The 2023 NFL free agency period is around the corner and one of the highlights of this class is the quality of running backs. If you're a club that needs a good running back, this is the year to find one.
Saquon Barkley headlines the talented group. We could also see Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, David Montgomery and Tony Pollard reach the open market. And for teams not looking to break the bank, there are numerous dynamic runners available outside of the top three or four, including several who can also impact the passing game. How do the best potentially available running backs stack up? We split 16 of them into five tiers based on who will get paid, expected future production and age.
Age for 2023 season: 26
Our first tier includes a pair of featured backs, led by Barkley. Following an impressive season in which he led all rookie backs in yardage (1,307), the 2018 second overall pick struggled to stay on the field over the following three years due to various injuries and missed 21 games. But finally healthy in 2022, Barkley bounced back in a big way, pacing the position in snaps with 825 and finishing in the top five in carries (295), targets (77), touches (352) and scrimmage yards (1,650).
Barkley's efficiency hasn't quite jumped off the page, but he's one of the league's most talented backs and can make an impact as a rusher and receiver. It will be a big shock if he doesn't remain with the Giants, perhaps on the franchise tag.