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Najee Harris one of many NFL running backs banding together

The running back position in the NFL is in a tough spot. Players who play the position are deemed as valuable, but how the owners and players view this value is not equal. As players like Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard and Josh Jacobs weigh their options after failing to get a new contract done while on the NFL’s franchise tag.

The public outcry among running backs has been loud and noticeable, and a collection of backs recently met virtually to discuss a plan moving forward.

Here is who was reportedly in attendance for this virtual meeting:

  • Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
  • Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers
  • Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • JK Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
  • Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
  • Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
  • Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
  • Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
  • Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
  • Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

Dalvin Cook, who remains unsigned, was invited but couldn’t attend due to travel after hosting a youth football camp.

While the players at the position gathering can be viewed as a positive, what plan they put in place is certainly something which wasn’t made pubic. While Barkley, Pollard and Jacobs have the power of potentially holding out, the rest of the running backs remain under contract and still have the expectations surrounding them as the season approaches.

With Harris being a part of this group, it’s important to note he still is entering Year 3 of his rookie contract; however, as a 1st Round draft pick in 2021 the Steelers will have a 5th year option to exercise on Harris. A decision on that option won’t have to be made until after the 2023 season.

Will Harris be the first running back to get a multi-year second contract since Verron Haynes? With the former Alabama product being a part of this group of running backs, expectations for a second contract could be ratcheted up.

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