Outsiders: Jags paid NFL-high to RBs

June, 15, 2010
6/15/10
2:14
PM ET
Bill Barnwell takes an interesting look at position-by-position salaries in this piece Insider.

I can share that based on 2009 numbers, the only AFC South team that was highest or lowest at any position was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who paid the most to running backs, thanks to Maurice Jones-Drew’s contract.

But Barnwell didn’t focus on the Jaguars so much as the team just behind them, the Chargers.
"Although the Jaguars led this category by virtue of Maurice Jones-Drew's contract extension kicking in, the Chargers were just behind them; they paid LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles more than $14 million combined in 2009, and for that, they got the league's worst rushing offense by virtually any metric available. It's another lesson in paying your offensive line and not your running backs, which is reinforced by Baltimore; after giving a huge contract to Willis McGahee several years ago, their running game was third in the league last year, and their primary runner was mid-round pick Ray Rice."

Jacksonville gets production out of MJD, obviously. While paying a premium for a running back if often ill-advised, he’s an exception because he’s a singular star for a team desperate for notable players as it seeks to plant firmer roots in its market.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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