The 2023 NFL season is only weeks away, and one of the main storylines heading into the season is how the league's running backs feel disrespected. Many backs have come out publicly to complain about the way their group is treated compared to other positions contract-wise.
The NFL teams are simply moving away from paying elite running backs like they used to. Several of the top guys have gotten big contracts, but as a whole, the position has been completely devalued. What follows is a look at the top 10 NFL running back salaries, first listed by their average value per year, then by total guaranteed money.
Average salary per year
1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers: $16 million
2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints: $15 million
3. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans: $12.5 million
4. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns: $12.2 million
5. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers: $11.5 million
6. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders: $10.1 million
7. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys: $10.1 million
8. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants: $10.1 million
9. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals: $7 million
10. Miles Sanders, Carolina Panthers: $6.35 million
1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers: $36.35 million
2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints: $34.3 million
3. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans: $25.5 million
4. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons: $21.96 million
5. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns: $20 million
6. Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions: $17.8 million
7. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers: $15 million
8. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers: $13 million
9. Miles Sanders, Carolina Panthers: $13 million
10. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars: $12.9 million
As you can see in on the second list, four of the top 10 are on rookie contracts. Which lends credence to the gripes the running backs are making. Guys simply aren't getting those big second contracts very often, and that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.