Gordon are in their 20's.  More than ever, the RB position has become short lived.

All of these guys (except maybe Cook) are washed. 

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I haven’t been a huge fan of the #1 RB concept for a long time. My preference is a RB by committee, with a solid investment in the OL. I feel like the Jets stable of backs can get them thru what I expect to be a getting up to speed period for Breece. I don’t have @Joe W. Namath’s faith that he’ll be 100% week one, but I do think he’ll be there by the bye or so. I also think MC1 is better than he looked last year running behind a gutted OL. People talking about how RBs have to learn every blocking scheme, etc., before getting a lot of playing time, too, and that’s nonsense. RB is one of the league’s easiest transitions from college. They come in ready to play, even if they’re just two-down backs to start. 

As these RBs look for work, that’s my feeling on the position. You can effectively fill it with guys on rookie contracts. I wouldn’t‘ve minded if the Jets took Breece with the JJ pick, controlling his rights for an extra year with the fifth year option. As awesome as he was -and I believe will be again- I don’t see myself being in favor of extending him for another four years when the time comes. Those contracts never work out. 

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And @NIGHT STALKER, I’m getting pretty old, too. I remember when RBs regularly went #1 overall, or top three or five every year, while offensive linemen needed to get a job over the winter to pay the bills (literally!). I think the evolution we’ve seen has been a proper correction. Sucks for RBs, but they’re usually easily replaceable. 

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6 hours ago, Embrace the Suck said:

It isn't that it's a passing league. It's that it's a tough position. Your body gets worn out quick. Players who run by committee probably have far more longevity. It just isn't worth signing heavily used RBs to big contracts as they rarely hold up.

Normally you are correct you should never pay a Rb on a second contract .  ( I’m against signing such Rb) but in some cases it can make sense .  Take the Raiders Josh Jacobs I wouldn’t pay him anywhere near McCaffrey 16 million per year but for 12.5 for two years guaranteed( 25 million)  after making him play on franchise tag this year . ( 10.5)   I would do that for the simple reason their other Rb committee Zamir White ( fourth rounder)  Britain Brown ( seventh) and Sincere McCormick ( UDFA) they have for peanuts the next three years .   You can easily absorb having that contract with the other rbs not making much.   B Bolden for the life of me I don’t know why he hasn’t been cut yet,  they save 2.5 million and serves no purpose on the roster. Jacobs should get that money. 

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6 hours ago, Larz said:

More proof of how amazing Martin was 

 

Perhaps Martin's most impressive career accomplishment took place in 2004, when at age 31 he became the oldest player in league history to win the rushing title. This week, Martin revealed that he played the majority of that season with a serious MCL tear. 

"My MCL had almost a grade 3 tear in it," Martin told Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It was so loose. I played with it from I believe the sixth or seventh game throughout the rest of the season. At the time, the doctors were telling me that I needed to sit out and let it rest and I may need surgery." 
 

In the first round of the playoffs, Martin's 113 all-purpose yards helped New York pull off an upset over Drew Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson and the rest of the Chargers. Martin was just as effective the following week against the Steelers, rushing for 77 yards on 19 carries while catching four passes for 29 yards. And if not for two missed field goals, Martin and the Jets would have upset the Steelers, who went 15-1 during the regular season. 

 

6 hours ago, Larz said:

He rushed for a career-high 1,697 yards in 2004 to win the lone NFL rushing title of his career. He also tied his career-high of nine games with 100 or more yards rushing.

Compiler. 

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6 hours ago, Bronx said:

https://www.metroleague.org/what-nfl-running-back-has-the-longest-career/

WHAT NFL RUNNING BACK HAS THE LONGEST CAREER?

Frank Gore

Screenshot_20230611_140312_Google.jpg.17e715b2fc7bd981784f8a7dbc93c244.jpg

is the most career games by a running back, with 241 games. Adrian Peterson has the second most career games by a running back, with 239 games.

LaDainian Tomlinson has the third most career games by a running back, with 237 games. Barry Sanders has fourth place in total career game played at 236.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF A RUNNING BACK?

Running backs are an important part of the NFL and have a relatively short average lifespan. Although running back injuries are common, they seldom end careers prematurely.

You should expect to see a running back retire after around 2-3 years in the league. If you’re looking for longevity in your fantasy football team, consider selecting a runner with more than three years of experience under their belt.

Don’t forget to rotate your backfield often – freshening up the unit can keep you competitive on any given week.

The one on this list that surprised me the most was Barry Sanders, considering he played with a dreadful franchise and was often the only guy defenses had to focus on. How he didn't have more season ending injuries or have to sit out stretches of games is beyond me. To boot, he quit when people thought he still had some tread on his tires, but I don't blame him a bit.

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10 hours ago, NIGHT STALKER said:

It's June 11th and Dalvin Cook, Exekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Myles Gaskin, Darrel Williams, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon are all free agents...all but Gordon are in their 20's.  More than ever, the RB position has become short lived.

More than ever? Historically the rb position has had the shortest life span. Even back in the 70’s there werent many that lasted more than a few seasons.

