“Running Backs Have An Opportunity In Front Of Them To Change The NFL Forever” | RGIII Urges Players To Strike Against The Devaluing Of The RB Position

ESPN football analyst and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III is the latest to weigh in on the devaluing of the RB position in the NFL. The 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year called for RBs to strike in a video posted to his official Twitter account. Is he right?

“The only real solution to fix how running backs are treated when it’s time to get paid is a solution for all players,” said Griffin III. “Running backs have to lead the charge in pushing for a renegotiation of the CBA. With the key points being that all rookies have three-year contracts regardless of their draft position and eliminating the franchise tag and transition tag for all players.

“This solution wouldn’t just benefit running backs, but it would benefit all players by getting them to free agency faster. … So, by restricting rookie contracts to three years and eliminating franchise and transition time, it would allow running backs to get to free agency faster and make top dollar during their prime earning years.”

Why Workers Form Unions

The talk over RB contracts came to a head earlier this week when the New York Giants failed to reach a contract extension with their star RB Saquon Barkley. The two-time Pro Bowl back is now contemplating sitting out the season to try and force the Giants’ hands.

Last season’s leading rusher and first team All-Pro RB Josh Jacobs has also failed to agree to a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.

It is clear that the terms of the collective bargaining agreement cause issues for players at certain positions, namely RBs. In a league where the average career is three years and an RB’s is two, it would be smart for the NFLPA on behalf of the players to try and have that changed in the next negotiation.

Of course that’s seven years away. A point Griffin III makes in his video.

Worker Vs. Owners

“But here’s the thing with seven years left on the current CBA, only way to get this done is to strike. … First of all, the CBA has anti-strike language in it. But the players technically can’t strike but practically they can. And if the players want change, now, they have to be willing to go the extra mile. That’s a big ask … but in the end, it will be worth it.”

It might not seem like it, given the salaries some players make. But the issue RBs are going through right now is the same reason Hollywood is on strike and it’s the same reason longshoremen, and UPS workers are on strike.

These companies that are parts of huge industries rake in astronomical profits and the workers, who are the means of production, don’t feel they are compensated fairly.

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