Unlike what the Indianapolis Colts are doing with their star running back, allowing Jonathan Taylor to seek a trade, the Las Vegas Raiders say they intend to keep their All-Pro back on the roster.
The Raiders have no plans to trade Josh Jacobs amid his contract dispute and it remains unclear if he’ll play in the regular-season opener, NFL Media reported Wednesday.
Jacobs has been away from the team for the entirety of training camp and the preseason after the two sides failed to agree to a long-term deal before the July deadline for players on the franchise tag. The running back also hasn’t signed his $10.091 million franchise tag tender, making him the only player to receive the tag this offseason to either not agree to a new contract or sign his tender.
If the Raiders change their mind and opt to trade Jacobs, he would have to sign his franchise tag tender in order to facilitate a deal. While Jacobs and the Raiders aren’t allowed to sign a multi-year deal, the two sides can agree to a restructured one-year deal, similar to what Saquon Barkley did with the New York Giants in late July.
News of Las Vegas’ desire to hold onto Jacobs comes two days after Indianapolis reportedly gave Taylor permission to seek a trade. If Jacobs isn’t on the trade market, Taylor would certainly be the top running back available, though the Colts might find it difficult to get what they consider fair value in a deal.
The Raiders have remained confident over the past month that Jacobs will rejoin the team for the start of the 2023 season. As training camp and the preseason wind down, however, it appears less likely that Jacobs will be ready to go by the start of the regular season.
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels confirmed that notion on Sunday, telling reporters that practice time “is important for every player.”
“This is the National Football League, so it’s not easy to go out there and just play games and do it at the speed and level that you want to do it at unless you’ve had enough opportunity to get yourself ready to do that,” McDaniels said. “We’ve talked all year to our team about nothing carries over from one year to the next. You have to reestablish your individual level of performance and collectively as a unit, and ultimately as a team we have to establish and reestablish ourselves in terms of what we’re going to be about.
“So whether it would be JJ or somebody else, it’s the same thing. Everybody’s got to have an opportunity to do that, get re-acclimated to the pace, the speed of things. But again, I have no new information on the whole situation.”
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Earlier this month, Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler was seen telling fans that the team will resolve Jacobs’ contract situation. “We’ll make it happen,” he reportedly told fans.
Jacobs, 25, is coming off a career season in his first year playing for McDaniels. The running back led the league in rushing with 1,653 yards and had 12 touchdowns to go along with 400 receiving yards, earning him first-team All-Pro honors. He has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in three of his first four seasons in the league.
The Raiders open the regular season on Sept. 10, traveling to Denver to take on the Broncos.
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