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NFL Teams Offer Running Backs Candy, Foosball in Lieu of Pay Raise

Employee recognition is important.

In a groundbreaking attempt to address the perennial issue of running back compensation, NFL teams have unveiled a new solution: offering snacks and a foosball table in lieu of a pay raise. 

"I am happy to see that our owners and players managed to find common ground," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was overheard counting last season’s league record revenue. "We recognize that while the NFL has evolved into a passing league, our running backs still work hard and deserve the compensation they’re entitled to - literal peanuts.”

The snack assortment will vary by team but reportedly includes an array of treats beyond each team’s already gourmet meal offerings that would make even Willy Wonka jealous. From the finest gourmet popcorn to organic fruit gummies, running backs will now be able to indulge their sweet or savory cravings.

“I guess something is better than nothing,” said Tennesee Titans running back Derrick Henry said, "I would have preferred more money, but being able to grab a Snickers bar or bag of Doritos any time I want is also a pretty sweet perk that will temporarily make me forget about the financial compensation I am seeking."

Despite some players like Henry publicly embracing the novelty of the new solution, most running backs and their agents are understandably less than enthused. 

Agent Jonathan Simmons expressed skepticism, saying, "One of my clients probably won’t be able to walk or remember who he is past 60 years old, but yeah, tell me more about the free La Croix."

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A source tells End of the Bench that some teams have even gone above providing snacks and foosball, including Donut Fridays, randomly handing out Starbucks gift cards and even installing a karaoke machine in the break room. 

"We wanted our players to feel special, you know? They are incredibly valued employees, er, players, in our organization and we want them to feel that every single day they come to work," remarked one team's general manager. "They may not be getting paid more, but they certainly won’t go home sad after stopping by the on-site bar for our new Wednesday happy hours!"

As players enjoy their newfound funhouses, financial experts and those around the league are left scratching their heads.

Economist Paul Atlas commented on Twitter, "It's an unprecedented move, to say the least. I'm not sure how this will affect their 401(k)s or their ability to cover any of the career and possibly life-threatening injuries they’re likely to sustain, but it’s true what they say, there’s nothing more valuable in the world than a brand-new foosball table."

With the NFL's bold experiment in full swing, only time will tell if this quirky compensation strategy will pay off for the players in the long run. 

And if it doesn’t?

“Well, they’re still making more than the kickers, who technically score the most points on every team.” 

End of the Bench will have more as this story develops.

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