With Josh Jacobs headed to free agency, the Pro Bowl running back made the media rounds February 9 at the Super Bowl.
Jacobs has stated that he’d like to stay with the Raiders and reach a long-term deal, but he’s likely to test free agency if the team doesn’t use the franchise tag on him. If he is able to test the market, there will be a lot of interest in him. New Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton has to figure out how to fix a team that went 5-12 last season. He appeared on FanDuel TV’s “Up & Adams” show alongside Jacobs and wasn’t subtle about his love for the running back and desire to see him leave the Raiders.
“He was outstanding this year,” Payton said. “A downhill, physical runner. For a team that wasn’t necessarily always having success, he was always consistently playing well. I’m glad he’s a free agent. I encourage everyone to look at him, get him out of the [AFC] West.
“Maybe we look at him.”
His star power has been on the rise after an incredible 2022 season that saw him lead the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards.
Before the season, the Las Vegas Raiders appeared ready to let him walk in free agency, but now he’s expected to be their highest-priority free agent.
Jacobs Willing to Play on Franchise Tag
If the Raiders had picked up Jacobs’ fifth-year contract option before the 2022 season, they wouldn’t have had to worry about paying him now. The team could fall back on the franchise tag and kick the can down the road.
Jacobs has suggested that he wouldn’t be thrilled if the Raiders put the franchise tag on him, but he said that he’d be more willing to play under the franchise tag if it allowed the team to load up on talent. However, he did issue a warning to Las Vegas.
“If you want me to come back as the hero, you better pay me like a hero,” Jacobs told Pro Football Talk.
Jacobs Is Even Willing to Take Less Money
Jacobs also suggested that he’d take less money to stay in Las Vegas if the Raiders add a great quarterback.
“If we get the right pieces,” Jacobs said on “The Jim Rome Show.” “You know, obviously we got a quarterback situation right now. We got some guys that we need on defense and some guys up front, things like that. [But] if we get the right situation, I wouldn’t mind coming back for less or anything like that. But it’s just gotta make sense.”
The Raiders’ quarterback for the past nine years, Derek Carr, was benched with two games left in the season, signaling that they appeared ready to move on from him by trading or cutting him before the 2023 season.
Carr might have a future with the New Orleans Saints, where Payton coached for 15 years, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
“The #Saints and #Raiders already have the framework of a Derek Carr trade in place — a condition for Las Vegas to let the visit happen,” Pelissero tweeted on February 9. “But Carr’s no-trade clause means he controls whether any trade happens before 4 p.m. ET Tuesday. Stay tuned.”