Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs

One Has To Wonder If Josh Jacobs’ Situation Will Affect Raiders’ Locker Room

The saga involving Josh Jacobs and the Las Vegas Raiders is getting analyzed from every angle this week. Still, there’s an important aspect that’s getting overlooked: the rest of the locker room.

Team brass setting themselves up for some sort of mutiny at this point isn’t a far-fetched theory. As Raider Nation recalls, they saw a coach and brain trust lose the locker room not that long ago (allegedly).The circumstances were quite different; that’s not arguable. The country was beset by a nationwide movement that NFL players weren’t going to ignore. It all came to head on Monday Night Football back in 2017 in Washington, D.C. Some players kneeled, some didn’t. Following that loss, the Silver and Black lost their way. In turn, Jon Gruden returned, and the rest is history, unfortunately.

Josh Jacobs and the Raiders’ locker room: something, or nothing at all?

No one’s comparing Jacobs’ struggle to get paid with what went down back in 2017. Rather, it goes to show you how an action (or lack of) can set off a chain reaction of events. By all accounts, Jacobs is a locker room leader; he was a captain last season and an All-Pro. Are we expected to believe that 53 men will carry on so normally without one of their figureheads?

Davante Adams famously posed with Jacobs signaling “money,” alluding to the notion that the Raiders ought to pay the running back. Even owner Mark Davis praised Jacobs during the offseason. Yet, as we all know, general manager Dave Ziegler has final say over the roster. You’d think such appreciation from the man in the owner’s box would carry some weight. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what all of this means with regard to Jacobs—there’s a united front behind No. 8.

NFL players are professionals, first and foremost. That much is common knowledge. All the same, they’re also human beings. Seeing one of their own get certain treatment is going to cause a reaction; whether people want to believe it or not is another matter entirely. From a fan’s perspective, they expect players to act accordingly. Unfortunately, the Raiders have gone through so much turnover over the last couple of years that sooner or later, something has to give.

Las Vegas’ locker room has already been through enough this offseason

Don’t underestimate what the group of men who call Allegiant Stadium their home have been through this offseason. How well is this Josh Jacobs situation going to go over in the already-discouraged locker room?

The Raider Ramble’s own Alex Monfreda expanded on this aspect of things earlier in the week.

“Las Vegas was supposed to set the league on fire in 2022. With Davante Adams now in town, there was no way the team would move backwards from their 10-7 campaign the year prior. Well, when you manage to break the long-standing NFL record for most single-season losses in games where you had a double-digit lead at the half, you tend to take steps in the wrong direction. For the Raiders, this meant going from a postseason berth in ’21, to a 6-11 record in ’22.

Worse than that, the locker room watched as the team’s near-decade pillar of leadership, Derek Carr, was cut mid-February. In March, Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller was next to be escorted out of Las Vegas. Both of these players had signed contract extensions in the 2022 offseason, only to be tossed before their extensions kicked in. Trent Sieg was another player who was replaced, and, per The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, multiple players on the roster weren’t happy with his release. All three of these players were once team captains; now the locker room has to watch another team captain get replaced?”

This is certainly something not many fans are thinking of. You can find what each of us at The Raider Ramble have to say about the Jacobs situation, here.

Is JJ8 being taken for granted?

Team chemistry is a fragile thing; you can only jettison so many players before the fear of the unknown sets in. Picture this: if you’re a Raiders player and you just saw the quarterback that broke passing records for the organization get the boot, unceremoniously no less, you’ll have to ask yourself, “How much of a chance do I have?” NFL running backs have been devalued; that’s fine. It doesn’t mean players are going to be ok with it, though. If a player who delivered and then some is being lowballed, what kind of organization is said player coming into?

Yes, we’ve heard and seen several Raiders players singing the praises of head coach Josh McDaniels. Or how can you forget Adams posing with Ziegler during the offseason? However, in the grand scheme of things, does it mean that the locker room is completely and utterly behind the duo? The answer is that we don’t know; in fact, no one knows. Each player on that roster is an individual with their own thoughts and opinions, like you and me. Of course, the NFL is a business first, but actions and body language all tell different stories.

Everyone is saying all the right things right now. If the team starts off with a handful of losses, then what? Will players (and fans) question the “process?” As the season goes on, whether Josh Jacobs plays for the Raiders or not, we’ll certainly have to monitor all of this.

There is only one way to find out; stay tuned, folks.

*Top Photo: Official Raiders YouTube Channel

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