If you haven't been living under a rock for the past two months, you already know: the running-back market is depressed, going through the lowest of lows in terms of how the position is valued, and looking at a very ominous financial future until at least the new CBA is signed in 2030.
In the last few weeks, three prominent and NFL-leading rushers didn't receive any contract extension, let alone one they hoped for, with those men named Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, and Tony Pollard.
Eventually, Barkley and Pollard ended up signing contracts that either lost them money or went only one-year deep in length. Jacobs, on the other hand, bolted away from the Las Vegas training camp and is expected to remain off the field for the time being and until/unless he gets offered the extension he wants.
As new Baltimore Ravens running back Melvin Gordon put it on Tuesday speaking after Day 12 of training camp, quoted by Jamison Hensley of ESPN: "We're kind of screwed."
Gordon was asked about the status of the market and the narrative surrounding the running back position, one that has lost all of its value in the eyes of executives and front-office members of the NFL franchise for the past few years.
"The only thing we could do is just kind of stack it and just ball out," Gordon said. "At the end of the day, the talking and this and that is not going to get anything done."
Gordon was forced into signing a one-year, $1.165 million deal with the Ravens before training camp to keep his legs active this summer and, hopefully, through the regular season. Keyword: hopefully.
The contract that the Ravens handed Gordon includes no guaranteed money at all, with all cash paid on bonuses and incentives attached to different stats and accomplishments Gordon would need to reach on the field--assuming he even makes it that far after roster cuts come later in August.
Gordon acknowledged that "the league is changing," not before saying that "it sucks to say it's a passing league." The veteran running back and former Pro Bowler claimed that "you still need a great run game," adding "Let's not get away from that."