Raiders Break 11-Year Trend With Major Josh Jacobs Decision

josh jacobs

Getty Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs.

The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t developed much homegrown talent over the years. That’s a big reason why they have had two winning seasons since 2002. The previous front office led by head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock had a number of high-profile misses in the draft.

One of the few good picks they made was taking running back Josh Jacobs in the first round of the 2019 draft. He had an excellent rookie season but followed that up with back-to-back lackluster seasons. Due to that, the Raiders declined his fifth-year option prior to 2022. That didn’t mean the team had no plans to keep him. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders have officially placed the franchise tag on Jacobs.

This news isn’t a surprise as it was heavily rumored that this would happen. Jacobs is coming off a season where he was named First-Team All-Pro and led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards. General manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels may not have expected him to play that well in 2022, which is why they declined the fifth-year option. He proved to be too valuable to the team last season so placing the franchise tag is the logical move.

Raiders Haven’t Used Franchise Tag in 11 Years

As previously noted, the Raiders haven’t had much homegrown talent over the past two decades. When they’ve had found good players, they’ve either signed them before they became free agents or traded them away. Due to that, it has been quite a while since the Raiders used the franchise tag. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur pointed out that no Raiders player has been franchise tagged since safety Tyvon Branch was in 2012.

While Jacobs can’t be thrilled that he won’t get a chance to test free agency, it’s clear the Raiders value him highly. According to Over the Cap, the running back franchise tag is worth $10.09 million in 2023. That’s a reasonable price for the Raiders to pay but there’s no doubt Jacobs believes he’s worth more.

Raiders Still Hope to Sign Long-Term Deal

Just because Jacobs was hit with the franchise tag, it doesn’t mean he won’t get a long-term deal. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the plan is still for the two sides to reach a multi-year agreement.

“The Raiders faced a 1 p.m. Tuesday deadline to decide whether to use the franchise tag on Jacobs, who led the NFL in rushing last season, and had been in discussions on a new deal,” Bonsignore wrote.

“It’s still the Raiders’ hope to sign Jacobs to a long-term deal, and the sides have until July 15 to reach terms on a contract. Should that not happen, Jacobs will play the 2023 season on the franchise tag.”

Jacobs has said he wants to be a Raider for a long time. McDaniels and Ziegler have also said as much. Both sides are motivated to lock him down for the foreseeable future. While Jacobs is stuck with the franchise tag right now, it doesn’t mean he’ll have to play on it. The Raiders and the running back have until July 17 to agree on a long-term contract. That’s plenty of time for the two sides to iron out a deal.

Read More