Running Back Controversy: The Decline in Salaries and the Uncertain Future of the NFL’s Workhorses

NFL league organized in 2022
NFL league organized in 2022 (Credits: NFL)

Are you curious to know what led to the running backs controversy? Before discussing the argument, let us first walk through what running backs in NFL is.

Who doesn’t know about NFL? NFL, which stands for National Football League, is one of the most awaited and challenging leagues in the United States.

In the NFL, running backs are considered the most demanding players. Being a fan of the NFL, you may know that the running backs play the most significant role in the game.

However, you might have heard that the average salary for running backs has been falling in recent years. Continue reading further to learn more about the running back controversy.

What Led To The Running Back Controversy?

As mentioned earlier, running backs are the most demanding player on the field. Due to their growing demand in the game, running backs used to receive the highest salary in previous leagues.

Running back controversy
What led to the running back controversy? (Credits: NFL)

However, you may have noticed that the average salary of running backs has been lower than that of previous years. This issue has led to controversy and made waves in the sports industry. Many people, including the fans, players, and other personalities related to NFL, have expressed their frustration on this rising issue.

According to the largest online sports team, Spotrac, running backs made $2.15 million on average in the NFL in 2021. It was noted that the salary received by the running backs was significantly lower than that received by other game positions. Let us look at the factors that have impacted the pay structure of running backs.

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The Factors Responsible for the declining pay structure

Talking about the factors that are responsible for the declining pay structure, the first and foremost reason is the increased focus on player safety. Now the question is, how does player safety result in declining salary?

Answering your question, the NFL has implemented rules and regulations that lessen the game’s physicality. Being a fan of the NFL, you might have recently seen that the controls consist of a minor role for running backs. Given their insignificant role, the choice has declined their value as a player on the field.

Secondly, the rise of the passing game has also impacted the running back’s salary. Well, the fans have noticed that the passing game has been given more importance over the years. Therefore, lesser opportunities have been made available for running backs.

Lastly, fans have seen the owner trying to use distinct running backs in the team instead of just focusing on one. Although this has given a chance to different players, it has conversely impacted the value of running backs and resulted in lower salaries.

Player’s Frustration with the Pay Structure

Not only fans but also the sports committee of the NFL are equally frustrated about the situation. Jim Irsay, owner of the Colts, commented on this issue on Twitter, stating the importance of running backs on the field.

NFL running back
What did Josh Jacobs, from Las Vegas Raiders, and Saquon Barkley, from the New York Giants, comment on the controversy? (Credits: NFL)

Furthermore, Josh Jacobs, a professional player from Las Vegas Raiders, and Saquon Barkley, who represents New York Giants, have commented on this rising issue of declining pay structure. The stars commented that running backs have significant value as a player, and the same value should be shown via salary.

What the Future Holds for Runner’s Backs

We are still determining what the future holds for the running backs in the NFL. However, changes must be made to ensure running backs are vital to the game and receive equal compensation. We hope the controversy ends and running backs get fairly compensated for their work on the field.

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