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NFLPA executive proposal on injuries raises eyebrows amid downward trend in running backs market

The state of the NFL running backs market has been widely debated in recent weeks. A number of notable running backs have failed to land long-term, lucrative contracts this offseason.

Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard and Josh Jacobs all remain under the franchise tag as training camp begins in just a few days for most teams. Teams had until Monday to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term contracts. Meanwhile, four-time Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook remains a free agent, and veteran ball carrier Kareem Hunt is still looking for a new team.

In the midst of a depressed market, NFL Players Association President JC Tretter decided to offer some interesting advice to desperate tailbacks.


The NFLPA logo during the NFLPA press conference on February 1, 2018, at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. (Rich Gressel/ICON Sportswire via Getty Images)

During a recent appearance on the “Ross Tucker Football Podcast,” Tretter suggested that running backs should claim to be less than 100 percent healthy in an effort to increase their leverage with teams.

Tretter flat-out stopped short of recommending athletes actually fake injuries — though he didn’t rule out the scenario entirely.

Veteran running backs team up to rebel against slumping market: Report

“You need to try to take advantage as much as you can,” Tretter said. “And that’s the hard thing with the franchise tag, or restricting movement, is it reduces your leverage, but then you have to find creative ways to create leverage elsewhere.

“I think we’ve seen issues — now, I don’t think anybody would say they’re faking injuries, but we’ve seen players who didn’t want to be where they are right now, have injuries that keep them from practicing and playing, but you can’t be fined, and you can’t be punished for not reporting. So there are issues that I think publicly everyone is allowed to do, but I feel like I have to. Everybody’s allowed to play to try to get a fair deal to find a way to take advantage. And that’s really what all these people are looking for, to be compensated fairly.”

Saquon Barkley breaks a tackle.

New York Giants running back Minnesota Vikings safety Saquon Barkley (26) runs for a 27-yard touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abby Parr)

Several players are vocal about the general direction of the running back market.

Chargers running back Austin Eckler has advocated for his teammates to get long-term deals. He has also spoken about his displeasure over the deal with his team.

Austin Eckler vs. Jaguars

Austin Eckler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers carries the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the game in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at TIAA Bank Field on January 14, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Eckler’s conflict with Chargers That seemed to peak in March, when he was cleared by the team to receive a trade.

However, the two sides came to a temporary settlement earlier this offseason, when the Chargers reportedly Added $1.75 million in incentives. On his contract for 2023.

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It’s unclear whether Traitor’s hypothetical advice would provide any benefit to players like Barkley, Pollard, or Jacobs. However, some running backs may sit out training camp regardless of whether they are healthy enough to practice.

Source by [Fox News]



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