Who Are the Highest-Paid Running Backs in the NFL in 2024?

Who are the top 10 highest-paid running backs in the NFL ahead of the 2024 season, and who sits atop the list in terms of average annual value?

The NFL running back market has changed in recent years, to say the least. Teams no longer want to hand out large contracts to running backs, who have some of the shortest shelf lives in the game. Still, if you’re a high-end running back, you still can expect a decent payday.

Who are the highest-paid running backs in the NFL in 2024?

The Highest-Paid Running Backs in the NFL

Note: We’re using average annual salary (AAV) to determine these rankings, with all salary figures provided by Over The Cap.

T-10) James Conner, Arizona Cardinals | AAV: $7 million

James Conner is one of two players on this list entering the final years of their contracts, with Aaron Jones being the other. In 2022, Conner signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, with $13.5 million guaranteed. He remains one of the more underrated backs in football.

Conner is scheduled to hit free agency in 2025.

T-10) Aaron Jones, Minnesota Vikings | AAV: $7 million

The Green Bay Packers released Jones in March before signing a back who’s ranked higher on this list. Jones then landed with the Minnesota Vikings, who gave him a one-year, $7 million contract that’s fully guaranteed. He’ll count $3.5 million against the cap in 2024.

Jones is scheduled to hit free agency in 2025.

9) Tony Pollard, Tennessee Titans | AAV: $7.25 million

Tony Pollard left the Dallas Cowboys this offseason to sign a three-year, $21.75 million free-agent contract with the Tennessee Titans. The deal includes $10.49 million guaranteed and will cause Pollard’s cap number to rise to $8.5 million in 2025 and $9.25 million in 2026.

Pollard is scheduled to hit free agency in 2027.

T-7) D’Andre Swift, Chicago Bears | AAV: $8 million

After enjoying a breakout campaign with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2023, D’Andre Swift signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Chicago Bears this offseason. The contract includes $14 million fully guaranteed at signing. His deal includes annual per-game and workout bonuses.

Swift is scheduled to hit free agency in 2027.

T-7) Derrick Henry, Baltimore Ravens | AAV: $8 million

Derrick Henry’s incredible run with the Tennessee Titans ended in March when he signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens. The new deal includes $9 million guaranteed for a player who led the league in carries four times from 2019 through 2023.

Henry is scheduled to hit free agency in 2026, but it’s fair to wonder whether he’ll have retired by then.

6) Joe Mixon, Houston Texans | AAV: $9.875 million

The Bengals traded Joe Mixon to the Houston Texans in March, ending his impressive stint in Cincinnati. Mixon, 28, then signed a two-year, $19.75 million extension that includes $13 million guaranteed. He’s slated for a $10.5 million cap hit in 2026, setting the stage for a potential restructure.

Mixon is scheduled to hit free agency in 2027.

5) Josh Jacobs, Green Bay Packers | AAV: $12 million

The Packers made headlines this offseason by signing Josh Jacobs, who spent the first five seasons of his career with the Las Vegas Raiders. Jacobs landed a four-year, $48 million contract that includes a $12.5 million signing bonus.

Jacobs is scheduled to hit free agency in 2028.

4) Saquon Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles | AAV: $12.6 million

Saquon Barkley left the New York Giants this offseason but stayed in the NFC East, signing a three-year, $37.75 million contract with the Eagles. The deal includes $26 million guaranteed and will see Barkley’s cap hit rise to $9 million in 2026.

Barkley is scheduled to hit free agency in 2027.

3) Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts | AAV: $14 million

Jonathan Taylor’s contract standoff with the Colts ended last October when Indianapolis gave a three-year, $42 million extension to its franchise running back. Taylor’s contract includes $19.34 million in total guarantees, but his cap hits will eclipse $15.5 million in both 2025 and 2026.

Taylor is scheduled to hit free agency in 2027.

2) Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints | AAV: $15 million

Back in 2020, the New Orleans Saints signed Alvin Kamara to a five-year, $75 million contract extension. The deal voids in 2026, but with a $29 million cap charge slated for 2025, Kamara effectively is entering the last year of his contract. Something will need to be done next offseason, one way or another.

Kamara is scheduled to hit free agency in 2026.

1) Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers | AAV: $19 million

Christian McCaffrey, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2022, signed a new deal with the club in June 2024. The Niners ripped up the two existing years on CMC’s contract, extending him through the 2027 season while upping his AAV to $19 million.

McCaffrey had $24.2 million remaining over his previous two years. The reigning Offensive Player of the Year will receive $38 million in new money on top of that total, including $24 million in new guarantees.

The 49ers will pay CMC a $14.29 million signing bonus in 2024, allowing them to spread that money out over multiple seasons and keep McCaffrey’s cap charge relatively low. Option bonuses in 2025 ($14.245 million) and 2026 ($10.55 million) won’t hit San Francisco’s cap this year.

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