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NFL Franchise Tagged running backs like Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, & Tony Pollard do not get New Contracts before the Deadline
On Monday, July 17th, 2023 the deadline for NFL franchised tagged players to agree to a long - term contract has recently passed, and without new deals for the New York Giants' Saquon Barkley, the Las Vegas Raiders' Josh Jacobs, and the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Pollard they all enter the 2023 - 2024 NFL season with a very uncertain future. The only difference is that Barkley and Jacobs never signed their NFL franchise tag agreements while Pollard did.
NFL’s Franchise Tag Policy
The 3 - major running backs who were the only players who were placed under the NFL’s franchise tag policy not to have reached as well as signed a new long - term contractual agreement were Barkley, Jacobs, and Pollard who all had until 4:00 p. m. ET on Monday, July, 17th, 2023 to get one finalized before deadline set by the NFL.
They will now have to play the 2023 - 2024 NFL season on their National Football League franchise tag tenders, worth up to approximately $10,091,000 for running backs as of now. Pollard has already allegedly signed his franchise tag tender. On the other hand, Barkley and Jacobs, have yet to do so, as they remain the only NFL big - name unsigned running backs as they have stayed away from their organization's offseason training programs.
"It is what it is," the New York Giants highly - decorated running back, Saquon Barkley, posted on Twitter last Monday, July 17th, 2023.
Due to the fact that they are unsigned NFL players, Barkley as well as Jacobs can’t be fined for not showing up in training camp, which begins for veteran NFL players for both the New York Giants as well as the Las Vegas Raiders on July 25th, 2023.
At this point Barkley and Jacobs are not expected to report to their respective training camps with the rest of their teammates. The 2 - pro unsigned running back stars will definitely have to leave big - money on the table if they miss any NFL regular - season games this year as well as forfeiting very profitable annual salary game checks that they would otherwise receive.
The last big - name NFL player to most recently sit out an entire season was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ running back Le'Veon Bell back in 2018.
The New York Giants' contract negotiations with Barkley did not go as smoothly as both sides would have liked from the very beginning. The N. Y. Giants made a substantial initial offer during the bye week last November of 2022 that Saquon apparently never seriously considered signing. Both sides have since then tabled their talks until after the past season 2022 - 2023 NFL season.
The New York Giants' recent offers to Saquon increased earlier in 2023, as they have reached a point where a new contractual agreement could max - out at $14 million per year, but the major factor in that was based upon the total guaranteed money and structure of the new potential contract. They never even got close to Barkley or his agent’s satisfaction.
Once the New York Giants signed their current quarterback, Daniel Jones, just several minutes prior to the start of the official new league year of the NFL, the New York Giants instantly placed their 2023 franchise tag on Saquon. This was always one of the basic and obvious options for the New York Giants front office, according to their general manager, Joe Schoen.
Saquon admitted this definitely opened his eyes to the reality that the National Football League is no joke and absolutely a business and not personal at all. Although, Barkley did not like the franchise tag situation and how the entire process was played out and overall portrayed publicly, as he made it known on several occasions that the offers presented by the New York Giants were not always how they were being perceived by the public or even people close to the game.
"Me getting tagged, was I upset about it? Nobody wants to get tagged," Barkley goes on to say. "To sit here and say I was frustrated, I was mad, I was upset, what really got me upset was the stories that got leaked out, how misleading they were and how untruthful they were. I feel it was trying to paint a narrative of me, a picture of me, that is not even true. Not even close to being the truth."
The now 26 - year - old Saquon finished 4th in the National Football League with a career - best 1,312 - rushing yards throughout the last NFL season as he also ran for 10 - touchdowns. Barkley tied for the New York Giants team lead with 57- receptions as well. Saquon has played in 60 - career NFL games over his 5 - total seasons since being the number 2 - overall NFL draft pick back in 2018, after which he was officially awarded the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. He has rushed for a total of 4,249 - rushing yards and a total of 37 - touchdowns during the amazing beginning to his career in the National Football League.
The Las Vegas Raiders had previously presented a deal to Josh Jacobs, and he ultimately decided not to take the bait as he wanted a bigger and more deserved payday from his organization in the newly relocated Las Vegas Raiders.
Josh was originally a 1st - round NFL draft pick of the then Oakland Raiders back in the year of 2019, when they’re at the time head coach in Jon Gruden along with the Raiders’ general manager, Mike Mayock, did not have his 5th - year option picked up last spring by the incoming staff of coach Josh McDaniels and the Las Vegas Raiders current general manager in Dave Ziegler.
The now 25-year-old Jacobs has surprisingly only played in the Las Vegas Raiders' 2022-2023 NFL preseason opening contest, leading to multiple rumors of him being a prime NFL trade candidate. Instead, Josh responded with a career season, leading the National Football League in rushing yards with 1,653 and yards from scrimmage with 2,053 of those while scoring a career - high - tying 12 - touchdowns as well as pulling down 53 receptions. Jacobs’ 86-yard walk-off touchdown at Seattle against the Seahawks was the longest run in the NFL last year. He became the first Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or Oakland Raiders player to lead the NFL in rushing yards since the great Marcus Allen did so in his 1985 NFL MVP season.
