The Las Vegas Raiders began the journey to the 2023 NFL season on Monday when their offseason program started. However, one key piece is missing, as NFL Media reported that star running back Josh Jacobs is staying away from the program.
The Raiders gave Jacobs the franchise tag this offseason and he has not signed the tender. Thus, he is not at the workouts, which are voluntary.
#Raiders RB Josh Jacobs and #Jaguars TE Evan Engram haven’t signed their franchise tenders and won’t report for voluntary offseason programs today, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 17, 2023
They join Lamar Jackson and Saquon Barkley as franchise players expected to be absent as players return to work today.
The fact that Jacobs is not attending the offseason program could just be a minor issue at this time of year — or it could be an indication that Jacobs will holdout once training camp starts in July. The only mandatory session before then is a June minicamp.
All franchise-tagged players have until mid July to come to an agreement on a long-term deal. They can sign their franchise tags and then come to an agreement on an extension.
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels has said multiple times the team would like to come to a deal with Jacobs, who won the NFL rushing title with 1,653 yards in 2022.
If Jacobs, 25, doesn’t sign a long-term contract, he will play the season on the franchise tag. Then next year, the process would begin over with another franchise tag (at a higher price), an extension or unrestricted free agency all being on the table. The 2023 franchise tag for running backs is just over $10 million for the Raiders.