The Las Vegas Raiders are well into training camp and star running back Josh Jacobs is staying away and there is a chance his protest over not getting a contract extension could linger.
There have been reports that Jacobs’ could stay way from the team until the regular season, which begins Sept. 10 at the Denver Broncos.
This is the Raiders’ first high-profile contract squabble since 2018 when their star pass-rusher Khalil Mack held out all offseason (Jacobs stayed away from OTAs and the minicamp as well this year) and Mack held out until he was traded to the Chicago Bears, for a massive draft pick package eight days before the regular season began.
Does that mean Jacobs will have the same fate and end up being traded? Well, that is an option, but the Mack situation was different as is all of these instances.
The biggest difference was that Mack’s saga happened with the previous regime. In is first year back with the Raiders, former coach Jon Gruden spoke often about Mack’s desire to get a new contract going into his final season of his contract.
Soon, Mack’s holdout appeared to get personal between the player and the coach he never played for.
The Raiders never truly got close to giving Mack what he wanted and there were reports that Mack intended never to play for Gruden.
The coach, who had final say with all moves, gave in and traded Mack.
Again, that could happen in the Jacobs’ situation. But current Raiders’ coach Josh McDaniels has spoke glowingly of Jacobs, who had a great season under him last year.
So because this is a franchise tag situation and the two sides know each other, this is a different situation than the Mack situation even though it understandably gives fans flashbacks of a terrible situation.
If Jacobs’ time in Las Vegas comes to an end, it will likely because of the realities of how running backs are valued financially in the league rather than a weight of a personal rift like the Raiders dealt with five years ago.