Sources: Raiders plan to use franchise tag on Josh Jacobs

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Sunday, March 5, 2023

The Las Vegas Raiders are planning to use the franchise tag on reigning NFL rushing championJosh Jacobsfor the 2023 season, sources confirmed to ESPN on Friday.

The franchise tag for running backs for the 2023 season will cost $10.09 million. The deadline for teams to use the tag is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Players on the tag have until mid-July to reach a long-term deal. NFL Network was first to report that the Raiders planned to use the tag on Jacobs.

Jacobs picked a fine time to have a career season after new Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler and new coach Josh McDaniels chose to not pick up his fifth-year option before the 2022 season.

All Jacobs did was lead the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards -- joining Marcus Allen (1985) and Clem Daniels (1963 AFL) as the only players in franchise history to win the league rushing title. Jacobs also led the NFL with 2,053 all-purpose yards.

Jacobs, 25, has insisted he was not insulted by the snub.

"I felt like everybody else thought it was more serious of a thing than I did," Jacobs told ESPN during the season. "For me, I'm like, 'OK, that just means I'm going to get paid younger.' ... That was my point of view. I felt like it was a perfect situation because it was all on me, I controlled the narrative at that point. Whatever I did, whether it was good or bad, it would be on me. I kind of liked that. I kind of liked that pressure a little bit."

His monster season in a contract year took his new coach by surprise, too, as McDaniels was used to employing a running back-by-committee approach in his time with the New England Patriots.

At the end of the season, McDaniels said he hoped to re-sign Jacobs, who averaged 3.9 yards after contact, which was tied with the Cleveland Browns' Nick Chubbfor the best such mark in the NFL, according to NextGen Stats data.

The first-team All-Pro selection also had the NFL's longest run of the season. Jacobs' 86-yard walk-off touchdown in overtime at Seattleon Nov. 27 was the second-longest OT rushing TD in the NFL since 1974, trailing only Garrison Hearst's 96-yard scamper for the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 6, 1998.

Jacobs finished with a franchise-record 303 total yards against the Seahawks.

The 2019 first-round pick carried the ball 340 times and averaged 4.9 yards per carry while scoring 12 TDs in 2022. In doing so, Jacobs became just the 15th running back in NFL history to score at least seven TDs in each of his first four seasons -- 10 of those 15 players are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He also caught 53 passes for a career-high 400 yards last season, and his league-high 93 rushing first downs was the most by a Raiders back since 1994.

Jacobs, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, said during Pro Bowl Games week that he preferred a long-term deal.

"The hope and the goal," McDaniels said at the NFL combine, "is that he's here for a while."

Added Ziegler: "I'd say the commonality is that we want Josh to be a Raider and that Josh wants to be a Raider, and so that's a really good place to start. Hopefully we'll work to get some common ground here sooner than later."

In 60 career games over four seasons, Jacobs, the No. 24 pick of the 2019 draft out of Alabama, has rushed for 4,740 yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry, and 40 TDs while catching 160 passes for 1,152 yards and being named to the Pro Bowl in 2020 and 2022.

The Raiders have used the franchise tag on just five other players -- cornerbacks Charles Woodson (2004 and 2005) and Nnamdi Asomugha (2008), defensive lineman Richard Seymour (2010), linebacker Kamerion Wimbley (2011) and safety Tyvon Branch (2012).