August 1, 2023   3 MIN READ

‘Gone Way Up’

Former NFL GM Rick Spielman: RB Value Down, WR Value Up


Training camp is in full swing across an NFL that is constantly evolving, with less padded practices than ever before and different values of positions.

On a special edition of “Inside The Birds TV,” former NFL general manager Rick Spielman joined Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher to discuss training camp as well as the state of contracts and player evaluation around the league. 

The Philadelphia Eagles will have to figure out how to pay star WR DeVonta Smith

Training Camp

Rick Spielman: “I do believe there is value in you having a practice with some physicality. You want to push guys a little bit in training camp because you’re not going to be able to do that in the regular season. My thought is, and maybe it’s a little old school, when you’re tired and hot, can you still function at the same level that you’re going to function on gameday? Creating those stress atmosphere helps from not only an evaluation standpoint, but where your team is at…But there’s a fine balance between getting the team ready but also making sure you’re taking care of the players as well.”

Running Back Contracts

Spielman: “One thing we would do if we were interviewing an offensive coordinator or head coach is: if you can have four highest paid players on your roster, at what position would you put the money at? 10 years ago, everyone I talked to said running back had to be one of those four positions. Today with everyone I talk to, running back is not even mentioned because they believe they can win with running back-by-committee. But as the RB market decreases, look at what the receiver market has done, that went way up.” 

DeVonta Smith Contract

Spielman: “You saw in Minnesota when we extended Adam Thielen, now they have to pay Justin Jefferson. I’m assuming that had a domino effect on Eric Kendricks going, Za’Darius Smith going, Thielen going, Dalvin Cook going. It’s a philosophy, where you are going to put your money. Can you actually afford two high priced receivers? And if you can, where is the sacrifice, who is going to not get paid?”

Jalen Hurts

Spielman: “Hurts is one of the premier quarterbacks, but I don’t know if you would have said that when he came out of the draft…his accuracy and decision making at Alabama is not what we see today. I give a lot of credit to the coaching staff and how they developed him. That’s the big burning bush question when you evaluate these quarterbacks: If they’re not accurate quarterbacks, can you teach accuracy or is that a instinctual thing? What Philly did was…when you draft these guys, a lot of these coaches are saying they can tweak their system to fit what the quarterback does best. As these quarterbacks come out, the biggest thing is identifying what they can do well and adjust your scheme accordingly instead of taking a round peg and trying to fit it into a square hole.”

– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for

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