Contract negotiations between the Raiders and running back Josh Jacobs could last until the final minute.
“Jacobs and the Raiders have discussed numbers, and the expectation is that negotiations will come down to the wire Monday,” wrote Vic Tafur of The Athletic.
If the Pro Bowler and Las Vegas can’t reach an agreement on Monday, they can no longer discuss an extension, and Jacobs must sign the franchise tag (a one-year $10.1M deal) to play.
Some insiders have speculated that the 25-year-old could hold out during training camp to protest not receiving a new deal. “At this point, if there’s not a long-term deal, I don’t anticipate Jacobs being there at the start of training camp,” Tom Pelissero of NFL Network recently said on The Rich Eisen Show. “And I don’t know that he shows up Week 1.”
If Jacobs doesn’t immediately sign his franchise tag, he can sit out during training camp and not receive fines. However, Jacobs holding out during the regular season carries risk since he could develop rust.
The Raiders not wanting to give Jacobs an exorbitant contract is understandable. Long-term RB deals tend to flop. For example, the Jets released Le’Veon Bell in 2020 after he signed a four-year, $52.5M contract the previous offseason.
Yet Jacobs has leverage over Las Vegas. Last season, he led the league in rushing yards with 1,653 in 17 games. The Raiders’ primary backup RB Zamir White only rushed for 70 yards in 17 games.
Las Vegas must devise a compromise before Monday if it doesn’t want to upset one of its best players after a tumultuous 6-11 season.