Highlighted by the holdouts of operating backs Saquan Barkley (New York Giants) and Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders), one of many current storylines surrounding a lot of coaching camps is that operating backs really feel they’re underpaid. This reported change within the “value” of operating backs is seemingly a results of the bigger analytics motion of “operating backs don’t matter,” which hinges on the concept that the hole between the most effective operating backs and waiver wire operating backs is smaller than that of different positions.
Whereas operating backs are usually not being paid, the cap continues to go up yearly. Which begs the query of “if operating backs aren’t being paid anymore then the place is that cash going?” With that in thoughts, Jason from OverTheCap not too long ago reported on the expansion of every place during the last decade.
Change in high of the market contract worth at each place from 2013 to 2023. RT market exploded. QBs quantity 2. IDL, guard, WR, and security all greater than doubled. LS, RB, and P are those with a significant lag on cap development pic.twitter.com/cR6AGv5nPp
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) July 20, 2023
The very first thing that jumps out is that operating backs are certainly being paid much less relative to the cap than beforehand. In actual fact, their cap figures have grown solely ~24% whereas the cap has grown ~77% over that very same time period. To place that in perspective, operating backs have seen the identical share of development as kickers and lengthy snappers, two particular groups positions that sometimes have contracts that aren’t too far off from the veteran minimal. To search out any statistic saying operating again contracts are much like these two positions says loads about what the operating again market has grow to be lately, and this places loads in context about the place the outrage of operating backs stems from.
The second factor is true tackles and guards have seen an uptick in worth, as have quarterbacks and wideouts. Mainly, I learn this as saying the NFL is now valuing anybody concerned within the passing sport excess of they beforehand did, which is sensible given the final development within the variety of passes thrown in a sport during the last decade. This better significance on the passing sport might also have a destructive impact on operating backs, who sometimes make their cash within the operating sport. Moreover, the expansion in these 4 positions additionally helps clarify why these positions specifically are seeing elevated significance within the draft because the rookie managed contracts permit for extra value financial savings in comparison with the market worth for these positions than they might have in earlier many years.
The third is that inside go rusher pay is on the rise. Whereas edge rushers have seen their contracts develop at roughly the identical charge because the cap, inside rushers have seen their pay develop at roughly 166% the speed of the cap. For the Jets, that is related due to the $100 million contract that defensive lineman Quinnen Williams acquired, which might have been unthinkable a number of years again, however does appear to align with the final development in his place’s market.