June 14, 2024

Raiders Free Agents: RB Josh Jacobs

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs has been a focal point of Las Vegas’ offense since he was drafted by the Silver and Black in 2019. Jacobs rushed for 1,000 yards in three of his five seasons with the Raiders. In the other two seasons, including this past season, Jacobs rushed for over 800 yards while missing multiple games. Jacobs likely could have run for over 1,000 yards in five consecutive seasons without injury.

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Needless to say, Jacobs’ free agency is a high priority. The Raiders used their franchise tag on Jacobs last offseason. Jacobs held out all of the previous offseason until signing his franchise tag tender, which paid him nearly $12 million.

The Raiders again find themselves having to decide on the future of Jacobs, which will undoubtedly significantly impact their offense and their team moving forward. Jacobs finished this season with 805 rushing yards in 13 games. It marks the fewest games Jacobs has played in a season and his fewest rushing yards.

The Raiders’ issues on offense weren’t solely or even mainly on Jacobs, as he ranked near the top of the league in rushing yards when he went down with an injury against the Minnesota Vikings. However, the struggles of the offense directly impacted Jacobs’ effectiveness this season. Especially early in the year before Las Vegas’ coaching change.

Looking forward, the Raiders must consider many things when deciding what to do with Jacobs. The Raiders must consider how much money Jacobs is asking for compared to the league-average pay for running backs.

They’ll have to consider Jacobs’ usage, as he accounted for 80 percent of the team’s rushes last year. Jacobs was on pace to finish this season with nearly 80 percent of the carries before his injury.

Jacobs has accounted for over 50 percent of the team’s carries every year of his professional career. Sooner or later, that usage will catch up to any player, especially at a position that takes as much physical contact as running back. The Raiders will, of course, also have to consider that they already have a younger and much cheaper running back on their roster in Zamir White.

The second-year running back had a successful end to the season, becoming the first Raiders running back to rush for over 100 yards in two of their first games as the starting back. Las Vegas will also have to consider what to do at running back if they let Jacobs walk.

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Including Jacobs, two of the four running backs on Las Vegas’ roster are set to become free agents. If they let one or both of them walk, they’ll have to find other running backs to fill the void and help carry the load in addition to White.

The Raiders’ decision on Jacobs is arguably the most significant decision they will have to make regarding players on their roster who are set to become free agents.

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