Sources: Raiders RB Josh Jacobs can get $12M in reworked deal

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Saturday, August 26, 2023

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Las Vegas Raiders All-Pro running back Josh Jacobs, who had yet to sign his $10.091 million franchise tag and had not participated in any offseason programs or training camp, took to social media Saturday to announce his return to the team.

"I'm back," Jacobs posted.

Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Jacobs has been in Las Vegas and agreed to a one-year, reworked deal that could be worth up to $12 million with per-game roster bonuses.

The Raiders announced Saturday that they had signed Jacobs, without disclosing terms. Raiders owner Mark Davis was happy Jacobs was returning and reiterated his feelings for the running back.

"I love him. I love Josh," Davis told ESPN. "He's phenomenal. He was the heart of our team, in my mind. He came to play every day. Tough, tough, tough guy. Just really proud of him. He was a Raider. If we had 22 Josh Jacobs on the roster, with that mentality, amazing."

Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler met with Jacobs and his agent this week at a restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip to lay some groundwork to get a deal done, sources told Schefter. Both sides discussed the framework of the agreement they reached Saturday.

Jacobs is expected to return to the team Sunday, sources said. He was not with the Raiders in Dallas for Saturday night's exhibition finale against the Cowboys.

A first-round pick by the team in 2019,Jacobs did not have his fifth-year option picked up when Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels took over last season. Jacobs responded with a career year.

In running for 1,653 yards, Jacobs became the first Raiders player since Marcus Allen in 1985 to lead the NFL in rushing. Jacobs also led the league in touches (393) and yards from scrimmage (2,053) and had the NFL's longest run of the season, his 86-yard walk-off in Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 27, while tying a career high with 12 rushing touchdowns. His 400 receiving yards, on 53 catches, were also a career high.

With Jacobs away, second-year back Zamir White had been handling the load as the starter and has rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in two preseason games. White had 70 rushing yards on 17 carries as a rookie last season.

"Josh can run you over or juke you out," said Raiders offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor. "Zamir is just going to run head-first and run you over, he doesn't care. It's cool playing for guys like that because you know if you open up a hole and he gets to the safety, nine times out of 10, he's going to run him over and score.

"So like I said, Josh is -- there's no one like him -- but we're lucky to have a guy like Zeus [White]."

Jacobs has not been subject to fines as a holdout since he had not been under contract as he did not sign the franchise tag by the July 17 deadline.

McDaniels has said it was Jacobs' right to stay away and he respected it, saying the team would welcome him back. McDaniels, whose offenses had traditionally used a running back-by-committee approach, adapted to Jacobs' productivity last season and did not sense a shift in philosophy.

"You go with what's the best thing to do for the team," McDaniels said early in training camp. "And certainly, that was [Jacobs] last year. And I wouldn't expect that to be different this year."

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley also initially declined to sign his franchise tag and in late July agreed to a one-year deal that adjusted his tag.

Jacobs' mentor, Hall of Famer Allen, lamented the monetary market for running backs being devalued.

"I'm just going to say it -- it's almost like collusion," Allen said at a Raiders alumni reunion reception earlier this month. "They decided that the running back position is one that their productivity is only for a short period of time, instead of looking at each and every one individually. They've decided, as a group, that they're not going to pay them. So I can understand what [running backs are] thinking and what they're feeling. So hopefully things get resolved, because to me, [Jacobs is] like the heart and soul of the team."

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