Hindsight is always 20/20 but it’s looking like the Las Vegas Raiders made a big mistake by not picking up running back Josh Jacobs’ fifth-year option. He’s having an unbelievable season, ranking fourth among running backs with 821 rushing yards and is tied for fourth with seven rushing touchdowns. On top of that, he has the fifth-most yards after contact (589) and is tied for second at the position with 53 missed tackles forced, one behind Nick Chubb.
The fifth-year option would have come with about a $8 million price tag, which is a steep price to pay for a running back, but Jacobs is now looking at getting top dollar as a free agent. According to OverTheCap.com, Christian McCaffery is currently the NFL’s highest paid back at about $16 million per year, so the Raiders, or whoever decides to pick up Jacobs, can expect to spend about that much on the soon-to-be free agent.
Ari Meirov listed the league’s top impending free agent running backs and had Jacobs slated as no. 2 behind the New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley. Here’s what Meirov had to say about the Raiders’ rusher:
2022 Snaps: 420
Overall grade: 91.6 (1st)
PFF WAR: 0.14 (2nd)
Earlier this year, the Raiders declined Jacobs’ fifth-year option that would’ve paid him $8 million for the 2023 season. The Alabama product seems to have taken that personally and has gone on to be PFF’s highest-graded running back through 10 weeks.
Jacobs is top-five in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, yards after contact, missed tackles forced and 10-plus-yard runs. He will be 25 years old in February.
Who knows what Dave Zeigler and Josh McDaniels will do with the team’s offensive MVP this offseason, but they’ll have to write a big check to keep the back around for the foreseeable future.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Which coach is fired first, McDaniels or Hackett?: we dove into that question and a few others on this week’s Behind Enemy Lines podcast.
- Raiders still searching for pass rush answers: “They are last in the NFL with 3.24% of sacks coming on opposing passing attempts. And that’s with Crosby tied for 10th in the league with seven sacks; the rest of the team has three combined,” via David Becker of the AP.
- Denzel Perryman practices: the linebacker missed last week’s game with hip and ribs injuries but returned to practice in a limited capacity on Wednesday.
- Youngsters impressing coaches: “I think [Luke Masterson and Sam Webb] really are two quality young players that we were fortunate to get them when we did after the draft,” McDaniels said. “I think just two good examples of guys that have really been out there every day and they’ve really progressed throughout the course of the of the year.”