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Josh Jacobs’ contract situation: What’s next?

Drama may just be starting

Las Vegas Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers
Josh Jacobs
Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

Now, that the NFL’s deadline for franchise tagged players to agree to a contract extension has passed, let’s look at what’s next for Las Vegas Raiders’ star running back Josh Jacobs

Will he holdout?

It’s very likely he will. A Las Vegas television station reported last week that Jacobs was planning to hold out from training camp if Monday’s deadline passed without a deal. The Raiders report to training camp in eight days at the team’s Henderson, Nevada practice facility. The first training camp practice is July 26.

NFL Media previously reported that if he does hold out Jacobs could stay away from the team into the regular season. Las Vegas opens the season at the Denver Broncos on September 10.

If Jacobs holds out and returns for the start of the season, it won’t be a huge deal. It will keep him fresh for the season. But if goes into the season, it will be a problem for the Raiders who would turn to backups such as Zamir White, Brandon Bolden and Brittain Brown.

Jacobs can’t be fined for holding out because of his franchise-tag situation. Had the Raiders given him the fifth-year option last year (at $8 million), he could have been fined for holding out.

Raiders can rescind tender:

The Raiders can withdraw the franchise tag of just more than $10 million this year and make Jacobs a free agent. That is unlikely, but it’s possible. Half the NFL is paying its entire running back room less that $10 million in 2023. Jacobs would have a market in free agency, but most teams will likely be reluctant to give any running back a massive deal.

They can trade him:

Jacobs can be traded and perhaps it will get to that point if the Raiders feel like they will never come to a deal with Jacobs and they feel like he will sit all season. There’s a long way to go for this scenario to develop. But the potential for this to get ugly now exists.

Next year:

Jacobs, 25, and the Raiders can’t talk about a new deal until after the season. The Raiders could also give him the franchise tag next year at more than $12 million. If Jacobs plays this year and next year on that tag, he will likely leave after the 2024 season. The chances of the Raiders giving Jacobs a long-term deal in a year may be unlikely. If they wanted to do it, they would do it with less wear-and-tear on Jacobs. But there was a report Monday that a deal was close Monday, so maybe there is hope down the road, but a lot can change.


There is still a long way to go here and this can end several ways, but the likely scenario is Jacobs stay away for training camp and then return shortly before the start of the season, September 10 at the Denver Broncos. Giving up money at a position where the market has stalled is a tough decision to make for a player. But, now that we’ve made it to this point, everything is on the table. Buckle up for a long, potentially bumpy road.