The goal this offseason of Las Vegas Raiders star running back Josh Jacobs, of course, is to secure a long-term contract.
Jacobs, who won the 2022 NFL rushing crown with 1,653 yards, has stated he wants to return to the Raiders, who drafted him with the No. 24 overall draft pick in the 2019 draft and then declined his fifth-year option last spring. That triggered his pending free agency.
Of course, Jacobs also stated that any deal to return to Las Vegas “would have to make sense.” So, it’s clear Jacobs will be seeking fair market value this offseason.
Of course, the Raiders can franchise or transition tag Jacobs, but his goal will be to get a long-term deal, whether it’s with the Raiders or on the open market. Former NFL agent Joel Corry, who is an expert on NFL contracts, recently stated on Twitter that Jacobs will be looking to average double digits a year in annual salary.
There are 8 RBs with deals averaging $12M per year or more. The market then takes a steep drop to $7M per year with James Conner & Leonard Fournette. I expect Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard & Miles Sanders to all seek in excess of $10M per year. https://t.co/4NXqetjP2x— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) January 11, 2023
According to OvertheCap.com, eight running backs played with a contract that averaged, at least. $12 million a year in 2022. No other tailback averaged more than $8 million a year. San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey was the highest paid running back with an average of just more than $16 million a year.
With Jacobs being 25 this season, coming off his first full season combined with everything he brings on the field, I don’t see him settling for anything less than $13 million a year and I could even see his price tag being higher.
While the Raiders can franchise Jacobs (that is expected to be around $10 million this season), they will likely rather give him a long-term deal. Overthecap has the Raiders sitting with a projected $34 million in salary-cap room in 2023. They can always create more.
So, there is room for a Jacobs deal although they do need to address quarterback, the offensive line and every layer of the defense this offseason.
Still, Jacobs’ situation is a huge part of this offseason and he is going to expect to be part at the top of the running back market this year whether it’s with the Raiders or elsewhere.