Raiders Could Make ‘Cold-Blooded Move’ With Josh Jacobs: Insider

josh jacobs

Getty Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Coming off of a career year, Josh Jacobs is in limbo after getting hit with the franchise tag back in March. The Pro Bowl running back and the Las Vegas Raiders couldn’t reach a long-term deal by the July 17 deadline.

Jacobs has not signed the franchise tag tender, which means he can sit out of all of training camp without the team being able to fine him. However, not signing the tender could be a risky move. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio floated the idea that the Raiders may outright rescind his franchise tag and completely tank his value for the 2023 season.

“If they know Jacobs plans to skip all of training camp and the preseason, the most cold-blooded move would be to wait until every other team’s roster is set in late August before pulling the tender,” Florio wrote in a July 20 column. “At that point, Jacobs would have a very hard time getting the money he could instantly get in Las Vegas.

“Frankly, the circumstances should be enough to persuade Jacobs to take the $10.1 million bird in the hand. There might not even be $8 million in the bush, at this point. By the time Week One rolls around, there might not even be $6 million.”

Will the Raiders be willing to make such a cutthroat move on a team leader and one of their best players? It would be interesting to see how such a move would be received in the locker room.

Josh Jacobs & Las Vegas Raiders Were Never Close to a Deal

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported on a July 18 episode of the “Rich Eisen Show” that the Raiders did make a concerted effort to sign Josh Jacobs to a long-term deal. However, that may not have been the case. According to a July 20 report from The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the two sides weren’t close to an agreement.

“On Sunday, Jacksonville tight end Evan Engram — who had also received the franchise tag — agreed to a three-year deal worth $41.3 million with $24 million guaranteed,” Tafur wrote. “That’s more than what Engram would have gotten for just signing the franchise tag this year and next. Apply that to Jacobs, and the logical starting point is $22.3 million — this year’s tag plus next year’s $12.2 million number.

“The Raiders and Jacobs never even got to that number, sources said, so judge for yourself how close they got to reaching a deal.”

The Raiders could be attempting to save face by leaking to the media that were willing to give Jacobs a fair deal, but he’s not want to stay silent. Even he took to Twitter to call out Breer’s report as inaccurate.

What’s Next if Las Vegas Raiders Move on From Josh Jacobs?

While there aren’t many running backs in the NFL who can say they are better than Josh Jacobs, the Raiders have been preparing for a world where he’s on a different team. The team drafted Zamir White in the fourth round of last year’s draft and they have high hopes for him.

If the Raiders decided to rescind Jacobs’ franchise tag and move on, there are still notable free agent running backs like Kareem Hunt and Dalvin Cook on the market. They could also give White the keys to the starting running back job this season, but he carried the ball 17 times for 70 yards in 2022. Regardless, the Raiders do have options if things don’t work out with Jacobs.

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