Maurice Jones-Drew Urges Raiders to Extend Key Player on Expiring Contract

maurice jones drew

Getty Former Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew.

The Las Vegas Raiders offense has been a disappointment so far this season but it has started to come alive in recent weeks. Much of that is thanks to running back Josh Jacobs. He’s easily been one of the best runners in the NFL this season and is third in the league with 490 rushing yards.

In the offseason, new Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler declined Jacobs’ fifth-year contract option, which would’ve paid him around $8 million in 2023. That’s looking like a major mistake in hindsight. He could end up being much more expensive in free agency and has proven to be very important to the offense. He’s played so well that former Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew believes the team should give extend him immediately, via

A first-round draft pick in 2019, Jacobs is set to hit the open market in March after the Raiders declined his fifth-year option. In Las Vegas’ first three games under new head coach Josh McDaniels, Jacobs averaged 14 carries and 64 rushing yards per game. But over the last two Raiders contests, the 24-year-old back’s averages have ballooned to 24.5 totes and 149 yards per outing. Shout-out to Raiders running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu — who coached yours truly in Jacksonville — for helping unlock Jacobs. The Raiders’ offense is at its best when Jacobs is the focal point. He is now third in the league with an average of 98 rushing yards per game heading into Week 7.

The Raiders need to extend this bruising back’s Las Vegas residency. With Jacobs fresh off a bye week, I’m excited to see him pound the rock against Houston’s 30th-ranked run defense on Sunday.

Does Jacobs Actually Have a Future in Las Vegas?

After the Raiders declined Jacobs’ fifth-year option and drafted Zamir White, it appeared his days in Las Vegas were numbered. That may not be the case anymore. He’s played so well that the team may have no choice but to bring him back. The New England Patriots never paid running back when Ziegler was there but it remains to be seen if he completely buys into that philosophy.

Now, the Raiders do need to be careful. Some of the worst contracts in the NFL belong to running backs right now. If the team can get Jacobs to sign something in the $10 million-a-year range, it could be worth it to keep him. Anything more and it’s hard to imagine the team bringing him back.

Josh McDaniels Praises Jacobs

After the Raiders played Jacobs in the first preseason game, it was thought that head coach Josh McDaniels wasn’t a fan and the team was hoping to trade him. If that was the case then, it certainly isn’t the case now. McDaniels has been really impressed with what he’s seen from Jacobs this season.

“And then JJ has just done a tremendous job with his opportunities,” McDaniels said Friday. “I think we had a few games there early in the season where we kind of were playing backwards, we lost control of the lead, and then once you lose control of the score, sometimes you lose control of being able to stay balanced as long as you would like, and certainly no team wants to do that. So, there’ll be a tug of war on Sunday to try to get control of the score, and they’re going to be trying to do the same thing we’re doing so that we can hand him the ball and let him do his thing.

“He’s just been tough to tackle, very durable. Obviously, he makes people miss in space, he finishes runs the right way and so far he’s taking care of the ball. So, just a really good, complete back.”

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