Three months after receiving the franchise tag, Raiders star Josh Jacobs has yet to sign his one-year tender, and he's now offered several hints that he never will, leaving his immediate future up in the air.
Fresh off a career season in which he led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards, Jacobs would be due just over $10 million -- roughly an $8M raise from 2022 -- if he signs the tag. But consider his comments -- both official and otherwise -- since getting tagged:
- April 28: Jacobs indicates he hasn't been around the team in "months" and doesn't plan to return anytime soon
- June 1: Jacobs shares an "I Am Athlete" video advocating for him to play hardball in negotiations for a new contract
- June 6: Jacobs does not report to mandatory minicamp, though his attendance isn't required as a technical free agent
- June 8: Jacobs likes a tweet from Robert Griffin III suggesting it's "offensive" how the NFL treats RBs financially
- June 10: Jacobs cryptically tweets that, "We gotta do it for the ones after us," potentially referring to seeking top-tier RB money
None of the former first-round draft pick's actions are uncommon for a player in the midst of contract talks. Just take the Ravens' Lamar Jackson, who went public with a trade request from the Ravens this offseason, only to later sign a five-year, $260 million extension. But at a more replaceable position like RB, where the Vikings just saved $9M by parting ways with a repeat Pro Bowler in Cook, it's possible Las Vegas could eventually rescind the tag rather than commit top dollar to their man.
Jacobs and the Raiders have until July 17 to strike a long-term contract, or else the RB will be required to play under the tag if he suits up in Las Vegas this season. Jacobs could technically extend his holdout into training camp or even the 2023 season (and wouldn't face financial penalties if he's not under contract), but he'd risk delaying a return to free agency if he isn't active for at least six games.