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Yesterday, the deadline for NFL players to sign long-term contract extensions came and went with 3 of the top running backs in the league not signing contracts.  

Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants, Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders, and Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys will now have to play under the $10.1 million franchise tag. Pollard has signed the franchise tender, while neither Barkley nor Jacobs have. Should they not, they will have to sit out games like Le’Veon Bell did back with the Steelers in 2018. None of them can sign a long-term deal until next offseason.  

This is just another indication that the position of running back is at an all-time low in terms of value. Both Barkley and Jacobs are instrumental in their team’s offense, and both have proven themselves to be playmakers that defenses must worry about. Running back as a whole, however, has seen its importance diminished in recent years.  

One of the biggest concerns about the running back position is the amount of punishment it receives. RB’s routinely are hit more than almost any other players, as both a ball carrier, pass catcher, and as someone who must pick-up blitzing linebackers and unblocked linemen. In fact, the prime of RB’s these days is often considered to be within their first 4 years, which is also how long rookie contracts are in the NFL.  

Due to this, it is becoming increasingly rare to see a top end running back sign an extension with the team that drafted him. Many teams seem to subscribe to the philosophy of drafting a RB, taking advantage of the favorable rookie deal, and then letting him walk away and drafting another.  

So, will the Colts follow this way of thinking as it relates to their All-Pro running back, Jonathan Taylor? 

Right now, it isn’t clear what the team will do. Taylor, who has 1 year left on his rookie deal, has made it known that he wants a new contract. He also had an interesting reaction to the Barkley-Jacobs news, seemingly tweeting out his frustration at the lack of respect his position gets.  

 

For the Colts, the situation may not be the same as it is around the league. The team drafted Anthony Richardson, who only had 13 college starts, to be their next franchise quarterback. Richardson is extremely talented but will need all the help he can get as he goes through the growing pains that are sure to come. What better security blanket can you give your young QB than potentially the best running back in the NFL?  

The running back position may be far more valuable here than it is on most other teams, but that doesn’t change the fact that as a whole, it is on the decline. While once it would’ve been an easy assumption that Taylor would get a hefty contract extension; now, it is no guarantee. If the Colts do decide to let Taylor walk, they’ll be betting that they can find a suitable replacement for much less money. Should Taylor buck convention, and have a long, productive career, it could be a move the Colts regret for years to come.  

During Tuesday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to Jake Query of the morning show Kevin & Query about the Jonathan Taylor contract situation. Listen to that conversation and more below, and tune into The Ride With JMV from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!  

 

The post Will Colts Follow Raiders, Giants In Not Extending Jonathan Taylor? appeared first on 93.5 / 107.5 The Fan.

Will Colts Follow Raiders, Giants In Not Extending Jonathan Taylor?  was originally published on 1075thefan.com