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The NFL Doesn’t Need Running Backs

Photo: Tim Nwachukwu

The NFL franchise-tag deadline has come and gone without contract extensions for some high-profile running backs and questions about the devaluation of the running back position abound. Dan chalks it up to the way the game has changed and the proliferation of running quarterbacks. Gone are the days when NFL squads were centered on the running back and it doesn’t look like those days are returning anytime soon. In the modern game, most offenses can plug-and-play just about any serviceable player at the running back position and not miss a beat.

Dan Patrick: “The game was predicated on having a great running back. Your quarterback complemented your running back. Now it’s the other way around but I don’t know when it changed. But it felt like once it changed it wasn’t going back...We’ve gotten to that position; that place where we don’t need running backs.”