Aside from figuring out who will be the quarterback for the team next season, the top priority for the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason will be retaining running back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs led the NFL in rushing and was named to the All-Pro First Team for the first time in his career.
But with his contract having expired, there is a chance that Jacobs could be headed elsewhere this offseason though both he and the Raiders seem to be mutually interested in a return. And now, the discussions between the two sides have already begun.
Head coach Josh McDaniels recently had a press conference and revealed that GM Dave Ziegler and his staff have been in contact with Jacobs and his representatives, and the hope is to keep Jacobs in silver and black for a long time, via Raiders Twitter:
“What we said at the end of the year is the same as it is now. Love for JJ to continue being a Raider. I know Dave [Ziegler] and his representative have been in contact. They’re working through that process together and that’s the hope and the goal is that he’s here for a while. So we’ll see how that all plays out, but Dave and Josh’s representatives have been in contact and that’s the goal. That’s what we’re working towards.”
There are multiple different ways for the Raiders to keep Jacobs around. The most obvious is a new long-term contract which would also be ideal for Jacobs. After coming off a career year, Jacobs rightfully wants to be properly rewarded both in terms of money and long-term security.
But giving long-term, big-money deals to running backs has continually bit teams in the foot recently, and Ziegler and the Raiders front office will likely keep that in mind. The team could choose to use the franchise tag on Jacobs, which would be a one-year deal for $10.1 million. But Jacobs likely wouldn’t care for that as it provides no long-term security and could increase the chances of him leaving in the future if he remains unsatisfied.
Regardless, it is imperative for the Raiders to lock down Jacobs as he and Davante Adams carried the team’s offense this season. He rushed for 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding another 400 receiving yards. His 4.9 yards per carry was a career-high and his 93 first downs picked up also led the NFL as he was named to his second career Pro Bowl.