The Las Vegas Raiders are starting offseason team activities but one of their best players won’t be around. Josh Jacobs has yet to sign his franchise tag tender, which means he’s not allowed to show up to practice. As a team leader and All-Pro player, his presence will be missed.
The Raiders and Jacobs have until July 15 to make a decision on the contract situation so there’s plenty of time to work things out but there appears to have been little movement regarding a possible new contract. It has fallen out of fashion for teams to pay running backs big money and Las Vegas may not be keen on breaking the bank for Jacobs. The team still has needs on defense and could consider using Jacobs as a trade chip to upgrade the unit. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report floated an idea that sees the Raiders send the NFL’s leading rusher to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Pro Bowl linebacker Devin White:
White was a Pro Bowl selection in 2021 and a second-team All-Pro choice in 2020. Unlike a lot of off-ball linebackers, he makes plays that affect the game. In 2022, he had 5.5 sacks, five passes defended, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
His speed and athleticism would give defensive coordinator Patrick Graham a lot more to work with at linebacker.
Perhaps, the Raiders could interest the Bucs in Josh Jacobs. They are currently set to lean heavily on Rachaad White in his second season in the backfield.
Is Jacobs for White a Fair Swap?
Similar to Jacobs, White is looking for a big payday. They were both part of the 2019 class and both want their money. Similar to running back, linebacker is a position that teams don’t like paying a lot of money for. White was an All-Pro player in 2020 and is one of the best pass-rushing linebackers in the NFL, having accumulated 20.5 sacks in four seasons. However, his issues in coverage are a bit of a concern. He’s also looking for a contract in the $18 to $20 million range a season, per ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Jacobs’ next contract will likely be in the $10 to $15 million range a season. Linebackers like Shaquille Leonard and Fred Warner are so good that they can ask for $20 million but there are still questions about White’s game. On the surface, a swap of Jacobs for White is a pretty fair deal for both sides but if Laine is accurate about the linebackers asking price, the Raiders will likely avoid this type of deal.
Do Raiders Want to Trade Jacobs?
There has been trade speculation growing about Jacobs but nothing concrete has come from the Raiders. Head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler have been consistent in their praise of the running back. Jacobs was arguably the team’s best player last season and it remains to be seen if Zamir White is ready to replace him.
If the plan is to compete in 2023, the Raiders need to keep the NFL’s leading rusher. He can be the driving force behind the offense now that they have a more limited quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. Unless Jacobs specially requests a deal or causes a headache with a prolonged holdout, it’s hard to imagine the Raiders trading him.
While White was extremely talented coming into the league his production & abilities he diminished the last couple of years, while Jacobs just seems to be getting better & better. No with just a fans knowledge, I would not make the trade. We should have drafted White instead of Farrell in 2019!