Why Can’t NFL RB’s Get Paid?

In today’s NFL, the running game is just not as important as the passing game anymore. It has become a passing league over the past few years, and every team seems to be adapting to that change. So when you have an elite running back that shines out, the decision to pay him should not be so hard to make right? Well teams in the NFL beg to differ on that topic. We all know that the career of a NFL running back does not last very long simply because of what they put their bodies through, and the overall punishment they take. They are a key piece in the offense, because if you can’t run the ball, the passing game will be much easier to defend. So again, why is it so hard to get money if you are a NFL RB? Maurice Jones-Drew is the latest of backs to be placed on the “want to get paid” list, and he is now, along with Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears, and Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, a no show at team mini camps. MJD is coming toward the end of his 5 year deal with 2 years left on his contract worth about $4.5 mil a year and wants to restructure his deal. This is a guy that lead the league in rushing with 1,606 yds off of 343 carries and averaged about 4.7 yds per carry, pretty impressive for a guy that has been in the league for 7 years now. The next closest RB to him in total yds is Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens with 1,364. To me this shows how much MJD is worth to his team, he has been a true professional and the focal point of the Jacksonville Jaguars, 7 years later and he is running the ball as if he is one of the younger backs in the league. Matt Forte is another one who can’t seem to get a good contract to save his life, why is that? Bears fans, we can not blame it on Jerry Angelo anymore, he’s out, so who takes the blame? I just knew once the off season came around that he would be one of the first things on the to do list for Chicago, (buzzer sounds) think again! Not only was it not the first thing done, the Bears went out and signed former Oakland Raiders back Michael Bush to a 4 year, $14mil contract with $6.45mil guaranteed. It makes you think of Forte’s worth to the Bears. No he did not put up gaudy numbers like MJD, but he did account for a majority of what the Bears did on offense since about the 2008-09 season, not too much complaining, no off field issues, has had a small taste of the injury bug, but nothing major so why can’t he get his money? Ray Rice for my last example is a similar back to MJD in size and power, but not that much of the offense is anchored around him. I would put him up there in the top 10 of current RB’s in the NFL for sure based on his production in that scheme. The numbers don’t lie people, 291 carries with 1,364 total yds and averaged about 4.7 yds per carry with 12TD’s (MJD only had 8). Enough said. These guys are hardworking guys that want to get what they feel they deserve, but apparently the teams in the NFL see it in a different way. Now let’s take a guy in a different position who had a magnificent season in 2011, not to mention only been in the league for 3 years but has changed the way the TE position has been played, Rob Gronkowski! 90 catches, for 1,327 yds and 17 TD’s with five 100 yd games (4 of those games he had 2 TD’s each), can’t deny what he did and the Patriots obviously feel the same way by inking him to a 6 year $54 mil deal, I repeat only 3 years in. So is the belief these backs are a dime a dozen? That is the way it is portrayed at this point and it leaves me mind boggled. Good luck to those guys sitting out and hoping their agent can come up with something to make it all better, and hopefully by July 16, 2012 they will have the deal that is deserved. Congrats to Gronkowski for a spectacular season by the way, not trying to take away from what he has done by any means. I just am trying to understand how this NFL dream works, run hard paid less I guess.

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