The free agent running back class has likely never been better, but teams should be very careful about paying some of these players. Paying running backs has always been a tricky discussion in the NFL, and it’s been proven that time and time again, teams can find legitimate, starting caliber running backs can be found in late round of NFL Drafts.
This coming free agent class at the position is insanely stacked, and large deals for this players will surely be handed out, but will it truly be worth it?
Teams should be careful with the free agent running backs
Top running backs at the position include Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders, Jamaal Williams, and Tony Pollard, all of whom rushed for over 1,000 yards this season.
Then there are others like D’Onta Foreman, Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert, Devin Singletary, David Montgomery, and Latavius Murray who all rushed for at least 750 yards.
Continuing on, there are other names like Kareem Hunt, Damien Harris, and James Robinson who all have true RB1 upside.
Right there are at least ten true RB1s that could be available for teams to sign. Should teams take the risk?
Well, looking closely, perhaps it might actually be worth it. As we know, the shelf life for running backs usually begins to drop off in their late 20s. Some running backs will hit that dreaded 30 year old age and begin to dropoff.
Well, all of Jacobs, Barkley, Sanders, Pollard, Singletary, Montgomery, Harris, and Robinson are all no older than 26 at this moment.
Well, if the typical shelf life for running backs holds true for this group of players, could see comfortably say that some of these players have anywhere from four to five years of solid production left?
James Robinson isn’t even 25 years old, for example.
I think it’d be a much different story if some of these free agent running backs were 28 years old, but there are some young and proven productive players on the market.
I would still personally be cautious with these players as some of them are going to command a pretty penny and if there is an instance where one of these running backs hits their peak in the middle of their deals, then that team may have a messy financial situation on their hands.