Winners/Losers From Josh Jacobs Potential Return To The Raiders

Winners/Losers Should Josh Jacobs Return To The Las Vegas Raiders in 2023

Is Josh Jacobs going to re-join the Las Vegas Raiders in 2023? His teammates hope so, and The Raider Ramble’s Alex Monfreda claims all signs point to just that. The return of the star ball carrier is vital to the team’s success in 2023.

If this comes to fruition, and Jacobs does return to Sin City, it paints some clear winners and losers from the situation. Which side should be celebrating? Which should be worrying? This negotiation will set the table for all those who come after Jacobs at the running back position.

Winner: Raiders GM Dave Ziegler

In our presented scenario of Jacobs returning, Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler would be right when he said that the situation would work out. Regardless of whether or not you agree with how the NFL is treating running backs, it was a shrewd move by Ziegler. Vegas would now have the league’s defending rushing champion back on another one-year deal for just over $10 million.

On top of that, the Raiders still have the option to use the franchise tag on Jacobs again next year for just over $12 million. At a position where giving out big contracts has rarely worked out, going year-to-year with an elite player is about as good as it gets for a GM.

Loser: NFL Running Backs

The infamous Zoom call held by the league’s top running backs will be for naught if Jacobs returns. Two of the most high-profile holdouts — Jacobs and Saquon Barkley — both appear to be “caving” without getting much, if anything, in return.

This was supposed to be a time when premier running backs finally took a stand and demanded fairer deals. Instead, they have sent the message to teams that they will ultimately capitulate. General managers league-wide will see what has happened this month as evidence that weaponizing the franchise tag is the right move.

Winner: Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo

No Raiders player benefits from Jacobs’ return more than Garoppolo. Las Vegas’ new signal caller will likely find his job much easier with the defending rushing champ behind him in the backfield. Historically, ‘Jimmy G’ has been a solid quarterback who manages the game well but won’t carry a team. He needs a strong running game to be successful. Having Jacobs back guarantees that Garoppolo doesn’t have to do it all on his own.

Loser: Zamir White

This section is an obvious one. Nobody stood to gain more from Jacobs’ absence than White. So far this preseason, White has been the feature back of the Raider offense. If Josh Jacobs is back for the season opener, White will go back to subbing in here and there.

White is the most affected by Jacobs’ return because he doesn’t have as much of a defined role as someone like Ameer Abdullah. The former Cornhusker will still get plenty of touches as a change-of-pace back and in passing situations regardless. The same cannot be said for White.

The former Georgia star doesn’t offer special enough traits to justify taking Jacobs off the field. He lacks the superior size to take on goal-line duties, lacks blazing speed, and is not a dynamic receiver. White seems destined to spend another year as a backup with the Raiders.

Winner: Raider Nation

When Jacobs’ situation started getting ugly back in July, the first thought for most of the fan base was likely, “Here we go again.” Pretty much every member of Raider Nation has a closet full of obsolete jerseys. Personally, I just hung up my Derek Carr jersey with my Darren McFadden, Jamarcus Russell, and Randy Moss ones. I’m sure many reading this also have Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, and Darren Waller jerseys collecting dust somewhere.

It has been a while since the Raiders kept a star player for most of their career. One could argue that the last one was Tim Brown. The prospect of losing Jacobs was frustrating, to say the least. While he still may not be locked up for the long term, getting him back for at least one more year is reason for optimism.

Loser: Those Betting the Under on the Raiders Win Total

According to Draft Kings, the over/under for the Raiders’ win total this year is set at 6.5. For the under to hit, Vegas must fail to surpass last year’s total of six wins. Without Jacobs, it would be reasonable to expect the team to regress. He accounted for about a third of the team’s total yards from scrimmage in 2022. The return of Josh Jacobs, coupled with the team naturally improving in year two under McDaniels, should ensure that the Raiders win at least seven games this year.


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