NFL Free Agency Rumors: Insider Reveals Latest on Top FA RBs Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, and Others

Will top running backs such as Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, and Tony Pollard hit the open market? Adam Schefter has provided the latest update.

NFL teams have until March 5 to tag their pending free agents, and there is currently a lot of intrigue as to how many top players will hit the open market. On Monday afternoon, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter provided an update for the top free agent running backs in Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Josh Jacobs, and Austin Ekeler.

Will Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, and Other Top RBs Get Franchise-Tagged?

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) Monday afternoon, Schefter reported that no running back is expected to receive the franchise tag, making this one of the deepest classes at the position in free agency history.

As Schefter mentioned, this is the opposite case from last offseason, after the three top players at the position — Barkley, Pollard, and Jacobs — each received the franchise tag, keeping each under contract up until the conclusion of the 2023 season.

Now, there will be plenty of options for teams seeking a boost to their running game in free agency.

It is no secret paying a running back top-tier money has become increasingly rare in recent memory, however.

In October 2023, Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor became the first running back since 2021 to earn a long-term contract worth a total of over $10 million — putting pen to paper on a three-year, $42 million deal to remain in Indy.

Friday, the NFL announced the total salary cap for the 2024 season will be a record-breaking $255.4 million per franchise — a mammoth 13.6% increase over last season’s cap.

If one does the math, that is approximately $30.6 million more per organization than last season’s $224.8 million.

KEEP READING: 2024 Free Agents by Position

Barkley, Jacobs, and Pollard will each be seeking the first long-term contracts of their careers, which could require them to find a new home in free agency. Of those three players, however, Jacobs seems the most likely to stay put.

On the other hand, Henry and Ekeler are both highly expected to sign with new teams. Despite being 30 years old, Henry is coming off another 1,000+ yards season in Tennessee and still appears to have enough left in the tank to be a valuable contributor to an offense. Ekeler, however, averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry in an injury-riddled 2023 campaign.

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