NFL teams have no issues selecting running backs high in the draft process, much as the Las Vegas Raiders did with Josh Jacobs, the 24th pick in 2019. Yet, when it comes to paying running backs market value on their second contract after years of wear and tear on their knees and ankles, sometimes there’s a problem.
Jacobs, who led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards, and yards from scrimmage (2,053) while receiving more touches (393) than any other player in the 2022-23 season, is headed for free agency now that his rookie contract is set to expire. The Raiders could have avoided all this by picking up Jacobs’ fifth-year option for $8 million in 2024, but evidently, the franchise opted against it last offseason.
Now, as one of the best running backs available in a market full of capable rushers, Jacobs is set to be paid much more than just $8 million next year. With free agency set to begin on March 15, the next step for Jacobs and the Raiders is deciding whether to extend their four-year partnership into a fifth year.
Yet, on Saturday, Jacobs noted that he hasn’t begun negotiating a potential contract extension with the Raiders’ front office. But the first-team All-Pro selection reportedly expects discussions to pick up next week, meaning there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in the Silver and Black in 2024.
On the other hand, if the Raiders are planning to place the $10 million franchise tag for running backs on Jacobs, there could be a problem. When The Athletic’s Tashan Reed asked Jacobs if he would take offense to receiving the franchise tag, Jacobs simply replied, “Hero turned villain.”
In other words, the Raiders better figure out a way to agree to a long-term extension with their soon-to-be 25-year-old running back.
Related: Las Vegas Raiders: What it will cost to keep Josh Jacobs
Josh Jacobs is NOT a fan of the 2023 Pro Bowl Games
Perhaps one of the reasons why Jacobs and the Raiders have yet to get too serious in contract discussions is due to the starting running back’s participation in the NFL’s 2023 Pro Bowl Games, which has a new format this year. Not only is Jacobs participating, but Allegiant Stadium, home of the Raiders, is hosting the ‘reimagined’ Pro Bowl Games.
While the biggest event, the flag football game set for Sunday, has yet to take place, it’s obvious that Jacobs isn’t a fan of the other festivities of the week so far.
It turns out, not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. It sounds like Jacobs would much rather be out in Hawaii, where the Pro Bowl has been for 35 years.
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