Why Dont Running Backs Get Paid

As a running backs enthusiast, I’ve often pondered the question: why don’t running backs get paid as much as other positions in the NFL? It’s a topic that’s been widely discussed among football fans and analysts, and there are several factors at play.

Injury Risk

One of the main reasons running backs don’t command the same salaries as quarterbacks or top wide receivers is the inherent injury risk associated with the position. Running backs take a beating on nearly every play, whether it’s from getting tackled, blocking, or running routes. As a result, the average career length for a running back is significantly shorter than other positions. This increased risk of injury and shorter career span makes teams hesitant to invest large sums of money in running backs.

Short Shelf Life

Building on the injury risk, the short shelf life of running backs is a crucial factor in their compensation. With the wear and tear that comes with the position, many running backs begin to decline in performance after just a few seasons. This means that teams are often hesitant to commit to long-term, high-dollar contracts for a position that may see a rapid decline in productivity.

Devaluation of the Position

Over the years, there has been a shift in the NFL towards a passing-focused game. With the rise of high-powered passing offenses and the increased emphasis on dual-threat quarterbacks, the value of running backs has diminished in the eyes of some team owners and general managers. This devaluation of the position has led to a reluctance to allocate significant financial resources to running backs.


While running backs may not receive the same level of compensation as other positions in the NFL, their importance to the game cannot be overlooked. They are often the workhorses of the offense, grinding out tough yards and providing crucial support to their teams. Although the financial disparity may persist, running backs continue to be fundamental to the success of NFL teams, showcasing their value on the field regardless of their compensation.