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The Stability of Running Back Contracts

The Stability of Running Back Contracts
Untitled Document

As the game on the field continues to change so too does the business of football. This may be most evident in the growing instability of the veteran running back contract. Recent releases of Doug Martin, Chris Ivory, & DeMarco Murray are just the tip of the iceberg for what will continue over the course of the next week, as viable, productive running backs nearing the age of 30 are pushed aside for youth, and a cheap buck. We took a deep dive into just how prevalent this scenario has become, focusing on any non-rooke running back contract signed from 2012 to 2016, of at least 2 years in length, and $2M in value.

Contracts Earned Cut Short Still Active % Earned
81 19 54 8 23.46%


Potent Potables:

  • Of the 81 contracts that qualified for our review, only 19 (23%) were completely earned.
  • Only 2 of these contracts signed before 2016 are still active (L. McCoy, M. Ingram)
  • 56% of 5 year + running back contracts are actually earned.
  • 60% of 4 year + running back contracts are actually earned.
  • Matt Forte's 4 year $30.4M contract with the Bears is the largest fully earned deal in the past 5 years.
  • Only 4 running backs have played out the 4th-year of their contract: Forte (CHI), J. Stewart (CAR), A. Foster (HOU), A. Peterson (MIN). McCoy & Ingram can add to this list by playing out their 2018 salaries.
  • 41 of these contracts have resulted in an early, outright release
  • 7 of these contracts ended as a result of a retirement
Running Back Contracts

A look at all Running Back contracts since since 2012 of at least 2 years in length and $2M in value.

