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Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard, Saquon Barkley might be wise to accept franchise tenders

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dissect the current RB market and discuss ways for talented players like Austin Ekeler to avoid feeling underpaid.

In a text discussion with the PFT staff regarding our recent item about Austin Ekeler’s valid (but ultimately futile) complaints regarding the running back market, MDS made an observation that I saw fit to steal.

The three running backs currently operating under the franchise tag might be wise to accept their tenders.

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, and Giants running back Saquon Barkley each have one-year, $10.1 million offers. They become fully guaranteed if/when accepted.

Until they’re accepted, they can be rescinded, making the player a free agent.

If Jacobs and/or Pollard and/or Barkley suddenly become free agents, what would happen? When the top of the 2023 free-agent market at the position is $$6.25 million per year, would someone offer $10 million or more?

What if the Cowboys decide to cut the cord on Pollard and trade for Derrick Henry? He’s due to make $10.5 million this year. (That said, he’s likely looking for a new deal.)

For all three of these players -- Jacobs, Pollard, and Barkley -- it makes sense to seriously consider taking the bird in the hand. Unless and until they do, any of them could end up foraging for roughly half a bird in the bush.