New Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Zeigler has shown commitment to a number of players who were members of the team before he was hired. Derek Carr, Hunter Renfrow and Maxx Crosby all received contract extensions this offseason. One Pro Bowler who noticeably got bad contract news was Josh Jacobs. The 2019 first-round pick did not have his fifth-year option picked up and will become a free agent at the end of the season.
That move came as a bit of a surprise considering Jacobs’ status as a first-round pick. However, Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels come from the New England Patriots, which is a team that is known not to pay running backs. Jacobs didn’t participate in mandatory minicamp practices due to injury, which will only hurt his chances going forward. He’s expected to be the No. 1 running back this season but that’s not a guarantee. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur believes that Jacobs will likely be gone after the season and that rookie fourth-round pick Zamir White could be an upgrade.
“Jacobs and [Kenyan] Drake will likely both be gone next year after playing out their contracts, and there is probably a decent chance Ziegler and McDaniels already think White is better than them,” Tafur wrote. “A committee approach seems to make sense, keeping everybody fresh and ideally available.”
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Any Chance Jacobs Has a Future in Las Vegas?
These comments from Tafur should certainly worry Jacobs. With him likely headed to free agency after the season, he needs to have a big year so that he can get a decent contract. At this point, it’s looking likely that he doesn’t have a future in Las Vegas. McDaniels and Ziegler won’t pay him big money.
However, there’s always the possibility that he changes their minds. If he comes out and is a team captain again, plays at a Pro Bowl level and plays a majority of the season without getting hurt, it would be a mistake for the Raiders to not consider bringing him back. He has the talent to be one of the best running backs in the NFL, he just needs to stay healthy.
Brandon Bolden Impressed With Jacobs
Jacobs hasn’t been on the field much at practice lately but one of his new teammates is impressed with him. Brandon Bolden decided to sign with the Raiders after spending three seasons with the Patriots. He thinks Jacobs is a running back who can do everything a team could need him to do.
“I mean, what doesn’t impress you about Josh?” Bolden said after a recent practice. “Josh is a hell of a back, a hell of an athlete, very patient, very explosive. And he can do a lot of things with the ball. So, I mean he brings a lot to the game, and he helps everybody out. I mean, even in pass protection and stuff like that, too.
“We are going to try to add our two cents into Josh’s thing. He’s going to add into the rest of us and we’ll see how good we can be as a room.”