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The Average Lifespan of an NFL RB....(long read)

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  • The Average Lifespan of an NFL RB....(long read)

    I ask that you forget all your preconceived notions and knowledge of this subject and open your minds to the idea that maybe you have only received half the story.

    We hear lots of people say that an NFL running back does not last long. They get too banged up and on average last less than 4 seasons. I'm here to call BS on that....sort of anyway. You can't argue with the fact that NFL RBs last only a couple of seasons on average, but what I will argue is why that's the case. People claim "because they get banged up", which I think is a tad bit vague. Do they get banged up more than other positions, such as WRs or CBs? Is that really the cause?

    According to the following link (1993-2011 NFLPA provided numbers) an NFL RB only lasts 2.57 seasons. Yikes! But wait an average NFL WR only lasts 2.8 seasons and an NFL QB only lasts 4.44 seasons? That is odd most QBs I can think of play for a long time....then again I only think of good QBs. I forget about the Jake Lockers of the world.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/...otball-league/

    So if RBs and WRs and QBs and all positions only last less than 5 years what is the cause? Surely it is not that RBs just take more damage than the other positions. Football is a tough sport but these guys are lasting less time than an enlisted infantry Marine. My hypothesis is that these RBs are lasting such a short time because they are simply not good enough to play in the NFL. Every single year 20-25 college RBs are drafted and many more signed as undrafted free agents. That is basically a new RB on every NFL team each year. A team only carries 3-4 RBs on the roster. So on average you have 100% turnover every 3-4 years.

    This can't be true though. RBs are running around getting smashed every play, taking on blitzing LBs and DEs and getting pounded. The more a guy runs and plays and gets hit the less he will last right? Well not really. Generally speaking the most productive backs usually are the best and the best are usually selected to be All Pros. I pulled up the list of All Pro RBs for the years 2005-2015 and taking out duplicates came up with 18 players. These All Pros all had tons of carry and playing time and took beatings all year round. Surely taking that much punishment would shorten their careers.

    Those 18 men lasted an average of 9.1 seasons in the NFL. Almost a decade of getting smashed. 8 of them are still active and assuming they all return (none have said they won't) that will bring the average to 9.6 seasons.

    I then pulled up the last 13 (going back to 2000, not including '16 and '17) NFL Rushing leaders. No RBs take more beatings than them. They averaged 9.9 years in the league, with the two lowest (7 and 8) members still being active. If the active guys play this year rushing leaders will last over a decade in the league.

    Now I have just started the arduous task of looking at RBs that leave the league prior to the 5 year mark. Specifically I am searching for primary starters that retire before the 5 year mark. A primary starting being a guy that starts 50%+ of the games for a team in the season before retirement. So far I have come up with no one. I'll add David Wilson though because he did start 4 of 5 games he played in for us before suffering a terrible neck injury. So it looks like 1 good RB, in recent years (I'm still searching), has left the NFL before the 5 year mark. Most of the RBs that leave the leaue 2-3 years into it are not very high quality RBs and with new guys every year entering the league they get booted and replaced rather quickly.
    LT (132.5) -> Strahan (141.5) -> Osi (65) -> Tuck (60.5) -> JPP (50) -> ???
    "Next man up"

    "I am a nasty football player, I get after people. That is something that I am very proud of. I am out there and I am physical every play, making sure that the guy across from me wants to quit." - Adam Bisnowaty

  • #2
    If you are making a point that we shouldn't shy away from Barkley because of his position, I agree.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Roosevelt View Post
      If you are making a point that we shouldn't shy away from Barkley because of his position, I agree.
      Not specifically but the possibility of us drafting him has brought on a rash of comments similar to "RBs only last 7 seconds in the NFL". I was curious about it so I looked into it more and figured I'd post my findings. Bad players from all positions don't last in this league. RBs go very fast because I think it is pretty easy to see when a guy isn't working out. A QB or OL you might take a few years to try and develop though.

      LT (132.5) -> Strahan (141.5) -> Osi (65) -> Tuck (60.5) -> JPP (50) -> ???
      "Next man up"

      "I am a nasty football player, I get after people. That is something that I am very proud of. I am out there and I am physical every play, making sure that the guy across from me wants to quit." - Adam Bisnowaty

      Comment


      • #4
        I can't read this whole thing....too long... but I'll just sum it up simply. A RB might run the ball 20 times in a game. On those plays they tend to get tackled ...by big men. You get ankle sprains, knees twisted..and even the occasional ACL/MCL. It takes it's toll. Multiply that by 16 games and 4-5 yrs. That 4.40 forty that Barkley ran at the combine suddenly gets a liiiittle bit slower. I'd rather spend my money on a franchise QB than a franchise RB. And when Barkley is 27 I can always draft his replacement as a late 1st of even 2nd rounder...but the chance of me getting a franchise QB in that same spot is not as likely.

        Also I can get by with a RB by committee. Picking a franchise QB some 14-15 yrs ago proved us well. Let's try that same formula here

        Comment


        • #5
          Follow up to your 2nd post. Maybe RB don't last as long and get replaced so quickly because they are easily replaceable. And as you stated in another post saying NE has the best coach...well if the best coach doesn't put much stock in RB then doesn't that tell you something? Maybe he knows something

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by StewieZ View Post
            I can't read this whole thing
            That is fine, but then don't bother commenting because you completely missed everything and your comment is just rambling on about something not involved here. This is not a discussion about this years draft class which is why it's in the Giants football discussion and not the draft discussion. Want to talk about the merits of RB vs QB in this years draft I'd be glad to, in the proper place. Make a thread, I'll be there.

