Josh Jacobs, running back for Las Vegas Raiders

Raiders officially use franchise tag on All-Pro running back Josh Jacobs

In 2022, Las Vegas Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs was a first-team All-Pro. In 2023, he was set to hit the free agent market – until the team put a stop to that by applying the franchise tag.

When general manager Dave Ziegler took over for the Raiders in 2022, he was tasked with deciding whether or not to pick up the fifth-year options on the team’s first-round picks from 2019. Ziegler elected to decline all three options, making Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram free agents-to-be at the season’s end.

Before Jacobs officially became a free agent, though, the Raiders used the franchise tag on him.

How could they not? This past season, Jacobs logged 12 rushing touchdowns, 31 broken tackles, and was responsible for 24 more first-downs on the ground than any other player in the league. Jacobs also led the league in rushing yardage by over 100, totaling 1,653 yards on the ground and winning the first ever Jim Brown Award; an honor given to the player who leads the league in rushing yards.

This type of production isn’t new, either.

Josh Jacobs has remained consistent with the Raiders

There’s some chatter about Jacobs’ consistency year-to-year, but it’s hard to find a more consistent running back across the league. Since 2019, him and Nick Chubb are the only two backs to log 20+ broken tackles on the ground each season, via Pro Football Reference.

Looking at Pro Football Focus‘ advanced stats, Josh Jacobs has been the most consistent “elusive” back since entering the NFL. In 2019, his rookie year, Jacobs’ 103.8 elusiveness grade led all backs with at least 100 carries. His 69 forced missed tackles also ranked first among running backs.

The following years fielded similar results. From ’20-’22, his total forced missed tackles ranked fifth (51), third (57) and first once again (90). Jacobs and Chubb as the only two backs to record at least 50 forced missed tackles since 2019, with Najee Harris joining as the third to do it in the last two seasons.

Inconsistent? Please.

Surprisingly, Jacobs became the first offensive player in Raiders’ history to receive the tag. Charles Woodson (x2), Nnamdi Asomugha, Richard Seymour, Kamerion Wimbley and Tyvon Branch also had the tag placed on them.

*Top photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images

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