Josh Jacobs wants to stay in Las Vegas but says Raiders have to ‘come correct’ with new deal
It’s hard to say why the Raiders declined to pick up running back Josh Jacobs’ fifth-year option on his rookie contract last offseason, but it’s easy to assume they didn’t think Jacobs would lead the league in total yards and win the NFL rushing crown.
Now a newly-minted first-team All-Pro, Jacobs held court from the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas on Saturday. He revealed that he wants to remain a Raider, but also said he expects to be fairly compensated with a new contract.
“I feel like this is home,” Jacobs said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “For me, this is where I want to be, but I’m not going to discredit myself trying to be here, either. So, it’s just got to make sense.”
Jacobs added that the Raiders’ losing record during his tenure with the team is a factor. If the franchise was winning, he might be willing to take a more team-friendly deal.
“Like I tell people, man, it’s one thing to be okay taking less money and stuff like that if you’re winning,” Jacobs said. “But if you’re losing, they’re going to have to come correct. That’s just what it is, for real.”
The Raiders could also apply a franchise tag to Jacobs instead of offering a multi-year deal. Jacobs intimated he’d be unhappy with that scenario, saying “Hero turned villain” when asked about it.
Jacobs seemed genuine when he talked about the Raiders and how much he wants to stay with the team that drafted him. He discussed the future and how they could build a winning program. But everyone knows that the NFL is a business. After Jacobs’ incredible season, he has every reason to demand top dollar in free agency.
If Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels had decided to pick up Jacobs’ fifth-year option, this conversation would be a bit different. Though if Jacobs had an All-Pro year in that alternate scenario, he’d likely be looking for a new contract anyway.
Will the Raiders decide that a running back is worth a lucrative new deal when they have so many other pressing roster needs, including at nearly every position on defense and at quarterback? Jacobs is definitely productive enough to consider it. It’s just one of many big decisions the Raiders’ new regime must make after failing to build a winner out of the gates.