RB Josh Jacobs is hoping to re sign with Raiders

RB Josh Jacobs is hoping to re-sign with Raiders

HENDERSON, Nev. – Running back Josh Jacobs, fresh from his first NFL title of his career and on his way to free agency, said Monday during locker cleaning day that he would love to return to the Las Vegas Raiders next season if he and the team contract can agree.

“It has to make sense to me,” he said, referring to a potential new contract, by which he meant dollars and cents.

“But this is where I want to be obvious. When I walked in, I remember sitting down [defensive end] maxx [Crosby] and all these guys talking about the Raiders organization and the culture and wanting to be a part of the change. I still feel that way, so hopefully I’ll come back.”

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While Crosby was a fourth-round pick in 2019 and signed a four-year, $99 million extension last spring, Jacobs was the second of the Raiders’ three first-round draft picks in 2019, No. 24, after defensive end Clelin Ferrell, who finished fourth, and ahead of safety Johnathan Abram, who finished 27th.

Neither of them had taken their fifth-year options from the Raiders’ new regime of general manager Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels last offseason. However, Jacobs responded with a career year, even as the team failed, finishing 6-11 with a 10-7 record a year after making the playoffs.

With his 1,653 rushing yards, Jacobs became the first Raiders player to lead the league in rushing since Marcus Allen rushed for 1,759 yards in his 1985 NFL MVP season. He is the third in franchise history to accomplish this feat when Clem Daniels led the AFL for 1,099 rushing yards in 1963.

Selected for his second Pro Bowl career, Jacobs led the NFL with 93 rushing first downs and 2,053 total scrimmage yards.

Still, Jacobs played down personal accomplishments.

“I mean, I think it feels good,” he said. “I don’t really feel any different. Obviously it’s a testament to the team and the guys that have helped me along the way. So it’s definitely great to be able to experience it with them. But for me personally it’s just what anyway. Really.”

McDaniels, meanwhile, appeared confident that Jacobs would return to the team.

“Obviously JJ’s performance was a huge bright spot for us,” said McDaniels. “I have tremendous respect and admiration for him as a person and as a player, and he kind of embodies all the things that we want in a raider.

“Dave and I talked about it; JJ and I have had private conversations about such things. I think all of that will be revealed in due course. But I love him and would love for him to remain a raider.”

Two days after the Raiders’ season ended in a 13-31 loss to the AFC West champions and No. 1 seeded Kansas City Chiefs, there was mutual admiration.

And Jacobs was referring to the coach who drafted him from Alabama four years ago.

“Obviously, [Jon] Gruden’s a great football mind but these guys, man, take it to another level when it comes to how they explain things and how they use certain guys,” Jacobs said. “So just learn their offensive playbook, learn the terminology and then take and put my own little twist on it, it was definitely fun.

“The way we work [this is] definitely the best workgroup I’ve known since I’ve been in the NFL. It’s now just putting the little pieces together and identifying what those little pieces are, identifying each player’s role and just trying to do that to the fullest.

Jacobs would probably prefer a multi-year contract. However, should the Raiders decide to give him a year-long franchise tag, OverTheCap.com predicts it will be a relatively modest $10.1 million for running backs next season, a number sure to grow when the salary cap for 2023 is announced.

Barring a decision for Jacobs, it’s all but certain that quarterback Derek Carr, the team’s starter since his 2014 rookie season and holder of the most franchise passing records, will not return after falling two games before the end of the bank was set. He has stayed away from the team for the past two weeks in a “mutual” decision.

Jacobs was asked for his opinion on Carr.

“The biggest thing I take from Derek is just the great person he is,” Jacobs said. “Me and Derek have gone to church together a few times and things like that and just to see how loving and supportive he is, that’s what I take the most from him. He’s just a great guy, really.”