With the combination of the salary cap and the emphasis on the passing game in today’s version of the NFL, the free agent market for running backs can be tricky. The position has been devalued by analytics so teams have spent less money on ball carriers in recent years, which isn’t good news for impending free-agent running backs like the Las Vegas Raiders’ Josh Jacobs.
That could mean Jacobs ends up being disappointed by the Raiders’ contract offer next month, and Bleacher Report’s Moe Moton weighed in on the matter.
“The Raiders have several holes to fill at guard, right tackle (if Jermaine Eluemunor hits the open market), and all across a defense that ranked 26th in scoring last season.
“On top of that, if Vegas wants to bring in quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who’s yet to decide what he wants for his future, the club would have earmark cap space for his sizeable contract.
“If the Raiders make a run at quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency, they may have to set aside $34.9 million, which is his projected market value, per Spotrac.
“As the Raiders sort out their pressing roster needs, Jacobs may have to play out the year with the franchise tag or accept a deal that’s worth less than $15 million annually, which is slightly below the top three earners at running back.
“Projected contract: One year, $10.1 million (franchise tag).”
It’s hard to argue with Moton’s logic that Jacobs seems destined to get tagged. While the Raiders have a plethora of cap space heading into March, they also have several needs up and down the roster so saving roughly $5 million could go a long way.
However, the 2022 rushing champ isn’t opposed to playing on the franchise tag, but he does have one significant condition. During the Super Bowl media week, Jacobs told Pro Football Talk that he’d be okay with the one-year deal if the Raiders improve the supporting cast around him.
Again, the cap savings from the franchise tag compared to a contract extension could help Las Vegas accomplish that goal, but that means nothing if general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels can’t lure other players to Sin City. This will be the biggest test of the duo’s recruiting efforts to date, and failing could cost them arguably the best player on the roster from last season.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Ziegler talks QB search: find out what the GM had to say about the Raiders' journey to find a new signal-caller, as well as any other news from this week on the Holder’s Handful podcast.
- Aaron Rodgers to Vegas is unlikely: “The low end,” Vinny Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal replied to a question on the Raiders’ likelihood of landing Rodgers. “The cost to get him + the cost to pay him + the limited amount of time he would commit to them = a major drag on the draft and financial capital required in the process to build a championship-caliber roster.”
- Joey Porter Jr. named ideal fit for Las Vegas: “The Raiders would make sense as a destination for Porter,” writes B/R’s Alex Ballentine. “They played the ninth-highest rate of man coverage despite dealing with injuries at cornerback all season.
- Jalen Ramsey on the trade block: The Rams have had trade talks about six-time Pro Bowl CB Jalen Ramsey and league sources now believe it’s very likely Ramsey is dealt in the coming weeks, per Tom Pelissero.