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NFL insider expects Josh Jacobs back with Las Vegas Raiders in 2023

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs turned his fifth-year team option being declined into a breakout season. As the two-time Pro Bowl selection prepares to enter free agency, he is poised to become one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL.

Jacobs, the NFL rushing leader in 2022, set career-highs off the board. Despite playing for a team that fell far short of expectations, its 5-foot-10 running back played at an All-Pro level for the entire season.

  • Josh Jacobs stats (2022): 2,053 scrimmage yards, 12 touchdowns, 5.2 yards per play

Related: How Josh Jacobs’ contract option decline became a career-defining moment

The 24-year-old set career highs in yards per carry (4.9), rushing yards per game (97.2), first-down runs (93), receiving yards (400) and total touches (393). He became the focal point of the Raiders’ offense late in the season, averaging 25.5 carries per game from Weeks 10-15.

Poised to be one of the best offensive weapons available on the open market this spring, it appears NFL teams interested in the former Alabama running back likely won’t have a shot at him.

Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal shared on Monday that he would be shocked if Jacobs wasn’t playing for the Raiders next season.

  • Josh Jacobs career stats: 5,892 scrimmage yards, 40 total touchdowns on 1,232 touches

While the Raiders’ insider notes that surprises happen in the NFL every offseason, the confidence in Jacobs’ return isn’t surprising. Jacobs already expressed a desire to remain in Las Vegas and the interest is shared by head coach Josh McDaniels, who holds a close relationship with general manager Dave Ziegler.

Current projections for the 2023 NFL franchise tag at running back set it at $10.1 million, per OvertheCap.com. It would be a fully-guaranteed, one-year contract that would make Jacobs the ninth highest-paid running back in the NFL.

While the franchise tag would mean losing out on the security of a long-term deal, it could work out nicely for Jacobs. Las Vegas is expected to pursue quarterback Tom Brady this offseason. During the regular season, Brady’s running backs Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White combined to draw 141 targets with 123 receptions for 813 receiving yards.

If Brady heads to Las Vegas, Jacobs could have another All-Pro season in 2023 and the Raiders will likely be a playoff team.

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