Would the Las Vegas Raiders actually trade running back Josh Jacobs? Following an impressive performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars, rumors are swirling, though nothing concrete has surfaced. Still, trading away a Pro Bowl-level talent at that position doesn’t make sense going into this season.
One of the things that set off social media was the supposed Instagram belonging to Jacobs, who posted a story in which he said goodbye to Raiders fans. However, fans were duped. Jacobs has a verified account and the one that made the post is obviously a phony. Regardless, the notion that a star running back was playing in a meaningless preseason game set off a debate. In fact, several outlets are already naming teams that “should” trade for Jacobs. Among the ones listed, you have the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now, as far as why Jacobs was playing against the Jaguars, head coach Josh McDaniels offered his explanation.
“I always think it’s good for backs to carry the ball in the preseason. There [are] a lot of things that happen when you’re getting tackled and hit that you can’t simulate in practice. I think all our guys had the ball tonight. I think all our guys either caught it or were handed the ball and had to get tackled. We can’t really simulate that or rep that in practice.”
The Raiders will need Josh Jacobs this season
Zamir White has been receiving a lot of hype this offseason, and after fans saw a sample size of his potential, it has only grown. White might be a long-term answer for the Raiders, but as far as 2022 goes, Jacobs is still the best option.
You could certainly make the argument that Jacobs is going to be on another team after this season. McDaniels and the new approach to the running back position will lead to a committee approach. That means a player in that position won’t be seeing a big pay day with both McDaniels and Dave Ziegler in charge. Be that as it may, the Silver and Black can still milk every bit of Jacobs in 2022 without a long-term commitment, if that’s what is going to happen.
From a certain perspective, you can make a case that Jacobs is the best pure rusher on the roster. Have people forgotten that he has had 66 broken tackles over the last three years and has accumulated 1,653 yards after contact during that stretch? According to Pro Football Focus, Jacobs is the fourth-most elusive NFL running back. He’s up there with Nick Chubb and Javonte Williams. All in all, Jacobs had 57 forced missed tackles. No matter which way you look at it, Jacobs is one of the best running backs right now.
For a team that’s on the cusp of becoming a perennial playoff team, moving on from Jacobs before the season gets underway will undermine that. No matter the compensation, it’s unlikely that it will substitute for Jacobs’ impact. Can you flip him for a good right tackle? That’s doubtful. Besides, why take that route when you still have players like Daryl Williams available? If you’re trying to maximize what you can potentially accomplish this season, you should keep Jacobs to complement Derek Car and Co.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/AJ Mast