The Las Vegas Raiders are on their way to having a formidable one-two punch in their offensive backfield. However, the future is uncertain for at least one of those running backs, Josh Jacobs.
As most Raiders fans are aware by now, the organization didn’t exercise his fifth-year option earlier this offseason. Some were surprised, but others felt it was a predictable move by a new regime. This new team brass headed by Dave Ziegler doesn’t have any ties to previously drafted players. Think of it as a clean slate, even though Jacobs almost single-handedly carried the Raiders into the playoffs late last year. Regrettably, the NFL is a business first, and whether Jacobs likes it or not, he plays an expendable position that’s clearly valued differently by this new brain trust. Regardless, the second player in the Raiders’ two-headed beast, Kenyan Drake, expressed a supportive stance for his backfield partner.
Speaking with the media today in Henderson, Drake elaborated on the situation with Jacobs right now as the season inches closer.
“Josh is a guy that’s been through a lot in his life. It’s well documented, obviously. And he loved the game of football. At the end of the day, he’s going to challenge the energy of everything around him to continue to elevate his game personally.”
Josh Jacobs’ teammates fully support him going into the 2022 season
Obviously, both fans and players are appreciative of Jacobs’ efforts last season. It’s not entirely shocking to see that Drake believes in him. Of course, Jacobs is going to take the fact that his contract wasn’t extended and flip the narrative. An event such as that is excellent motivational fuel for a professional athlete. On the flip side, Jacobs has always seemed to be a player that appreciates his teammates, and if they support him, everybody wins. Let’s face it, a contract dispute can have quite the ripple effect on a locker room.
“I know that he’s somebody that likes to have a lot of people around him that believe in him, and at the end of the day, we believe in him regardless of whatever the circumstances are with his contract. He is not thinking about that. He’s thinking about today, July 28th, going out there and giving his best. And the guys around him are going to continue to uplift him and vice versa.”
For the time being, Jacobs has to ride out the 2022 season and once again, prove himself. His Raiders teammates support him and barring injury, he’ll deliver when he has the ball.
*Top Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images