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Historically, the running back position used to be the second-most important position in football on offense other than quarterback.
In the NFL‘s early decades, teams would ride their running backs for long stretches, and it was thought a team couldn’t win the Super Bowl without a Pro Bowl-level tailback.
But over the last 10-20 years, the game has gotten increasingly up-tempo and pass-friendly, and running backs are now treated as disposable pieces, which has led the financial market for such players to crash.
Adrian Peterson, who about a decade ago was arguably the NFL’s best running back, says he wouldn’t let his kids play the position because teams simply aren’t willing to pay such players, per Dov Kleiman.
Former NFL legend, RB Adrian Peterson says he prefers his kids don’t play RB because the position doesn’t getting paid enough.
“I really feel like these guys, for the sacrifices they make, playing that position, they definitely should be getting paid amongst some of the highest… https://t.co/gWrd0dsW8v pic.twitter.com/XHeCrqTf4M
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 27, 2023
Peterson was a flat-out beast back in the day, and he became one of a handful of players to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a single season back in 2012.
The fact that he did so after tearing his ACL the previous season made the feat that much more incredible.
In all, he led the NFL in rushing yards three times, and he was named to the Pro Bowl seven times and the All-Pro First Team four times.
In recent months, the league has seen star running backs such as Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Jonathan Taylor hold out while looking for big contract extensions.
While it is true such players have a shorter lifespan because it is such a violent position, as Peterson alluded to, a great running back will significantly increase his team’s chances of winning, despite what analytics may claim.
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