Over the last several months, trade rumors have been swirling surrounding Las Vegas Raiders starting running back Josh Jacobs.
The whispers began back in April when the new regime decided to decline the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie contract, and then the rumblings became a little louder when the Raiders spent two of their six draft picks on running backs. It also didn’t help that they signed veterans Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdulah in free agency.
Despite all of that, Jacobs remained on the roster and it seemed like we could put any trade rumors to rest. Then the Hall of Fame game happened.
While several other starters took the night off, the 2019 first-round pick participated in a handful of series in last Thursday’s preseason contest, leading some to speculate that head coach Josh McDaniels was trying to showcase him for any potential trade partners.
However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport addressed the rumors and said Las Vegas isn’t looking to deal Jacobs.
“As of right now, he is their best running back and rarely do you see teams look to trade their best player at any position, let alone someone who is due just...$2.1 million this year,” said Rapoport. And that’s probably the strongest argument anyone can make as to why the Raiders will keep their leading rusher over the last three seasons.
UPDATE: Monday, McDaniels also shot down the rumors.
.@Raiders HC Josh McDaniels shot down any speculation that the Raiders were/are shopping Josh Jacobs— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) August 8, 2022
Sure, some may point to the Kansas City Chiefs sending their best wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, to the Miami Dolphins as one example of a team trading their best player at a position. But Hill was seeking a $30 million per year contract, which was a $12 million raise from his previous contract. For reference, Christian McCaffery is the league’s highest-paid running back on a per-year basis at just over $16 million, so Hill’s situation is pretty different from Jacobs’, economically.
Rapoport would go on to reiterate what McDaniels said after the game, that Jacobs’ preseason action was for the Raiders’ staff to get a look at their running back and this strategy is in line with the “Belichick way”. Pro Football Focus’s Nathan Jahnke pointed out that Patriots’ running backs Damien Harris and James White took eight and four snaps, respectively, during New England’s first two drives of last year’s preseason.
So, people can speculate and look into the snap counts all they want over the next month, but it sounds like Jacobs isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Davante Adams video meant to be private: “This was supposed to be strictly for Chad given he asked for teach tape. He struggled to contain his enthusiasm which is why this clip is on social media. Never wanna put my teammates out there like that…Nate is one of the best young DB’s I’ve been around,” the wideout tweeted in response to the viral video of him beating Nate Hobbs.
- Quick slants, preseason opener: our Ray Aspuria shares his throughs on the Raiders' first bout of 2022.
- Charles Woodson vouches for Lester Hayes: the Hall of Fame defensive back tweeted at the Hall of Fame that another legendary Raiders corner should get a gold jacket.
- Recap Cliff Branch’s enshrinement: Raiders Wire did an excellent job compiling videos and recapping the legendary wideout’s induction into the Hall of Fame.