            Yes bad RBs are easily replaceable, had you read the OP I say that. The same is true for bad QBs and WRs and every other position in football. Good RBs not as easy to replace, which is why it doesn't happen that often.
            LT (132.5) -> Strahan (141.5) -> Osi (65) -> Tuck (60.5) -> JPP (50) -> ???
            "Next man up"

            "I am a nasty football player, I get after people. That is something that I am very proud of. I am out there and I am physical every play, making sure that the guy across from me wants to quit." - Adam Bisnowaty

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by StewieZ View Post
              Follow up to your 2nd post. Maybe RB don't last as long and get replaced so quickly because they are easily replaceable. And as you stated in another post saying NE has the best coach...well if the best coach doesn't put much stock in RB then doesn't that tell you something? Maybe he knows something
              Having one of the greatest qb of all time really can help open up a run game. And no offense to Eli but, the giants are at a point where they have to do the oppisite.they need a stud rb to support eli.
              [SIGPIC]

              Comment


              • #8
                Just saying..you do all this research ... for what? I'm telling you the facts. Don't need a top notch RB in today's NFL. Ok and let's forget about injuries, etc.

                RB is just not a high priority position. QB is. Left Tackle is. Lockdown corner is. Pass rushing DE is. Those are the positions that can change the game and they get big money. With a cap you should take advantage of certain other positions with role players. Notice Bellichick has Brady as his anchor, had Solder all these yrs...went out and snagged Revis when he could...the rest is interchangeable.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bigbluejeep8888 View Post

                  Having one of the greatest qb of all time really can help open up a run game. And no offense to Eli but, the giants are at a point where they have to do the oppisite.they need a stud rb to support eli.
                  But that's my poooooint. We can replace Eli!! You guys are clinging to this guy. Not sure why? Why why why?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bigbluejeep8888 View Post

                    Having one of the greatest qb of all time really can help open up a run game. And no offense to Eli but, the giants are at a point where they have to do the oppisite.they need a stud rb to support eli.
                    BTW Brady and the Pats never punted and scored at will vs the Eagles and couldn't really run the ball. They also threw all over the Jags with virtually no run game either. QB is more important than RB

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IrishMike357 View Post
                      Not specifically but the possibility of us drafting him has brought on a rash of comments similar to "RBs only last 7 seconds in the NFL". I was curious about it so I looked into it more and figured I'd post my findings. Bad players from all positions don't last in this league. RBs go very fast because I think it is pretty easy to see when a guy isn't working out. A QB or OL you might take a few years to try and develop though.
                      The RB position has been devalued over the years and we all know the lesser the value, the shorter the leash so to speak.

                      I agree with DG that we need to take a player who is worthy of being the 2nd player taken in the NFL draft and not the 2nd best player that suits the Giants needs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by StewieZ View Post

                        But that's my poooooint. We can replace Eli!! You guys are clinging to this guy. Not sure why? Why why why?
                        Is it a specific QB you want, or will any new QB do?
                        "I hire my brains"...Horace Trumbauer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StewieZ View Post
                          Just saying..you do all this research ... for what? I'm telling you the facts. Don't need a top notch RB in today's NFL. Ok and let's forget about injuries, etc.

                          RB is just not a high priority position. QB is. Left Tackle is. Lockdown corner is. Pass rushing DE is. Those are the positions that can change the game and they get big money. With a cap you should take advantage of certain other positions with role players. Notice Bellichick has Brady as his anchor, had Solder all these yrs...went out and snagged Revis when he could...the rest is interchangeable.
                          Again, you didn't bother to read the entire post. A, as you call it, "top notch RB " will last 10 seasons, hmm, Tiki played 10 & I'd say he was very top notch. The PO stated clearly that the ones that don't last past 4 yrs if that, are the mediocre to bad RBs, a great one will last a decade if not longer. Barkley is a great one in the making & the Giants will prosper greatly in drafting him AND fixing the OL! You can't have one w/o the other.

                          None of these QBs in this yr's draft have "HOF QB written on them & that the Giants should draft one. I really don't see Gettleman/Shurmer saying that about any of them. You don't just use the #1 pick to "reach" on a QB in the hopes that he may/may not be the franchise QB & future HOFer of your team, you better be 100% certain he's the real deal. If Barkley's snagged by the Browns, then I want Nelson taken #1 & a RB taken in rd 2, but you don't pass on a generational talent like Barkley just based on his position on the field.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is RB a high value position these days? Maybe not......but ask the Steelers rams jags cowboys etc how theyd feel about losing their backs and were talking about a Potential Adrian Peterson caliber player......

                            personally Id prefer trading back......Or Chubb if we stay at 2.......I dont want a Guard at 2.......but with that being said, Id still be happy with Barkley and think hed be a major difference maker for us

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by myles2424 View Post
                              Is RB a high value position these days? Maybe not......but ask the Steelers rams jags cowboys etc how theyd feel about losing their backs and were talking about a Potential Adrian Peterson caliber player......

                              personally Id prefer trading back......Or Chubb if we stay at 2.......I dont want a Guard at 2.......but with that being said, Id still be happy with Barkley and think hed be a major difference maker for us
                              I'd rather us trade back as well. If Rosen didn't have a history of concussions, i'd probably want him. But no thanks.
                              http://boards.giants.com/showthread....est-game/page6
                              http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Articles/11_2554_A_brief,_fact-filled_history_of_the_NFL_passing_game.html
                              http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8732732/is-new-york-giants-qb-eli-manning-worthy-hall-fame-espn-magazine

                              Entire Team Let Eli down today - NYG4l

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