Last year we saw Le’Veon Bell hold out the entire season in Pittsburgh, why? Because he felt like he wasn’t getting paid his worth. Now we can argue back and forth all day if he was right in doing so, or wrong. After a year out of football the New York Jets signed him to a 4 year deal, worth 52.5 million. That would potentially be $13,125,000 a year if he were to reach all the incentives. Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams is the highest paid running back at about $14.5 million a year.
This year right before training camp two running backs are threatening to hold out like Le’Veon did. Is it right? We could argue that they signed a contract and they should play it out until the end, AND then get paid. Ezekial Elliot and Melvin Gordon, both are currently NOT at training camp due to contract issues. Both happen to be on teams that went to the playoffs last year. One could argue it would be a bigger loss for Cowboys to lose Elliott, than the Chargers to lose Gordon. I would argue they are almost at the same level, and with each on their respective teams, they have Super Bowl aspirations. Without them, neither one will get there.
Do Running Backs have a point of being underpaid? Lets look at the facts.In this day in football, Quarterbacks are protected by the rules, league and ref, to the point where they can play 20 years now and get paid big money. While running backs, in some cases, are just as important to there team as the Quarterbacks, but do not have nearly the lifespan in the league as Quarterbacks do, because of the beatings they take, ya know, getting tackled and shit.
Lets look at the 2017 season in Pittsburgh to look at Le’Veon’s usage, how many times he had the ball in his hands. He rushed the ball 321 times for 1,291. Not only that, but he had another 85 receptions. That adds up to a grand total of 406 touches. That is a heavy work load for any player who is a non Quarterback. Meanwhile Ben Roethlisberger completed 360 passes on 561 attempts, and got sacked 21 times in 2017. Lets throw another name in the mixed, at the other skilled position, Antonio Brown 101 receptions, so 101 touches compared to Le’Veon’s 406. Let us see where each of their salaries are at right now.
Ben Roethlisberger- $26,200,000
Antonio Brown- will average out to about $16,700,000 a year
Le’Veon Bell- will average out to about $13,100,000 a year
Can we at least agree that the League is taking advantage on how they pay the Running Back position, with it being a key component to the offense, and a lot less of a life span in comparison to any other skilled position?
If you ask me, both Elliott and Gordon might HAVE to sit out a whole season to make a point to the league. For that matter, all workhorse running backs should sit out till they get it right.
Yes, in the grand scheme of life they get paid tons of money to play a game and should be thankful, and most of us are sitting on the outside looking in at this and saying WTF. I get it, but in their world of professional athletes, it isn’t right, and it definitely isn’t fair for a position that is just as important as the Quarterback, but can only play half as long.