Report: Likely no franchise tags for RBs Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard

The free-agent market for running backs this offseason is expected to be extraordinarily deep, with no franchise tags likely for numerous running backs, including Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley and Tony Pollard, according to a report by ESPN Monday.

With a franchise tag cost of $14,149,200, the Las Vegas Raiders are not expected to give it to Jacobs but are expected to try to re-sign the 2022 NFL rushing champion.

Jacobs has 5,545 rushing yards in 73 games since being drafted by the then-Oakland Raiders in the first round in 2018, including 1,101 yards from scrimmage (805 rushing, 296 receiving) and six touchdowns in 13 starts in 2023.

The New York Giants are reportedly unlikely to use the franchise tag on Barkley, which would cost $12,109,200.

The Giants are, however, expected to explore a deal with Barkley, who at the end of last season said he was “numb” to the possibility of being hit with the franchise tag for a second time and was skipping the Giants’ open-door policy exit interviews.

“I went through the whole process last year. We talked more than enough last year, to be honest. I’m gonna let my agents handle that,” Barkley said after the last game of the season.

Barkley started all 14 games he played in last season, rushing for 962 yards and six touchdowns. He also caught 41 passes for 280 yards and four scores.

The Dallas Cowboys are also expected to pass on a $12,109,200 franchise tag for Pollard, according to ESPN. The Cowboys took Pollard in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In 79 career regular-season games (23 starts), Pollard has 3,621 rushing yards, 1,319 receiving yards and 28 combined touchdowns.

Other running backs expected in the free-agent market include A.J. Dillon, J.K. Dobbins, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Gus Edwards, Austin Ekeler, Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Zack Moss and Devin Singletary.

Although several top running backs complained last offseason about being underpaid, they aren’t likely to grab enormous sums of money, with many teams still unwilling to pay big for running backs, despite a major increase in the NFL salary cap this year.

The league’s free-agent signing period opens March 13.