Player Team Contract Terms Start End Status Earned % Earned
Doug Martin TB 5 $35,750,000 2016 2020 Released 2018 $13,529,411 37.84%
Chris Ivory JAC 5 $32,000,000 2016 2020 Released 2018 $12,500,000 39.06%
Lamar Miller HOU 4 $26,000,000 2016 2019 Active
DeMarco Murray TEN 4 $25,250,000 2016 2019 Released 2018 $13,050,000 51.68%
C.J. Anderson DEN 4 $18,000,000 2016 2019 Active
Giovani Bernard CIN 3 $15,500,000 2016 2019 Active
Matt Forte NYJ 3 $12,000,000 2016 2018 Retired $9,000,000 75.00%
Theo Riddick DET 3 $11,550,000 2016 2019 Active
Bilal Powell NYJ 3 $11,250,000 2016 2018 Active
James Starks GB 2 $6,000,000 2016 2017 Released 2017 $3,000,000 50.00%
Spencer Ware KC 2 $3,600,000 2016 2018 Active
Charcandrick West KC 2 $3,600,000 2016 2018 Earned $3,600,000 100.00%
Alfred Morris DAL 2 $3,500,000 2016 2017 Earned $3,500,000 100.00%
64.80%
Player Team Contract Terms Start End Status Earned % Earned
Adrian Peterson MIN 3 $42,000,000 2015 2017 Released 2017 $25,000,000 59.52%
LeSean McCoy BUF 5 $40,000,000 2015 2019 Active
DeMarco Murray PHI 5 $40,000,000 2015 2019 Trade Restructure 2017 $9,050,000 22.63%
Marshawn Lynch SEA 2 $24,000,000 2015 2017 Retired 2016 $12,000,000 50.00%
Mark Ingram NO 4 $16,000,000 2015 2018 Active
C.J. Spiller NO 4 $16,000,000 2015 2018 Released 2016 $5,750,000 35.94%
Shane Vereen NYG 3 $12,350,000 2015 2017 Earned $12,350,000 100.00%
Frank Gore IND 3 $12,000,000 2015 2017 Earned $12,000,000 100.00%
Ryan Mathews PHI 3 $11,000,000 2015 2017 Released 2017 $7,000,000 63.64%
Justin Forsett BAL 3 $9,000,000 2015 2017 Released 2016 $3,000,000 33.33%
Donald Brown SD 2 $6,500,000 2015 2016 Released 2016 $3,000,000 46.15%
Danny Woodhead SD 2 $5,500,000 2015 2016 Earned $5,500,000 100.00%
Taiwan Jones OAK 3 $4,355,000 2015 2017 Released 2017 $2,300,000 52.81%
Roy Helu OAK 2 $4,100,000 2015 2016 Released 2016 $2,100,000 51.22%
DeAngelo Williams PIT 2 $4,000,000 2015 2016 Earned $4,000,000 100.00%
Trent Richardson OAK 2 $3,850,000 2015 2016 Released 2015 $750,000 19.48%
Darren McFadden DAL 2 $3,000,000 2015 2016 Earned $3,000,000 100.00%
Dion Lewis NE 2 $2,600,000 2015 2017 Earned $2,600,000 100.00%
Brandon Bolden NE 2 $2,320,000 2015 2016 Earned $2,320,000 100.00%
Cedric Peerman CIN 2 $2,130,000 2015 2016 Earned $2,130,000 100.00%
68.60%
Player Team Contract Terms Start End Status Earned % Earned
Jamaal Charles KC 2 $18,100,000 2014 2017 Released 2017 $16,450,000 90.88%
Darren Sproles PHI 3 $10,500,000 2014 2016 Earned $10,500,000 100.00%
Toby Gerhart JAC 3 $10,500,000 2014 2016 Released 2016 $7,000,000 66.67%
Donald Brown SD 3 $10,500,000 2014 2016 Released 2015 $4,000,000 38.10%
Rashad Jennings NYG 4 $10,000,000 2014 2017 Released 2017 $7,500,000 75.00%
Joique Bell DET 3 $9,300,000 2014 2016 Released 2016 $6,800,000 73.12%
Dexter McCluster TEN 3 $9,000,000 2014 2016 Released 2016 $6,400,000 71.11%
Chris Johnson NYJ 2 $8,000,000 2014 2015 Released 2015 $3,500,000 43.75%
Maurice Jones-Drew OAK 3 $7,500,000 2014 2016 Retired 2015 $2,500,000 33.33%
Ben Tate CLE 2 $6,200,000 2014 2015 Released 2014 $1,500,000 24.19%
Pierre Thomas NO 2 $4,000,000 2014 2016 Released 2015 $2,400,000 60.00%
LeGarrette Blount PIT 2 $3,850,000 2014 2015 Released 2014 $1,850,000 48.05%
Anthony Dixon BUF 3 $3,600,000 2014 2016 Released 2016 $2,450,000 68.06%
James Starks GB 2 $3,250,000 2014 2015 Earned $3,250,000 100.00%
63.73%
Player Team Contract Terms Start End Status Earned % Earned
Reggie Bush DET 4 $16,000,000 2013 2016 Released 2015 $8,500,000 53.13%
Steven Jackson ATL 3 $12,000,000 2013 2015 Released 2015 $8,250,000 68.75%
DeAngelo Williams CAR 3 $10,000,000 2013 2015 Released 2015 $7,000,000 70.00%
Shonn Greene TEN 3 $10,000,000 2013 2015 Released 2015 $6,650,000 66.50%
Mike Goodson NYJ 3 $6,900,000 2013 2015 Released 2014 $1,333,941 19.33%
Chris Ivory NYJ 3 $6,000,000 2013 2015 Earned $6,000,000 100.00%
Danny Woodhead SD 2 $3,500,000 2013 2014 Released 2014 $1,750,000 50.00%
Justin Forsett JAC 2 $2,250,000 2013 2014 Released 2014 $1,150,000 51.11%
Cedric Peerman CIN 2 $2,165,000 2013 2014 Earned $2,165,000 100.00%
64.31%
Player Team Contract Terms Start End Status Earned % Earned
LeSean McCoy PHI 5 $45,000,000 2012 2017 Trade Restructure 2015 $20,477,500 45.51%
Arian Foster HOU 5 $43,500,000 2012 2016 Released 2016 $35,625,000 81.90%
Jonathan Stewart CAR 5 $36,500,000 2012 2017 Restructured 2016 $25,911,756 70.99%
Ray Rice BAL 5 $35,000,000 2012 2016 Released 2014 $26,529,176 75.80%
Matt Forte CHI 4 $30,400,000 2012 2015 Earned $30,400,000 100.00%
Marshawn Lynch SEA 4 $30,000,000 2012 2015 Extended 2015 $23,500,000 78.33%
Michael Bush CHI 4 $14,000,000 2012 2015 Released 2014 $6,450,000 46.07%
BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN 3 $9,000,000 2012 2014 Released 2014 $6,750,000 75.00%
Fred Jackson BUF 2 $8,700,000 2012 2014 Earned $8,700,000 100.00%
Jason Snelling ATL 3 $4,000,000 2012 2014 Retired 2014 $2,625,000 65.63%
73.92%
Player Team Contract Terms Start End Status Earned % Earned
Adrian Peterson MIN 6 $86,280,000 2011 2017 Restructed 2015 $50,176,471 58.16%
Chris Johnson TEN 4 $53,975,000 2011 2016 Released 2014 $31,000,000 57.43%
DeAngelo Williams CAR 5 $43,000,000 2011 2015 Released 2015 $33,000,000 76.74%
Frank Gore SF 3 $19,212,550 2011 2014 Earned $19,212,550 100.00%
Ahmad Bradshaw NYG 4 $18,000,000 2011 2014 Released 2013 $9,750,000 54.17%
Darren Sproles NO 4 $14,000,000 2011 2014 Trade Restructure 2014 $10,500,000 75.00%
Joseph Addai IND 3 $14,000,000 2011 2013 Released 2012 $8,030,000 57.36%
Leon Washington SEA 4 $12,500,000 2011 2014 Released 2013 $6,500,000 52.00%
Pierre Thomas NO 4 $11,200,000 2011 2014 Extended 2014 $8,100,000 72.32%
Reggie Bush MIA 2 $9,750,000 2011 2012 Earned $9,750,000 100.00%
Willis McGahee DEN 4 $9,500,000 2011 2014 Released 2013 $5,000,000 52.63%
Brandon Jackson CLE 2 $4,500,000 2011 2012 Earned $4,500,000 100.00%
Marion Barber CHI 2 $4,500,000 2011 2012 Retired 2012 $2,500,000 55.56%
Ricky Williams BAL 2 $2,600,000 2011 2012 Retired 2012 $1,100,000 42.31%
Korey Hall ARI 2 $2,110,000 2011 2012 Retired 2012 $748,000 35.45%
65.94%