The running back extension world is a different animal than other positions in the NFL.
This offseason, the Rams cut running back Todd Gurley less than two years after the Rams give Gurley a four-year $60 million deal with $45 million in guaranteed money. It was another example of how tough the running back market is. Not many get great second contracts and the few who do are in extra danger of getting cut because of how running backs wear down quickly, because they are susceptible to injury and how the position is valued in the league.
Then, this week, Carolina Panthers gave an extension to running back Christian McCaffrey in a deal that pays him $16 million a season for the next four years, making him the new running back money king.
Wonder if any team ever does a big RB deal again for someone not named McCaffrey... https://t.co/4cUcQBSKnk— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) March 20, 2020
McCaffrey is a unique player. He had 2,392 yards from scrimmage last season. It was the second most in history. McCaffrey, who doesn’t turn 24 until June, is a true double threat, so he is a special case.
Still, that all got me to thinking about Raiders star running back Josh Jacobs. He will be eligible for a new deal after two more seasons.
He is more of a traditional running back than McCaffrey. So, Jacobs may have to go the franchise tag route like Tennessee’s Derrick Henry is going through now.
Time will tell on both Jacobs and the league-wide future at the position. But if his stellar rookie season is any indication, Jacobs will be a work-horse type player who will demand a second contract.
The biggest questions are going to be his health (Jacobs dealt with a shoulder injury for much of the season and missed three games down the stretch) and whether the Raiders want to invest big into a running back for a second contract. That discussion may be coming in the relatively-near future.