Josh’s production surprised his head coach in McDaniels, who acknowledged Jacobs was used to a running - back - by - committee approach in the Las Vegas Raiders offensive system. After the season, Jacobs personally insisted that he wanted to return to Las Vegas with the Raiders by saying, "It's got to make sense."
The Las Vegas Raiders present day owner in Mark Davis stated at the NFL's annual meeting last March that Josh was, "The heart of our team.” Meanwhile, he was essentially silent throughout the negotiation process aside from a few cryptic tweets of his very own.
"Sometimes it's not about you," he ultimately tweeted back in June of 2023, giving the overall impression that he wanted to effect change to a system that financially undervalues the running back position in most cases if not all of them. "We gotta do it for the ones after us."
The very last time a running back signed a long - term NFL contract worth $10 million plus per season was the Cleveland Browns' Nick Chubb back in 2021 which was about 716 - days ago.
The Tennessee Titans superstar and one of the best if not the most highly - valued NFL running backs in the country, Derrick Henry, was among those taking notice of the depressed market for running backs by tweeting last Monday: "At this point, just take the RB position out the game then. The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization, just seems like it doesn’t even matter. I'm with every RB that's fighting to get what they deserve."
The Pittsburgh Steelers running back in Najee Harris added to Twitter by posting this comment: "I agree with my running back brothers around the NFL - history will show that you need running backs to win - we set the tone every game and run through walls for our team and lead in many ways- this notion that we deserve less is a joke."
Also, the Los Angeles Chargers running back, Austin Ekeler, tweeted: "Everyone knows it's tough to win without a top RB and yet they act like we are discardable widgets. I support any RB doing whatever it takes to get his bag."
Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys
The now 26 - year - old Tony, will take over the primary running back position for the Dallas Cowboys for the upcoming 2023 - 2024 NFL season following the team releasing their longtime starting running back in Ezekiel Elliott earlier this 2023 NFL offseason.
Tony made it public back in May of 2023 that he fully expects to be ready to practice in training camp for the Dallas Cowboys after him having surgery in order to repair an ankle injury that he suffered in the Dallas Cowboys playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers back in January.
2 - days following that playoff loss, Tony underwent a "tightrope" procedure instead of a surgical procedure that ultimately requires screws into both the tibia and fibula of his leg for a complete repair. In this procedure, a braided polyethylene cord, rather than a rigid or rugged surgical screw, is administered in order to restore the original position of both of those crucial bones, and it would allow for proper healing time as well.
Tony was named to the NFL Pro Bowl following him running for a career - best 1,007 - rushing yards over the course of his 193 - total carries with Pollard’s 9 - rushing touchdowns last season.
Pollard also caught 39 - passes which was good for 371 - receiving yards as well as 3 - touchdowns. Before last year, Tony had never had over 130 - carries or 719 - rushing yards in a single season of the National Football League.
Barkley’s Football Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards
- NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award Winner (2018)
- 2 - Time NFL Pro Bowl Selection (2018, 2022)
- PFWA All - Rookie Team Selection (2018)
- Paul Hornung Award Winner (2017)
- Consensus All - American Selection (2017)
- 2 - Time Graham - George Offensive Player of the Year Award Winner (2016, 2017)
- 2 - Time Ameche - Dayne Running Back of the Year Award Winner (2016, 2017)
- Rodgers - Dwight Return Specialist of the Year Award Winner (2017)
- 2 - Time First - Team All - Big Ten Selection (2016, 2017)
- Second - Team All - Big Ten Selection (2015)
NFL Records for Barkley
- Most Receptions by a Rookie Running Back in a Single NFL Season with 91
- Jacobs’ Football Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards
- First - Team NFL All - Pro Selection (2022)
- 2 - Time NFL Pro Bowl Selection (2020, 2022)
- NFL Rushing Yards Leader (2022)
- Jim Brown Award Winner (2022)
- PFWA All - Rookie Team Selection (2019)
- College Football Playoff National Champion (2017)
- Pollard’s Football Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards
NFL Pro Bowl Selection (2022)
Consensus All - American Selection (2017)
2 - Time All - AAC Selection (2016, 2017)
2 - Time AAC Special Teams Player of the Year Award Winner (2016, 2017)
“No deals for tagged RBs Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard”, espn.com, July 17, 2023.
“Saquon Barkley mulls sitting out season, says 'I might have to'”, espn.com, July 19, 2023.
“Saquon Barkley”, pro-football-reference.com, July 20, 2023.
“Josh Jacobs”, pro-football-reference.com, July 20, 2023.
“Tony Pollard”, pro-football-reference.com, July 20, 2023.