This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders gave big contracts to four offensive playmakers in Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Derek Carr and Darren Waller. The one notable player who didn’t get a contract was running back Josh Jacobs. In fact, the team could’ve exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie contract and kept him under team control through next season.
The Raiders also drafted his expected replacement in Zamir White and it didn’t seem like the team had much faith in Jacobs. The team should’ve had more confidence in him as he’s arguably been their best offensive player and is third in the NFL with 633 rushing yards and tied for second in rushing touchdowns. For his part, Jacobs isn’t sad about not getting the fifth-year option picked up. He’s actually excited that he’s going to hit free agency earlier than expected.
“If you want me to be honest,” Jacobs said, via NFL.com’s Jim Trotter, “I was thinking, OK, I’m 24 years old. I’m about to get to the bag (free agency dollars) faster now. I’m one year closer to doing what I’ve been working for all these years. To me, I didn’t look at it negatively. I’m going to be 25, getting a deal, and can still play five years or whatever, and can retire before 31 having played 10 years in the league.
“I’m one of those guys who can’t look at things too negatively because it will affect me. It will affect the way I go about my work and my business. I’m one of those guys who has to talk to himself, like, ‘This can happen, and this can happen. Focus on the bright side of everything and then go from there.’ ”
Jacobs Talks Raiders Drafting Zamir White
Perhaps the biggest sign the Raiders weren’t planning to keep Jacobs long-term was the decision to draft White. The running back out of Georgia has a bright future ahead of him and could be the starter next season but Jacobs isn’t giving him a chance to get a lot of carries this season. The former Pro Bowler opened up about the Raiders drafting White.
“My initial thought was, ‘I’m proven in this league. What more do I have to prove?'” Jacobs said. “But when I sat back and really thought about it, 60 percent of this team is new. It’s new coaches, new guys. It’s guys who might have played against me but don’t know how I am on a day-in and day-out basis. So, when I changed the way I was thinking about it, it was like, OK, just let me go put on a show. Whether it was in practice or whatever, just execute all my assignments and gain the trust of the team and the guys, and with that, it will come from the coaches as well. Whenever I get my opportunities in the games, let me prove a point and let me set the tone, let me do what I think I’m capable of doing, and hopefully they see it.”
White only has five rushes for 21 yards this season.
Any Chance Jacobs Comes Back?
Jacobs wants to stay with the Raiders. He’s said that before and even has the logo tattooed on him. However, the team may just not be able to pay him after their offseason spending spree. As good as Jacobs has been, running backs aren’t as valuable as they once were. There’s also the fact that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy for an entire season yet.
Now, if Jacobs can prove he can stay healthy and is the driving force behind a Raiders playoff push, they may have no choice but to bring him back. He’s on a great run right now but he has to keep it up for the next 11 games if he wants to stay in Las Vegas.