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Grading on Salary-Cap Curve: Running Backs

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Player grades have long been a staple of postseason analysis. Ours are different. So much of building a team is doing it within the constraints of the salary cap. Teams need their big-money players to come up big and some bargain players to outplay their contracts. Thus, our annual grades are done on a salary-cap curve.

RUNNING BACKS

JAMAAL WILLIAMS

Cap: $786,498 (56th at position, according to OverTheCap.com)

Season: Williams had the best season of his career in terms of yards per carry (4.3), receptions (39) and total touchdowns (six). Without the flash of Aaron Jones, Williams seems so ordinary. After all, Jones had 25 rushes of 10-plus yards this season compared to 27 in three years for Williams. But Williams runs hard, catches the ball and is excellent in pass protection. According to Pro Football Focus, his average yards after contact on rushing plays has gone from 2.29 yards as a rookie in 2017 to 2.63 in 2018 and 2.81 in 2019, and he went from six missed tackles on receptions combined his first two seasons to 12 this season. He was a rock in pass protection with just one pressure allowed compared to eight last year.

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