Besides the upcoming NFL Draft, one of the biggest remaining storylines surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders is what they’ll do when it comes to running back Josh Jacobs’ contract.
It’s a saga that has been going on since about this time last year when general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels opted to decline the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie deal. He famously went on to win the rushing title so the front office slapped the franchise tag on him at the beginning of March with the idea being that the tag will buy them more time to reach a long-term deal.
However, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the two parties are not currently engaging in negotiations.
“Jacobs joins fellow running backs Saquon Barkley and Tony Pollard in the NFL’s new world order,” Bonsignore wrote, “as each produced more than 1,000 yards rushing in the last year of their contracts in 2022, only to be hit with the franchise tag by their respective teams this offseason rather than sign long-term extensions.
“Jacobs and the Raiders have not yet engaged in any meaningful talks, although that could change at any moment. With so much focus on the upcoming NFL draft, it stands to reason both sides will reconvene after the draft to try to find some common ground.”
Bonsignore went on to state that team owner Mark Davis called Jacobs the “heart of the team last year”, a strong statement for the guy signing the checks ahead of what appears to be a complicated contract negotiation that could get contentious.
During Super Bowl media week, Jacobs told Pro Football Talk:
“Obviously, I wouldn’t want to get franchise tagged. I feel like nobody really does,” Jacobs said. “But, to me, I wouldn’t mind it if they got the right guys in the building around us. [If] they got some guys on defense, figure out the quarterback situation, got some guys up front, then I would be like, ‘OK, I really wouldn’t mind coming back on the franchise tag.’”
Who knows if the Raiders’ offseason moves are to Jacobs’ liking, but he hasn’t signed the franchise tender yet and won’t be able to participate in any team activities until he does.
Obviously, there’s still plenty of time for both parties to reach an agreement on a long-term deal but don’t expect a resolution anytime soon.
In other Raiders links:
- Isaiah Zuber waived: the wideout was on the practice squad last year, and the team also parted ways with punter Julian Diaz.
- Raiders expected to draft a corner at 7: “While a signal-caller is possible at No. 7 — if one of the top guys is even still on the board — I’ve been told not to rule out a cornerback there by someone with knowledge of the team’s strategy. Paul [Gutierrez] and I are hearing the same thing,” ESPN’s Jordan Reid wrote.
- McDaniels pays it forward: in a partnership with Nike, the head coach and organization donated equipment to local high school programs.
- Happy anniversary Sebas: 23 years ago yesterday, the Raiders made the Polish Hammer the fifth kicker/punter drafted in the first round. No other kicker or punter has been selected that high since.