Skip to content

Report: Barkley, Jacobs among RBs expected to avoid tag

Sarah Stier / Getty Images Sport / Getty

A host of star impending free-agent running backs could hit the open market.

The New York Giants' Saquon Barkley, Las Vegas Raiders' Josh Jacobs, and Dallas Cowboys' Tony Pollard aren't expected to receive the franchise tag for a second straight season, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

However, both the Giants and Raiders will reportedly attempt to re-sign their Pro Bowl players.

The Tennessee Titans also won't use their tag on Derrick Henry, while the Los Angeles Chargers will allow Austin Ekeler to test free agency, adds Schefter.

Barkley and Jacobs both signed one-year deals with extra incentives to avoid playing on the tag last season. Pollard, meanwhile, did play on the tag. Using the one-year tender again on Jacobs would cost $14.15 million, while placing it on Barkley or Pollard would cost $12.1 million.

It was widely expected that Henry would at least test the open market before deciding his future. The perennial All-Pro seemingly bid farewell to Tennessee after the final game of the regular season.

All five running backs saw their production decline last season.

2022 rush yards/TDs 2023 rush yards/TDs
Saquon Barkley 1312/10 962/6
Josh Jacobs 1653*/12 805/6
Tony Pollard 1007/9 1005/6
Derrick Henry 1538/13 1167/12
Austin Ekeler 915/13 628/5

*Led NFL

Running backs have struggled to secure big-money contracts in recent years. Only four running backs earn more than $12 million per season on long-term deals, with reigning Offensive Player of the Year Christian McCaffrey topping the market at $16 million annually.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox