Since entering the NFL, Josh Jacobs has been a very good running back. However, the former first-round pick of the Las Vegas Raiders didn’t truly break out until last season. He led the NFL in rushing yards and was named First-Team All-Pro.
When head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were hired last year, they had no idea what they had in Jacobs. That led them to decline his fifth-year option. That was a miscalculation as the team was forced to use the franchise tag on him this offseason so that he didn’t leave in free agency. Jacobs isn’t going to accept playing on the franchise tag without a fight.
The Raiders are starting voluntary offseason programs but Jacobs won’t be in attendance, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Skipping a voluntary workout isn’t a big reason for fans to be worried. The season is still far away, and practices in April won’t greatly affect a veteran like Jacobs. That said, this is the first sign that Jacobs could be willing to hold out for a long-term contract. The running back has been quiet recently but he decided to drop a cryptic message on his Instagram account following the report from Pelissero that read, “respect goes both ways would hate to see.”
What Is Jacobs Hinting At?
Jacobs is a fan of the cryptic message and has been throughout his whole career. He’s certainly been getting more cryptic in recent months with his current contract situation. This latest message appears to be a bit of a warning. He sounds like he doesn’t want the Raiders to disrespect him when it comes to his next contract.
The two sides have until July 17 to work out a long-term deal so there’s plenty of time to hash out details. Jacobs is certainly strong-willed so it’s possible this situation could get ugly. He has said that he’d be coming back as the “villain” if the Raiders don’t pay him like a hero. That could mean a lot of things but it certainly sounds like he wouldn’t be happy to play on a franchise tag. He has said he wants to spend his whole career in Las Vegas so he’s motivated to work a deal out. It will largely depend if the Raiders are willing to come remotely close to what he wants.
Raiders Haven’t Had ‘Meaningful Talks’ With Jacobs Yet
If Jacobs is going to sign a contract, it might not be until closer to the deadline. The Raiders are focusing on other things right now and don’t appear super motivated to get something done immediately. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the two sides have yet to get very far in contract negotiations.
“Jacobs and the Raiders have not yet engaged in any meaningful talks, although that could change at any moment,” Bonsignore wrote. “With so much focus on the upcoming NFL draft, it stands to reason both sides will reconvene after the draft to try to find some common ground.”
As noted earlier, there’s time for the two sides to make progress but it hasn’t gotten off to the best start.