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Marcus Allen not pleased to see how NFL teams ‘undervalue’ running backs

Raiders’ HOF running back bothered by plight of Josh Jacobs, others

2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
Marcus Allen
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Like most of the NFL and fans, Raiders’ legendary running back Marcus Allen is closely monitoring the ongoing contract stalemates by Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs as well as Saquon Barley’s contract situation with the New York Giants.

Allen is disheartening by the overall lack of contractual respect given to star running backs by NFL teams.

“Unfortunately, there is a prevalent assumption made by all of these teams that these top running backs aren’t worth investing into beyond four years and it’s not true,” Allen told Silver and Black Pride Wednesday at the American Century Championship at South Lake Tahoe, Nevada at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Jacobs and Barkley, of course, were given the franchise tag by their respective teams and neither have signed nor were they around their clubs during the offseason or for the mandatory minicamp in June.

Monday is the deadline for franchise tagged players to sign a long-term contract extension or they most play for the franchise tag (just more than $10 million) for the 2023 season. If neither player can play this season until they sign an extension or the tag. There have been reports that neither Jacobs nor Barkley or close to signing a new deal and there has been media reports that Jacobs could holdout into the regular season if that’s the case.

It frustrates Allen that is the reality that today’s running backs face. Getting a fair and lucrative second contract is far from a sure thing unlike players who have success at other positions.

“I know there have been some cases were top running backs saw their careers end early, but it’s not all of them,” Allen said. “These team have to look at it individually. It’s not all of them. You have to value these guys and they’re sadly undervalued. It’s a copycat league, so one team follows the other when it comes to valuing running backs. It’s prevalent and I don’t know if it will change, but I’ll be watching and hope it does change ... It’s intellectually dishonest.”

Allen said he is a big fan of Jacobs and wants him around for the long-term. He is not worried about wear-and-tear on Jacobs, 25, who won the 2022 NFL rushing title.

“He’s young, he’s fine,” Allen said. “Use these workhorses.”

Allen, who played for 16 NFL seasons said a team needs to become an outlier and invest big into a running back to help them prove they can be valued like players at other positions.