Before Indianapolis Colts star Jonathan Taylor signed a three-year contract extension worth $42 million on Saturday, the NFL was turning into a league that no longer valued the running back position, with plenty of teams unwilling to pay their backs or sign them to long-term deals.
With Taylor inking this deal, which is a move by the Colts that was unexpected and came out of nowhere, teams around the league may have to rethink things during the NFL offseason, with plenty of top-tier backs set to become free agents in 2024.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Taylor’s deal with the Colts may have finally moved the needle for elite backs in the league, with five of the best players at the position becoming free agents in March.
Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard are among the RBs scheduled to be free agents in March. The Jonathan Taylor extension could help spark movement in the RB market, which has been quiet recently compared to other positions. https://t.co/yhn3n5ludV
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 7, 2023
It’ll be interesting to see if Taylor’s deal really does change things for the elite running backs in the NFL, as they were given no respect during this past NFL offseason, and many believed that would continue.
Even though Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders star Josh Jacobs agreed on lucrative one-year deals ahead of the season, these elite backs wanted to secure their long-term futures, which the Giants and Raiders weren’t willing to do.
Obviously, injuries come into play when talking about running backs, as it is the one position in the league that arguably takes the most physical abuse on the field on a weekly basis.
That said, it’s a shame that these players aren’t compensated for the physical toll that comes with the position.NEXT: Insider Notes How Jonathan Taylor's Contract Compares To Other RBs