The NFL’s leading rusher won’t be a free agent this summer after all.
The Las Vegas Raiders used the franchise tag on Jacobs on Monday, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The move came about a day before the tagging deadline. It will end up paying Jacobs about $10.1 million next season.
Source: The #Raiders have officially franchise tagged RB Josh Jacobs.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2023
Jacobs ran for a league-high 1,653 rushing yards last season, his fourth with the Raiders after they selected him with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Jacobs had 12 touchdowns on a career-high 340 carries and averaged a career-best 4.9 yards per carry. He also led the league with 2,053 all-purpose yards.
Jacobs is coming off his initial four-year, $11.9 million deal with the Raiders last season. The team opted not to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal last offseason. Jacobs and the Raiders will now try to come to terms on a long-term contract.
"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,” Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler said at the Pro Bowl, via ESPN. “Hopefully we'll work to get some common ground here sooner than later."
After what Jacobs did on the field in 2022, it’s easy to see why the Raiders don’t want to let him walk. And, perhaps more important, Jacobs wasn’t bothered by that decision.
"I felt like everybody else thought it was more serious of a thing than I did," Jacobs said last season about not getting his fifth-year option picked up, via ESPN.
"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."