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11 hours ago, Beerfish said:

I actually think this is overstated.  Long term hard core fans are okay with running games, ball control and not making every single rule pander to passing.  Like in many industries though base fans or customers are given the finger to attract new or less hard core fans.

So I misstated.  I think the NFL gave us what it thought we wanted which is more passing but it also helped them out too.  I think there are more collisions on running plays on average than there are on passing plays.  In the long run the NFL may have seen a shift towards a passing league as a way to avoid legal liability down the road

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13 hours ago, NIGHT STALKER said:

It's June 11th and Dalvin Cook, Exekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Myles Gaskin, Darrel Williams, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon are all free agents...all but Gordon are in their 20's.  More than ever, the RB position has become short lived.

Phillip Lindsey is in the XFL

Sandro Platzgummer is in the European football league 

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There's no conspiracy here against running backs.  It's just that the game has become even more physical over the past few years and running backs take too much punishment and are just not effective past age 27 with very few exceptions.  If age 28+ running backs were effective, they would get contracts. The NFL is a meritocracy.  The best players play and get paid.  If Cook was still valuable going forward, he would be a Viking. Same with Elliott and Dallas.  If you follow the sport, you can see these guys decline before your eyes. Elliott is the perfect example.  He has gone from extraordinary to plodding in 2-3 seasons.  Cook's underlying numbers indicate he is on that steep decline as well.  

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20 hours ago, Bleedin Green said:

That position has by far the shortest shelf-life in the NFL.  It's always been that way, but has gotten progressively worse as the years have gone by.  Forget even the passing focus of today's NFL, when it comes to the running game far more teams have come to realize that they're better putting the long-term investment in the OL, and then seeing the next young, fresh, cheap body you can throw behind them be a success.

I'll freely admit that as good as he looked last year, it's the reason I didn't love the Hall pick when it was made and still don't have the level of confidence in it as some.  While he undoubtedly has the talent, the question will be how long it can last, particularly when he's already had his first major injury, which historically isn't a great place for a RB to be.

Ultimately, not only is it a position that players tend not to last too long, but it's really the most easily replaceable in the league, which is why teams are becoming increasingly more happy to move on and not make serious investment, and often tend to regret it when they do (e.g., Elliot had one of the dumbest contracts ever seen).

Breece was drafted to take pressure off the passing game / Zach Wilson. The front office knew heading into that draft that Zach Wilson was not even close to being able to carry an offense. Putting him in a baker mayfield / browns type situation with what they believed would be an awesome 1-2 punch with hall and carter could allow the offense to be more run heavy and not be as reliant on zach. It appeared to be working too until the offensive line injuries starting piling up and the breece injury happened. I’m not so sure the jets are drafting hall if they were more confident in the qb position last year.

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39 minutes ago, extmenace said:

Breece was drafted to take pressure off the passing game / Zach Wilson. The front office knew heading into that draft that Zach Wilson was not even close to being able to carry an offense. Putting him in a baker mayfield / browns type situation with what they believed would be an awesome 1-2 punch with hall and carter could allow the offense to be more run heavy and not be as reliant on zach. It appeared to be working too until the offensive line injuries starting piling up and the breece injury happened. I’m not so sure the jets are drafting hall if they were more confident in the qb position last year.

I don't know.  By all accounts the Jets were prepared to take a RB at 15 this year.

While Hall clearly did what you mentioned, I think they view the running game as an important feature of this offense..  I suspect they'll continue to heavily lean on the running game - even with Rodgers.

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17 hours ago, slats said:

And @NIGHT STALKER, I’m getting pretty old, too. I remember when RBs regularly went #1 overall, or top three or five every year, while offensive linemen needed to get a job over the winter to pay the bills (literally!). I think the evolution we’ve seen has been a proper correction. Sucks for RBs, but they’re usually easily replaceable. 

Who can forget the great Blair Thomas?

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4 hours ago, FidelioJet said:

I don't know.  By all accounts the Jets were prepared to take a RB at 15 this year.

While Hall clearly did what you mentioned, I think they view the running game as an important feature of this offense..  I suspect they'll continue to heavily lean on the running game - even with Rodgers.

Gibbs is a bit more than a RB though. He’s a versatile offensive weapon that can play RB and WR. He has the potential to be used in a way that we haven’t seen many teams use a “rb” before. Like the opposite version of deebo Samuel.  While his drafted position says RB, I’d say he’s more of an offensive weapon. I could see why the jets were rumored to be interested. 
 

With that being said, yes. This offense with hackett relies on running backs / the running game. With hackett, Aaron Jones / AJ Dillion was a nice two headed monster that used the run to open up the passing game. Ideally, if this offense is working as designed, we’re one of the top rushing teams in football this year with Rodgers being in the middle of the pack as far as pass attempts go.

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On 6/11/2023 at 11:34 AM, Bleedin Green said:

I'll freely admit that as good as he looked last year, it's the reason I didn't love the Hall pick when it was made and still don't have the level of confidence in it as some.  While he undoubtedly has the talent, the question will be how long it can last, particularly when he's already had his first major injury, which historically isn't a great place for a RB to be.

If he never plays another down Hall is the best 2nd rd pick in like the last 20 years for the Jets.

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