Apparently, the fullback position isn’t as close to extinction as we thought. Although you rarely hear about fullbacks during free agency, a trio of them made a splash on Wednesday during the NFL’s final day of legal tampering.
The biggest splash was made by former Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who signed a four-year deal with the 49ers. According to NFL.com, Juszczyk’s contract is worth a total of $21 million, which makes him the highest paid fullback in NFL history.
To put that in perspective, Juszczyk will be making 2 1/2 times more than the highest-paid fullback made in 2016.
Juszczyk pulling in 2 1/2 times more than the next closest fullback would be the equivalent of a quarterback going into free agency this week and signing a deal worth $61.38 million per year (which is 2 1/2 times more than the highest scheduled quarterback cap hit in 2017).
At $5.25 million per year, Juszczyk will not only be the highest-paid fullback, but he’ll be the 10th highest-paid running back overall, according to Spotrac.
The fact that Juszczyk landed in San Francisco shouldn’t come as a surprise. New 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan values the position, something he proved while he was in Atlanta. During his two seasons in Atlanta (2015-16), Shanahan had Patrick DiMarco to work with at the fullback spot.
Speaking of DiMarco, he won’t be returning to Atlanta in 2017 because he agreed to a deal with the Bills on Wednesday. According to NFL.com, the four-year deal is worth a total of $8.5 million. Although that’s not quite Juszczyk money, it’s still solid pay for a fullback.
Buffalo will be the third team that DiMarco has played for during his five-year career.
The Bills might actually be hoarding fullbacks this year because not only did they sign DiMarco, but they also added free agent Mike Tolbert, who agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal on Wednesday. Tolbert joins the Bills after spending the past five seasons in Carolina.
If the Bills are planning to run the wishbone this year, then they’re going to be in good shape. Or maybe LeSean McCoy just talked the front office into adding as many blockers as possible.
Since Tolbert was a free agent, he officially signed his deal Wednesday. However, Juszczyk and DiMarco won’t be able to sign their deals until 4 p.m ET. on Thursday.
With three players agreeing to contracts worth $30.5 million on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, will surely go down as the greatest payday in fullback history.