Back in April, the Las Vegas Raiders declined the fifth-year option of running back Josh Jacobs. Since then, he has wreaked havoc on opposing defenses. Jacobs has totaled a league-best 1,539 rush yards through 15 games while averaging five yards per carry. The Raiders would certainly miss their offensive centerpiece, but is it worth cashing out over a running back?
Raiders Blog: The financial ramifications of keeping Josh Jacobs
A week ago, the answer to this question would have been no. Running backs are typically not the position to splurge on considering durability concerns and the league-wide surplus. However, considering the situation with quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders could find themselves with a little extra cash in 2023. If Jacobs does stay in the Silver and Black, there are a couple different contract options. The first is obvious, extend Jacobs for what is projected to be around $20 million over three years. The second option would be to use the franchise tag, costing anywhere from $9.5 to $12.5 million for the season, maybe more.
When healthy, Jacobs has lived up to his first-round hype. The issue, however, is that Jacobs has only enjoyed two healthy seasons, with 2022 being his first since his rookie year. The fourth-year running back could cut the Raiders a team-friendly deal to keep him around as a part of the club’s future. Unfortunately, with multiple running back needy teams monitoring the situation, there’s almost surely going to be heavy competition.
Planning for 2023 and beyond
If the Raiders decide to go quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, a solid ground game would ease the growing pains. Jacobs stated recently that he wants to be a Raider in 2023 regardless of the looming roster changes. With the Raiders selecting two running backs in their latest draft, as well as a stacked impending free agent class, they certainly have options for the future. Whether it’s Jacobs, Zamir White, or a new face, the Raiders will evaluate every possibility.
*Top Photo: NBC 3 New/Las Vegas