NFL running backs generally have short careers and even shorter primes. That’s made it hard for them to get big money, long-term contracts, especially as the league has become more pass-heavy. On Monday, one NFL Insider shared his strategy for paying running backs.
One of those running backs, Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry, voiced his frustration with that strategy.
ESPN’s Matt Miller tweeted out an idea that he’s “been saying for years.” He feels that a team should draft a running back, then play him. After that, if the running back is good, give him the franchise tag for one season. After that, the team should draft another running back.
Been saying it for years:
1. Draft a RB
2. Play the RB
…if he's good…
3. Franchise tag the RB ONE TIME
1. Draft a RB…
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) July 17, 2023
It’s a strategy that a lot of teams have followed, or at least come close to following. Naturally, it leaves the running backs limited in their bargaining power.
Seeing Miller’s tweet, Henry responded, making it clear that he stands with every running back looking for a contract.
“At this point, just take the RB position out the game then. The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organizations, just seems like it don’t even matter. I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve.”
At this point , just take the RB position out the game then . The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization , just seems like it don’t even matter . I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve . https://t.co/OgvBWZCKvn
— Derrick Henry (@KingHenry_2) July 17, 2023
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris naturally supported Henry’s viewpoint.
I agree with my running back brothers around the NFL- history will show that you need running backs to win- we set the tone every game and run trough walls for our team and lead in many ways- this notion that we deserve less is a joke. https://t.co/rWJkGIEgmW
— Najee Harris (@ohthatsNajee22) July 17, 2023
But he was not alone. Several in the NFL world and other fans also stood with Henry.
No lies detected. 🎯 https://t.co/Cr7kF7VnFJ
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 17, 2023
Derrick Henry has been CRIMINALLY underpaid for carrying the Titans offense.
I won't say any names BUT.
Henry has made half as some others on his squad https://t.co/sYSiLqyMS5
— Robert Littal BSO (@BSO) July 17, 2023
I get the cap & contracts & building a team … and yet I’m rooting for the RBs to get paid 🤔 https://t.co/zADUx3RaQ7
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) July 17, 2023
King Henry speaks on behalf of all running backs fighting for their individual and collective value. https://t.co/PjObaBGM5l
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 17, 2023
NFL players sacrifice their bodies for our entertainment. They deserve every penny they can get. https://t.co/sGNzkzT5p0
— Michael Grant (@MichaelGrant_CJ) July 17, 2023