NFL Free Agency will be over-crowded at running back

The running back position is loaded in 2024 NFL free agency

NFL Free Agency
NFL Free Agency / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

If your favorite NFL team is in need of a running back heading into 2024 NFL free agency, you're in luck. This is not only one of the deeper crops of overall free agents (at every position) we've seen in recent years, but it's going to be one of the best at the running back position imaginable.

Teams that used the franchise tag in 2023 are likely to let their star running backs hit the open market in 2024, including the New York Giants with Saquon Barkley, the Las Vegas Raiders with Josh Jacobs, and the Dallas Cowboys with Tony Pollard. Additionally, we're looking at a free agency group that includes "King" Derrick Henry along with Austin Ekeler, who scored about a million touchdowns with the Chargers from 2020-22.

Needless to say, no matter what you're looking for at the running back position in 2024, you'll be able to find it in free agency. Want a reclamation project? How about Washington's Antonio Gibson? Need some veteran help? How about Ezekiel Elliott, who had a decent year with the Patriots in 2023?

There are so many options at running back in NFL Free Agency, which is not exactly good news for the players that comprise this position group.

With so many players available, the players themselves are going to have to hope teams are hot after their specific fit as opposed to just interested in adding at the running back position in general.

If Derrick Henry is willing to listen to offers at $8 million per season, why wouldn't you recruit him instead of paying someone else $10 million per season with more guaranteed cash up front? It's a simple case of supply and demand with these players and the teams that could be in pursuit. It's exciting for teams in need of running back help to see all of these names potentially hitting the free agent market, but it might not be so exciting to the players if teams draw a line in the sand.

There's no reason for teams to get in a bidding war with so many guys at a similar level of play. We just saw Jonathan Taylor get a deal worth $14 million per season from the Colts, but it doesn't feel likely that any of these veteran runners are going to get something similar. Each one of them should set the bar high in terms of what they're asking for, but if the 2023 offseason was any indication, these players should be going after early offers instead of having any sort of staring contest with NFL teams.

The closer we get to the NFL Draft, the more these guys' value goes down. If teams are able to feel satisfied with the running back position after the NFL Draft, nobody's going to overpay for a position group that is considered one of the worst second-contract investments in the league.

Still, these are good players we're talking about. They're good players who can help teams. If they are coming at even semi-budget-friendly rates, then this could be one of the best positions in a buyer's market in 2024. But not exactly in favor of the players.