Training camp is underway for the Las Vegas Raiders, but one player not in attendance, and likely won’t be for the duration of camp, is running back Josh Jacobs. Unable to reach a long-term deal after being hit with the franchise tag, Jacobs is choosing to holdout and is expected to skip all of training camp and the preseason.
With the Raiders looking to return to the postseason this year after the moves they’ve made in the offseason, they need everyone on the same page. That especially includes Jacobs who led the NFL in rushing on the way to being named a First Team All-Pro last year. It is difficult to envision the Raiders’ offense being as good as it can be without Jacobs in the backfield.
But the Raiders and head coach Josh McDaniels have always maintained the utmost respect for Jacobs and his decision and that hasn’t changed now that camp has begun. McDaniels spoke following the team’s first practice and said that he respects Jacobs’ decision and looks forward to seeing him when he returns, via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez:
“I respect [Jacobs’] decision to ultimately not sign a deal at that point. So right now, I mean, it is what it is. There hasn’t been much since the deadline and certain things can change, obviously, we know that, but that’s obviously a lot of his decision and I respect whatever he chooses to do. That’s his choice and so I look forward to seeing him when we do.”
The main question now is whether Jacobs’ holdout will extend into the regular season. To date, the only player who sat out an entire season after not getting a new deal following being franchised tagged was Le’Veon Bell, and he was never able to regain his form prior to sitting out.
Ravens running back Melvin Gordon, who once held out for four regular season games, advised Jacobs against extending this into the regular season, noting that he can never get that money back once it is gone. And even though Jacobs wants that long-term security, it would still be $10.1 million he’s missing out on.
What has been great is that McDaniels and the Raiders have never spoken ill of Jacobs throughout this entire ordeal which shows the level of respect they have for him. The hope is that eventually he will suit up for the silver and black this year and continue the high level of play he has displayed throughout his career with the Raiders.