Talk about preaching to the choir.
Several star NFL running backs took part in a Zoom call Saturday to discuss the depressed market for players at their position.
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb confirmed Sunday he participated in the call and said Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey also were in the meeting. Josh Jacobs also took part, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
ProFootballTalk.com, which first reported the news, said the meeting was organized by the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler, who has been outspoken about NFL running backs not being paid their true worth.
The source told Fowler that the running backs kicked around ideas during the call, but no major plans emerged from the meeting.
Likely because there are no major plans to make. The league’s top backs cannot launch a wildcat strike and withhold their services; it would be a financial disaster for them and a political debacle for the NFLPA. People are making noise about eliminating the franchise tag again, but that will be incredibly difficult for myriad reasons. And the NFL is not about to suddenly pivot and begin playing like it is 2003 again.
It just is what it is for running backs. It may not be fair, but it is fact.
The only thing we can think of: Backs need to grow comfortable with prioritizing short-term deals and valuing guaranteed money. We are not completely sure they are there yet. Case in point: If the Giants got up to $22 million in guaranteed money for Barkley, why didn’t he sign? The pursuit of a phony-baloney annual average salary number his agent can get scoop merchants to triumphantly tweet out is not a good reason.