Are running backs worth the money?

All this recent activity about running backs on the board has got the gears in my head moving and boy do they need greasing. 

As with all things time brings about change.  Either thru need or design,  the game of football has evolved at the running back position to the point where IMO its simply not to be considered a big money position anymore.  Free Agency and the salary cap have conspired against it.  Since Bill was here we have had our backfield set up to be more of a committee approach. 

 Julius Jones and Marion Barber

 Felix Jones, Marion Barber, TashardChoice. 

In all probability we are looking at Felix Jones, Demarco Murray, and Phillip Tanner this year.

This line of thinking is brought even more to the forefront due to the problems that the Titans are having with Chris Johnson.  In case the faithful havn't been paying attention to those rumblings,  ChrisJohnson is stuck in a protracted holdout and has refused to step foot into camp without a new contract.  His demandsare to be payed as one of the top players in the NFL regardless of position.  Think the money Peyton just got paid.  The team insists that if he shows up they will make him the highest paid RB in the league.  While he has significantly outperfomed his rookie contract, and I do feel that he meritsa pay raise of significant proportions,  I don't feel he should be paid as much as he feels he should be.  This is my reasoning.

Running backs today are considered by many to not be as elite a position as it once was.  More teams are using the passing game to set up the running attack. With the new emphasis on passing, teams have been successful using RB's that are more role players than feature backs.  Mike Shanahan while he was in Denver was famous for his blocking scheme and while I hate to admit it, it allowed him to draft a RB in later rounds that was serviceablein his scheme.  Remember Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, heck even Mike Anderson?  Not exactly HUGE players but ones that fit the scheme.

When that players time was up how many times did we see Mike trade him for picks and laugh all the way to the bank?  He would just draft another fresh pair of legs and let the old one go.  No need to waste money on a player he was confident he could find on the cheap.

Let's say Felix has a big year.   1,600 yards rushing, more catching.  He even outperforms CJ2K.  Would you give in to his demands if he would ask for a HUGE increase in pay?  If Demarco Murray or Phillip Tanner flash as much ability do you take the chance they will develop and be able to contribute in the scheme? Do you give in and put all your chips on one player.

One Player that has to prove durable at one of the positions that takes the most punishment.

One Player that eats up a staggering amount of money that hinders the ability of the team to make improvements in other areas.

One Player that places himself above all others on the team and deems himself so irreplaceable, he holds out to damage the chances of the team to win.

No One Player to me is worth that much money. 

Jason Garrett is creating a backfield that isn't just dependent on one player.  It's more than a Thunder/Lightning combo.  Cerebus has been used to describe Rob's version of this defense.  In all respect to those that used it, I'm going to go for a little copyright infringement and steal him for the vision that Garrett has for his backfield.

3 Backs all with similar abilities.  A rotational system that gives you the ability to maintain your flexibility whenever you change one out for rest or injury.  This is why Garrett favors versatility in his running backs.  A depth chart that allows you to attack every down, every distance, every situation in the game exactly the same way is a huge advantage to the offense.

A system that has a designated runner, short yardage back, and a change of pace back I would argue actually hinders your offense and makes it more predictable.  It also makes you more vulnerable to long term loss. 

One Player does not make a Team, tho One Player can destroy it.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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