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Jamison HensleyESPN Staff WriterAug 8, 2023, 05:39 PM ET3 Minute Read

Can NFL running backs change how they are compensated?

Ryan Clark says that if NFL running backs want to see a change, they’ll need to come together as a group.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens running back Melvin Gordon became the latest veteran running back to voice displeasure over the position not getting paid like others in the NFL.

“We’re kind of screwed, I feel like, for the next couple years,” Gordon said Tuesday, alluding to the fact that the CBA runs through 2030. “So, the only thing we could do is just kind of stack it and just ball out.”

Gordon, a two-time Pro Bowler, signed a one-year, $1.165 million contract with the Ravens just before the start of training camp. He’s battling for a roster spot with a deal that’s tied for 19th on the Ravens in terms of base salary and includes no guaranteed money.

The devaluation of running backs has been a hot topic in the NFL since last month, when three running backs (Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard) didn’t receive extensions and will play this season under the franchise tag or, in Barkley’s case, a one-year deal of similar value. Plus, Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones both took pay cuts to remain with their teams.

About two weeks ago, Colts running back Jonathan Taylor requested a trade after not getting an extension.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, no player who has led the NFL in rushing in a season is signed beyond 2023.

“At the end of the day, the talking and this and that is not going to get anything done,” Gordon said. “I think we just have to shine in the brightest moments when we get to the playoffs. The backs that are on that team got to take initiative to be like — you know what — I’m going to take over.”

Gordon added, “The league is changing, and it sucks to say it’s a passing league. But you still need a great run game. Let’s not get away from that.”

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