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Mailbag: Long-Term Deal With Pollard Needed? 

I haven't heard much talk lately about signing Tony Pollard to a long-term deal. Although it sounds like he was moving well at OTAs, I think it would be smarter to just utilize Pollard for one more year under the tag and move on, given how running backs can fall off quickly (see our recent history with Ezekiel Elliott). Thoughts? - Adam Smith/Little Rock, AR

Nick Eatman: I don't think it's a huge priority right now to do that. The reason they wanted to give him the franchise tag was to see how he responds as the No. 1 runner and how he comes back from the injuries. When you think about the big contracts still needed to be completed, I don't think Pollard is near the top. That doesn't mean they don't want to keep him long-term but giving running back long-term contracts is something that can get any team in trouble. For now, the idea is for Pollard to be the lead back this year and if the two sides decide to make it work, they'll go that route. But I would imagine Pollard wants to try to bet on himself. But there is some benefit for both sides to do a 3-year deal or so, but I think right now, both sides will let this play out.

Patrik: I think this is one of those situations where no news is good news. What I mean by that is the negotiations, while obviously ongoing, there is no cavernous disconnect that's created any sort of tension that would then find its way to the social mediasphere and every possible sports headline. Both sides want to get a longterm deal done, and that's a fact, so the rest is the usual course of business: coming to terms on length of the deal and compensation. They have until July 15 to get the deal done, and it's possible the team wanted to see him moving around again before ramping up talks, but if you're asking my opinion on if I'd give him a new deal — I would. I think there's something to be said for PROVEN running backs in the league versus HOPING a younger guy can do the job, and there's already a ton of unsettled business in the RB room as-is with the release of Zeke, so hold onto the one proven thing you have (RoJo's resume notwithstanding). Oh and by the way, Elliott didn't fall off, in my opinion, but playing through a torn PCL slowed him and did him no favors in 2021.

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