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Patriots running back Damien Harris listed among NFL players who deserve a raise *right now*

Related: #PostPulpit Mailbag: Could Damien Harris find himself on the trade block?

Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Damien Harris has been the New England Patriots’ lead running back the last two seasons, and a usually reliable member of their offense. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, however, there are questions about his future.

Among those arguing for the Patriots to keep Harris is columnist Jim Trotter. In fact, Trotter recently listed Harris among a group of players who deserve to be paid right now.

I had to get at least one running back on this list because, generally speaking, RBs are underpaid and undervalued. Harris gets the nod here after tying for second in the NFL last season with 15 rushing touchdowns. That alone should earn him a raise from the $965,000 he’s scheduled to make in 2022.

Obviously, rushing touchdowns are not the only metric factoring into the decision whether or not to sign Harris to a contract extension. In general, paying running back is not necessarily the best fiscal move given the recent devaluation of the position — something that is especially true given that the Patriots invested three draft picks at the position the last two years.

That said, Harris has made a strong case for himself. His productivity since 2020 as well as his development as both a runner and receiver have therefore made him a player to watch heading into his fourth year in New England.