After a strenuous offseason of constant back and forth, Raider Nation finally got some good news on Saturday. Josh Jacobs has been searching for a lucrative long-term extension from Vegas, even threatening to continue his holdout into the regular season.
Josh Jacobs Reaches A Compromise With The Las Vegas Raiders
Alas, cooler heads have prevailed, and the star ball carrier is returning to the only franchise he has ever known. In a modified one-year deal, Jacobs will earn up to $12 million in 2023. It is a nearly $2 million increase from the amount he’d make on the original franchise tag. This deal mirrors the one Saquon Barkley agreed to in July.
The deadline for extensions already passed for franchise-tagged players, so playing on a one-year pact was the only option for Jacobs. Well, that or sit out the entire 2023 season, which never seemed feasible. Barkley and Jacobs will have to wait until next offseason to cash out.
Now, with the contract drama on the back burner, the Raiders welcome back the NFL’s reigning leading rusher. And it couldn’t come at a better time.
Vegas will wrap up its preseason slate Saturday evening against the Dallas Cowboys. While Jacobs will not appear in the contest, his return should light a fire under the rest of the roster, especially his peers at running back.
How Does The Return Of Jacobs Impact The RB Room?
Zamir White has operated as the RB1 this preseason, posting good-not-great statistics. His ability to churn out gains in short-yardage situations is invaluable, but White noticeably lacks the big-play ability that Jacobs boasts in spades. Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden, Brittain Brown, and Sincere McCormick now face an even steeper climb to securing a roster spot.
One player who could not contain his excitement for Jacobs’ return is the Raiders’ top-tier pass rusher, Maxx Crosby. The duo infamously sat together in the parking lot as the contract extension deadline passed in July. Crosby has campaigned for Vegas to mend fences with Jacobs — and that finally happened on Saturday.
Another guy grinning from ear to ear is new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The veteran signal-caller is used to an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver and running back. His time in San Francisco showcased his ability to win games within a stacked offense.
For that success to translate to Vegas, Garoppolo desperately needs Jacobs to balance out the unit. Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Hunter Renfrow, and the rest of the pass-catching room can only do so much if the running game doesn’t carry its weight.
Josh McDaniels Has A Full Stable Of Weapons Again
With the return of Jacobs, head coach Josh McDaniels won’t have to worry about underwhelming play out of the backfield. It remains to be seen how long it will take for the Alabama product to get back into regular-season shape. But given Jacobs’ dedication to maintaining his conditioning, this should not be an issue once Week 1 arrives.
Raiders fans, rejoice. It is not often that the franchise receives good news, at least not recently. However, Josh Jacobs’ return to the Silver and Black is enough to make any fan happy. We’ll see if this is his final campaign in Sin City, but that is a worry for next offseason.
Soak it up in 2023; that may be the last hurrah for Jacobs and the Raiders.
*Top Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports