Josh Jacobs hasn’t had much to say since the Las Vegas Raiders decided to use the franchise tag on him. The running back suggested he’d be coming back as a villain if the two sides didn’t reach a long-term deal and there’s been some trade speculation. Jacobs has yet to say he wants a trade or is going to hold out but a recent bit of news is a good sign for the team.
Jacobs has previously hinted that he’d like to change his jersey number from 28 to 8, which is what he wore in college. He didn’t go through with it last year but he’s finally made it happen. The NFL’s leading rusher announced on his Twitter account that he’s officially back to No. 8.
The switch was confirmed by the NFL’s official Twitter account.
Jacobs has been one of the most popular jerseys among Raiders fans in recent years but now they’ll need to get new ones. The league didn’t allow running backs to wear single-digit numbers on their jerseys until two years ago so many players have been making the switch. Jacobs decided to wait a year so he didn’t have to pay for the NFL’s inventory of his old No. 28 jerseys.
Is This a Good Sign Jacobs Is Staying With Raiders?
It’s notable that Jacobs posted a picture of his new jersey number with Raiders colors. Had he chosen to post a picture of him playing at Alabama to show off his new number, that would be more interesting considering his contract situation. He has already stated that he would like to stay with the Raiders and this further shows that he’s likely telling the truth.
However, there hasn’t been much of an update regarding contract talks between the two sides. They have until July 15 to come to a decision on his contract situation so there’s plenty of time. The Raiders would be wise to get this resolved as soon as possible so that Jacobs can participate in offseason workouts. As a leader and one of the best players, it’s important to have him at practice but the NFL doesn’t allow him to come unless he has at least signed his tender, which it remains to be seen if he plans to do that.
Raiders Don’t Need Drama This Offseason
Once the Raiders moved on from Derek Carr this offseason, there was much less drama surrounding the franchise. The typically noisy franchise has actually had a quiet offseason. The only thing that could seriously stir the pot is if Jacobs decides to hold out. The running back has never been one to keep quiet when he’s frustrated so not giving him a long-term contract could open up a can of worms.
Carr and traded tight end Darren Waller were beloved players in the locker room but both are gone. Jacobs has emerged as a leader and one of the best young players in the NFL. Not rewarding him for his season sends a message to the rest of the team that might not sit well with the veterans. Even if the plan is to move on from Jacobs, the Raiders would be wise to have this situation resolved before training camp.