Nobody actually denies that Prepare dinner, Kamara and the others are helpful gamers who assist their groups win. However the school ranks produce dozens of burly, speedy, decided and inexpensive rushers in each draft class, whereas the trials of plunging into the enamel of N.F.L. defenses shortly put on down all however the rarest backs.
The distinction in marginal worth between a 26-year-old All-Professional with 1,000 skilled carries on his odometer and the standard midround rookie doesn’t come near the prices: roughly $12 million per 12 months for the veteran, lower than $2 million for the rookie.
Moreover, the rookie is extra more likely to produce optimistic outcomes. Of the 15 working backs who rushed for over 1,000 dashing yards final season, 12 of them have been on their unique rookie contracts and 13 of them have been 25 or youthful. Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys was final season’s only one,000-yard rusher who was taking part in on a contract extension for the staff that had drafted him. Because of his $90 million eruption of generosity towards Elliott, the Cowboys’ proprietor, Jerry Jones, is presently looking for unfastened change within the cushions of his salary-cap couch so he can afford to pay quarterback Dak Prescott.
Final weekend’s motion was filled with examples of the folly of overpaying working backs. Prepare dinner rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, whereas his minimum-wage backup, Alexander Mattison, rushed for an equivalent 50 yards on six carries. Malcolm Brown, Gurley’s low-cost substitute for the Rams, rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns, whereas Gurley gained 56 yards and had one landing for the Falcons.
The Jacksonville Jaguars launched Leonard Fournette somewhat than pay him Prepare dinner-Kamara cash in late August; he rushed 5 occasions for five yards for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, whereas the undrafted Illinois State rookie James Robinson gained 90 yards from scrimmage in Fournette’s place in a Jaguars victory.
Basic managers and coaches know that working backs hardly ever pay dividends on profitable contracts. But they proceed to persuade themselves that every scenario is an exception. Kamara is a key piece of the Saints’ Tremendous Bowl puzzle, so why not threat mortgaging the long run? (Ask the Rams about Gurley.) McCaffrey and Kamara are versatile rushers and receivers, so they’ll age extra gracefully! (So is/was Bell.) As for Prepare dinner, properly, the Vikings merely get pleasure from paying retail for identify manufacturers.
Some groups additionally simply need to reward profitable staff like Kamara and Prepare dinner for his or her exhausting work. That’s a laudable coverage in a league that hardly ever does something laudable. Younger working backs promote jerseys, spur the fantasy business, present thrills and encourage desires; it’s exhausting to criticize their massive paydays with out sounding like a grouchy, myopic bean counter.