Some national media members made quite a stir when Jacobs started and played two series in the game. There was instantly chatter that perhaps the new Las Vegas regime will be open to trading Jacobs, four months after they didn’t exercise his fifth-year option, thus making him an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Yet on Monday, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels denied the team is open to trading Jacobs. Of course, anything can happen, but there are plenty of reasons why keeping Jacobs this season in the wise decision.
He can help:
Jacobs is a good player and he is currently the Raiders’ best running back. For a team that has a varied offense and big postseason hopes, they are better with him than without him. Plus, with him being a running back and a pending free agent, it’s not like Las Vegas would get a ton in return for him. If Jacobs leaves in free agency, they could get as much as a third-round comp draft pick in 2024 for him. Even it it’s just for one more year, the Raiders are better off with Jacobs than without him.
Get as much out of him as possible:
With him probably leaving in free agency, the Raiders might as well get as much as they can out of him in 2022. Run him hard and run him often.
We all know injuries happen at a high rate at the running back position. Yes, the Raiders think they will be deep at running back, but you never know. They love rookie Zamir White and they also have others such as Kenyan Drake, Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah. But if one or two of these players get banged up, having Jacobs will be a very important aspect of this offense.
I don’t think the fact that Jacobs played some time on Thursday is an indication that the Raiders don’t love him. I think that was evident when they didn’t give him the fifth-year option. They just don’t highly value him. But that is more of a big-picture issue and doesn’t mean he can’t help them in 2022.