Raiders Josh Jacobs Saquon Barkley

With The Running Back Market Set For 2023, All Eyes Are On Josh Jacobs

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley received the franchise tag this offseason, joining Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard as the trio of runners to have the tag placed on them in 2023. Like both Jacobs and Pollard, Barkley failed to reach a long-term agreement with his club by the time the July 17th deadline rolled around. This deadline signified the last day for players who were franchise tagged to ink contract extensions with their teams; Barkley must now wait until the end of the 2023 season to begin extension talks once again, just as Jacobs and the Raiders must wait, as well as Pollard and the Cowboys.

Barkley can, however, still sign a one-year deal to replace his franchise tag at any time. On Tuesday, that’s exactly what the 26-year-old did.

There’s no multi-year deal that ensures job security, but Barkley did manage to [slightly] up his pay for the upcoming campaign. Instead of signing his tag worth $10.1 million in guaranteed money, Saquon Barkley managed to place incentives in his contract that can boost his pay to $11 million.

It’s only a minor bump-up in pay, but progress is progress.

For running backs across the NFL, that progress is in the area of getting their position more value. For fans of the Raiders, it’s progress in getting Josh Jacobs back under contract.

Saquon Barkley has set the [one-year] market for running backs; all eyes are on Josh Jacobs and the Raiders

The market is now set, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Jacobs is rushing to work out a deal with the Raiders.

It’s a complicated situation for the 2x Pro Bowler. The money is always a good thing, but for Jacobs, that’s not what he’s most interested in. The job security of a multi-year deal is what really intrigues him, per himself.

Of course, such a deal is no longer possible this year with the deadline to reach an extension now in the rearview mirror. Not reaching an agreement wasn’t from lack of effort by the 25-year-old, though.

On the day of the deadline, with the clock ticking down, Jacobs sat in his car outside of the Raiders’ facility. He was eager to get a deal done and continue playing for the team he loves for years to come.

And he does love being part of the Silver and Black – make no mistake.

It doesn’t even seem as if Jacobs had any desire to be a free agent at all. In February, I got the chance to speak with him at the Pro Bowl. I asked him about his contract situation, and if Aaron Rodgers coming to Las Vegas would make him want to keep playing for the Raiders. At no point in his response did he suggest he needed persuading of any variety to stay in Sin City. The regular season hadn’t even concluded yet, and Josh already knew where he wanted to be.

Davante Adams wants Jacobs to stick around, too. Late last week on the Dan Patrick Show, Adams gave his thoughts on the situation.

“There’s only a handful that I feel I could go to literal war with, and he’s one of those guys. So, when I think about winning the Super Bowl and what it takes to win one, because I haven’t done that yet, I think about having a guy like him in the backfield,” the All-Pro wideout said. You can read more about the interview, here.

*Top Photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

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