Last week, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline reported that the Las Vegas Raiders will likely apply the franchise tag to soon-to-be free agent running back Josh Jacobs. The Athletic’s Tashan Reed asked Jacobs if he’d be willing to play under the tag and the rushing champ delivered a rather cryptic quote, stating: “Hero turned villain.”
During an interview with Pro Football Talk at the Super Bowl, Jacobs expanded on his quote and said that he’d be willing to play under the franchise tag next season, but only if the Raiders load up at all other positions and add players around him. PFT’s Chris Simms also tweeted that the running back told him and Mike Florio: “if you want me to come back as the hero, you better pay me like the hero.”
So, Jacobs is willing to play on the one-year, roughly $10.1 million contract but wants to make sure general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels improve the rest of the roster as well.
It’s hard to blame Jacobs seeing as Zielger and McDaniels essentially gave him a “prove-it” contract last season by declining his fifth-year option, and he proceeded to have the second-best season of any running back in franchise history. With the team going 6-11 despite his success, it’s understandable that he’d want to ensure the team is committed to winning next year before suiting up without a long-term deal. He is a competitor after all.
It’s also worth noting that Las Vegas could tag and trade Jacobs, similar to what the Green Bay Packers did with Davante Adams last offseason. That way the team would at least get something back instead of just letting him walk in free agency.
Unless the Raiders offer a multi-year contract that’s to the running back’s liking, it sounds like this will be a long, drawn-out process. The window to apply the franchise tag begins on February 21 but ends on March 7 while free agency doesn’t start until March 15.
So, Jacobs likely won’t sign the tag until about the beginning of April to see what other moves Ziegler and McDaniels make. And we could be waiting even longer if the back wants to also see how the NFL Draft plays out.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Jacobs wins FedEx Ground POY: he chose Langston University in Oklahoma as the HBCU to receive a $20,000 donation from FedEx in his honor, per Kyle T. Mosley.
- Derek Carr back at Saints HQ: Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football tweeted that the soon-to-be former Raiders quarterback spent a second day with the Saints after Wednesday’s meeting ended at 10:30 pm.
- Riley Moss potential draft target?: “Iowa ballhawk is what Las Vegas secondary sorely needs,” says our Ray Aspuria.
- The Perfect 10: FOX is set to air a documentary on the 10 players who have won the Heisman Trophy and have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, which includes three Raiders; Tim Brown, Marcus Allen and Charles Woodson.
- Jacobs wins first-ever Jim Brown award: the trophy will be given to every rushing champion moving forward.