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Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs and top NFL running backs meet via Zoom

Derrick Henry past a Texans defender
Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

The running back position in the National Football League has felt disrespected for a while.

We have seen a transition where the league has become a speed and space game for offense.

RELATED: Derrick Henry shows off Titans throwback jersey for this season

New rules have been made to protect quarterbacks and wide receivers, making them the highest-paid positions. Offensive linemen, primarily tackles, are still valued on the pay scale, and elite pass rushers make good money as well. Teams that carry high-end cornerbacks and marquee tight ends are seeing those positions make more money. The league is evolving, but the position that takes the most beatings is at the bottom of the totem pole. Teams that win the Super Bowl need to have some type of rushing attack, and running backs know it. Several of the top names in the NFL met via Zoom last week to discuss the state of the running back position and how they can help guys increase their pay. Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, and Najee Harris — all University of Alabama alums — were on the call. Henry and Harris do not like how the league is handling their position.

The running back market is not good in the NFL. Saquon Barkley is playing on a franchise tag for the New York Giants; however, everyone knows Daniel Jones’ success as a quarterback is tied to Barkley. Josh Jacobs did not reach a new deal for the Las Vegas Raiders and will not report for training camp. Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers cannot get a new deal either.

RELATED: Josh Jacobs putting in offseason work despite not signing Raiders tender

Henry and others hope the call gets the NFL Players Association to agree to something that helps running backs.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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