The most notable things to come out of the Las Vegas Raiders‘ first preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars surprisingly had to do with Josh Jacobs. The former Pro Bowler and first-round pick played the first two drives of the game, which is not something you’d typically see from a starting running back. Jacobs looked good as he averaged 6.0 yards a carry and didn’t get hurt.
Despite the strong performances, many decided that he was on the trade block due to his playing time. The Raiders drafted Zamir White in the 2022 NFL Draft and he figures to eventually be the bell cow. Why not trade Jacobs now and get something for him before he walks in free agency after the season? While it’s difficult to fault people for thinking the running back could be traded, it doesn’t appear likely to happen.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders have no interest in trading Jacobs.
“My understanding is the Raiders are not trying to trade Josh Jacobs and are not planning on trading Josh Jacobs, all of those things,” Rapoport said. “He is, as of right now, their best running back. And rarely do you see teams look to trade their best player at any position, let alone someone who is due just – I believe it’s – $2.1 million this year. And if they wanted to, I imagine somebody would trade for Josh Jacobs, but this is a team that is built to win. It is a team that’s going to be in the playoff mix. They are not looking to – and do not plan to – trade Josh Jacobs at all.
“Really what this is is they wanted to get a look at him. They wanted to have him play preseason snaps. Josh McDaniels comes from the Bill Belichick school of preseason snaps which is ‘stop trying to figure it out.’ Sometimes they just want to see guys in different positions, want them to get game reps, that was the sense here. Obviously, Josh Jacobs has a lot to prove; [he] did not get his fifth-year option picked up by this new regime. But no, they are not looking to move on from him. They want him to play for them and play well.”
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Josh McDaniels Just Wanted a Better Look at His RBs
Josh McDaniels has been a head coach before but that was a decade ago. He’s learned a lot in that time and could genuinely want to see his running backs in action before the regular season starts. That’s essentially what he said when pressed about why Jacobs was playing.
“I always think it’s good for backs to carry the ball in the preseason,” McDaniels said after the game. “There’s a lot of things that happen when you’re getting tackled and hit that you can’t simulate in practice. I think all our guys had the ball tonight. I think all our guys either caught it or were handed the ball and had to get tackled. We can’t really simulate that or rep that in practice.”
No Reason to Trade Jacobs
Jacobs has had injury issues but he’s a very good player. McDaniels is a coach who knows how to get his running backs to thrive. Why would he want to get rid of his best one? White has a bright future but he also dealt with two ACL tears in college. He needs a full season under his belt before the Raiders fully invest in him.
Jacobs can be one of the best players on the team this season. If the goal is to win a Super Bowl, there’s absolutely no reason to trade him right now. Perhaps if the season starts off poorly and a desperate team wants Jacobs, then they can reopen potential trade talks.