Heading into the Las Vegas Raiders training camp, one of the biggest storylines to watch is Josh Jacobs’ contract situation.
Jacobs was recently in Las Vegas, hosting the annual Hard Count Athletics Football camp for the local youths, and caught up with Fox 5’s Paloma Villicana. The running back spoke about how he’s “feeling great” this offseason and feels explosive in a video that Villicana posted on Twitter.
Villicana also reported that “a source close to Jacobs” says if he and the Raiders can’t reach an agreement on a long-term deal by Monday, he will not be in attendance for training camp in a couple of weeks.
#Raiders RB Josh Jacobs tells me he's "feeling great" this offseason with no injuries, he feels "explosive".— Paloma Villicana (@PalomaFOX5News) July 13, 2023
I'm told by a source close to him that if a deal is not made between the Raiders and Josh Jacobs on Monday at 1PM. Jacobs will not be showing up for training camp. pic.twitter.com/BcnLY54iiu
Raiders’ general manager and head coach Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels infamously declined the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie deal ahead of the 2022 season, essentially putting the back in a “prove it” year. He went on to win the rushing title and proved to be an integral part of the team’s offense, accounting for 340 of the offense’s 428 rushing attempts (79.4 percent) and had over 2,000 yards from scrimmage with 12 total touchdowns.
That meant Jacobs was in for a big payday and forced Zielger and McDaniels to keep him around. The two sides weren’t able to reach an agreement on a long-term contract extension before free agency began in March, so Las Vegas applied the $10.1 million franchise tag to the rushing champ to buy some time and continue the negotiations.
However, here we are four months later and still no deal has been agreed to while the conversations appear to be stagnant. Until today, there hasn’t been much news on the situation and the only rumors that have circulated are that Jacobs could hold out into the 2023 season, as NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported.
Monday, July 17 at 1 p.m. PST is the NFL-mandated deadline for players who received the tag to reach a long-term agreement with their club, hence Jacobs’ ultimatum. After that, unless the Raiders lift the tag, he can either play on the one-year, $10.1 million contract or continue to hold out.
Las Vegas can’t fine Jacobs for missing camp or any games, if it gets that far, since he isn’t under contract. Essentially, the only thing he’d be sacrificing is the eight-figure salary mentioned above. We’ll see if he ends up turning that down.