NFL teams have no issues selecting running backs high in the draft process, much as the Las Vegas Raiders did with Josh Jacobs, the 24th pick in 2019. Yet, when it comes to paying running backs market value on their second contract after years of wear and tear on their knees and ankles, sometimes there’s a problem.
Jacobs, who led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards, and yards from scrimmage (2,053) while receiving more touches (393) than any other player in the 2022-23 season, is headed for free agency now that his rookie contract is set to expire. The Raiders could have avoided all this by picking up Jacobs’ fifth-year option for $8 million in 2024, but evidently, the franchise opted against it last offseason.
Now, as one of the best running backs available in a market full of capable rushers, Jacobs is set to be paid much more than just $8 million next year. With free agency set to begin on March 15, the next step for Jacobs and the Raiders is deciding whether to extend their four-year partnership into a fifth year.