NFL logo NFL logo

Over the past several years, the running back position has become radically undervalued across the NFL as teams opt not to give veteran backs lucrative contracts, instead opting to use franchise tags and to sign and draft younger and cheaper players.

It’s a strategy that ESPN NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller openly and explicitly endorsed on Monday afternoon, as star running backs Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley failed to reach long-term deals with their respective teams. And he took a lot of heat for his stance from some star players.

In a tweet on Monday, Miller outlined a plan for NFL teams to follow, saying he’s “been saying it for years.” His plan entails drafting a running back and playing the running back immediately, then placing a franchise tag on the running “ONE TIME” – but only “if he’s good.” Then repeat the process over again.

Naturally, this take caught the attention of several prominent NFL running backs across the league as Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler and Jonathan Taylor each blasted Miller with quote tweets.

“This is the kind of trash that has artificially devalued one of the most important positions in the game. Everyone knows it’s tough to win without a top RB and yet they act like we are discardable widgets. I support any RB doing whatever it takes to get his bag,” Ekeler said in a tweet.

“At this point , just take the RB position out the game then . The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization , just seems like it don’t even matter . I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve,” Henry said in a tweet.

Taylor chose to mock Miller with an alternate version of his tweet from a running back’s perspective.

“1. If you’re good enough, they’ll find you.

2. If you work hard enough, you’ll succeed.

…If you succeed…

3. You boost the Organization

…and then…

Doesn’t matter, you’re a RB,” Ekeler said in a tweet.

It’s certainly not a good time to be a running back. It’s understandable that they’d be a little bit frustrated with one of the most prominent NFL Draft analysts in the media perpetuating a narrative like this.

[Matt Miller]