One of the biggest stories coming out of the Hall of Fame Game was the appearance of Las Vegas Raiders starting running back Josh Jacobs for multiple series. Starters appearing in the first preseason game is a rarity these days, but if they do, it is usually just for one series as teams don’t want to risk players getting injured.
Jacobs being on the field for multiple series undoubtedly raised some eyebrows, but head coach Josh McDaniels explained his reasoning. The new Raiders coach believes it is good for running backs to get some carries because there are certain things you can’t simulate in practice.
But despite McDaniels’ words, some wonder whether the Raiders were showcasing Jacobs and potentially looking to trade the running back. McDaniels shot down that notion, telling Anthony Galaviz of the Fresno Bee that the franchise has no desire to move their starter.
Josh McDaniels on Josh Jacobs: "JJ's a guy we know what he's done. We have a lot of confidence in JJ. He did well with his opportunities. We have no desire to do that (trade) at all." #Raiders
— Anthony Galaviz (@agalaviz_TheBee) August 8, 2022
Of course, just because a coach says something to this effect, it does not mean that there is no chance a player is moved, as there are numerous examples throughout all sports of trades happening after a coach or franchise expresses their confidence and desire to keep that player around.
The speculation surrounding Jacobs does make sense, however, as the running back is entering the final year of his rookie deal after the Raiders chose not to exercise his fifth-year option. Jacobs also saw his carries and rushing yards drop to career-lows last season, though he did help himself in the passing game with the most receptions and receiving yards he’s had in his three seasons in the NFL.
Jacobs’ future with the Raiders beyond this season is a giant question mark. Additionally, the team spent a fourth-round pick on Zamir White, who led the team in rushing in the Hall of Fame game and still has veteran Kenyan Drake on the roster. McDaniels insists that Jacobs is not on the move, but the Raiders have pieces in place to absorb a potential deal if he is.