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Reigning NFL rushing champion Josh Jacobs hit with franchise tag

In a move many expected, Las Vegas Raiders star running back Josh Jacobs has been hit with the franchise tag. This comes one day before the deadline to place the tag on players ahead of NFL free agency starting next week.

According to our estimation, placing the tag on Jacobs will cost Las Vegas $10.09 million against the 2023 NFL salary cap. Though, it also gives general manager Dave Ziegler and Co. a ton of time to sign Jacobs to a long-term contract.

A first-round pick of the Raiders back in 2019, Jacobs has earned two Pro Bowl appearances in four seasons. The former Alabama standout is also coming off a career-best season in which he became the first Raiders player since Marcus Allen (1985) to lead the league in rushing.

  • Josh Jacobs stats (2022): 340 attempts, 1,653 rushing yards, 4.9 average, 53 receptions, 400 yards, 2,053 total yards, 12 TD

For the Raiders, this move comes on the very same day that they officially lost longtime starting quarterback Derek Carr. The four-time Pro Bowler signed with the New Orleans Saints after being granted his release by Las Vegas earlier in the offseason.

Regardless of who is under center in the Sin City next season, being able to retain Jacobs will go a long way in terms of the Raiders bouncing back from a disastrous 2022 season. Of course, that’s dependent on another team not offering up two first-round picks to pry Jacobs from Vegas via the franchise tag.

Related: Josh Jacobs and the top 2023 NFL free agents

It’s also interesting that Las Vegas would decide to hand Josh Jacobs the franchise tag. It was just last offseason that Ziegler and new head coach Josh McDaniels opted against picking up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. The difference from a financial standpoint is a mere couple million.

Selected No. 24 back in 2019, Jacobs posted two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons before struggling back in 2021. He returned to form in 2022 and is now looking to be a major part of the Raiders’ future now that a franchise cornerstone in Carr is calling the Bayou home.

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