Do NFL teams care about Madden ratings when it comes to contract negotiations? No.
But the ratings do provide fans an opportunity to compare players against each other to help determine their perceived values. So, when it comes to Josh Jacobs’ contract extension with the Las Vegas Raiders, EA Sports’ recent teaser could help sway public perception in Jacobs’ favor.
The 2023 rushing champ will begin the year as Madden 24’s third-highest-rated running back, behind only Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers Christian McCaffery. The two rushers behind Jacob are Derrick Henry from the Tennessee Titans and Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants.
After getting slapped with the franchise tag in March, Jacobs and Barkley notably didn’t receive contract extensions by Monday’s deadline, which sparked plenty of controversy on social media. So, since money has been the topic of the week when it comes to running backs, let’s compare how the top five backs are compensated.
All financial information below is via OverTheCap.com.
- Chubb: 97 rating (ranks 1st among RBs); 3-year, $36.6 million contract (avg./year and total value rank 4th); $20 million guaranteed (5th),
- McCaffery: 96 rating (2nd); 4-year, $64 million contract (avg./year ranks 1st and total value ranks 2nd); $36.4 million guaranteed (1st)
- Jacobs: 95 rating (3rd); playing on franchise tag for 1-year, $10.1 million (avg./year ranks t-6th and total value ranks t-18th); $10.1 guaranteed *if signed* (t-12th)
- Henry: 94 rating (4th); 4-year, $50 million contract (avg./year and total value rank 3rd); $25.5 million guaranteed (3rd)
- Barkley: 93 rating (5th); playing on franchise tag for 1-year, $10.1 million (avg./year ranks t-6th and total value ranks t-18th); $10.1 guaranteed *if signed* (t-12th)
On a dollar-per-year basis, the other backs ahead of Jacobs and Barkley are the New Orleans Saints Alvin Kamara (5-year, $75 million contract, $34.3 million guaranteed) and the Green Bay Packers Aaron Jones (2-year, $23 million contract, $8.52 million guaranteed). Kamara didn’t make Madden’s top 10 list for the position this year, ranking tied for 13th, while Jones is tied for ninth.
So, solely looking at the situation from this perspective, the two running backs in question are underpaid.
We still don’t know for certain how much money Jacobs was looking for, but The Athletic’s Vic Tafur wrote that the magic number was likely somewhere in the ballpark of $30 million guaranteed. Also, Jacobs tweeted earlier in the week that he isn’t trying to reset the market and just wants more financial security.
$25-$30 million guaranteed would rank third among running backs and it’s hard to argue that the defending rushing champ isn’t in that category, especially considering that’s where he falls on the rating scale above.
Regardless, there’s nothing the Raiders nor Jacobs can do at this point now that the deadline is passed. The two parties will have to pick up discussions in the offseason and who knows, maybe pretend football ratings will finally work their way into a contract negotiation!
For those interested, below is a look at how the AFC West running backs stack up against each other when it comes to Madden 24 ratings.
- Jacobs, Raiders (95)
- Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (89)
- Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos (82)
- Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs (80)
- Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs (78)
As for the rest of the Raiders' backs, Ameer Abdullah is behind Jacobs with a 73 rating, Zamir White is third at 70, Brandon Bolden at 69, Austin Walter 61, and Brittain Brown rounds out the group with a 59 overall rating.