After leading the National Football League in rushing in 2022, the 2023 season went much differently for Josh Jacobs and the Las Vegas Raiders' offense, as they were one of the worst rushing teams in the league.
Former Coach Josh McDaniels' inability to get the most out of the offense he put together hurt more people than himself. It would eventually cost a general manager, a head coach and an offensive coordinator their jobs.
With Tom Telesco now the general manager of the Raiders, one of the first and most important decisions he'll have to make will deal with the future of star running back Josh Jacobs.
Last offseason, the Raiders used their franchise tag on Jacobs after he led the league in rushing. The veteran back would sit out the entire offseason while he and the Raiders worked on an eventual one-year deal that paid Jacobs slightly more than he would have had if he signed the franchise tag tender.
The Raiders naming Antonio Pierce their permanent head coach heightened the chances of Jacobs returning. However, the terms of Jacobs' return are up to Telesco and the Raiders' front office.
After Jacobs' down season, where he ran for roughly half the yards he did the season before, Marcus Mosher of Pro Football Focus believes the Raiders could use the franchise tag the same way they did last offseason.
"The Raiders tagged Jacobs in 2022 after he led the NFL in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage.," Mosher said. "Jacobs wasn't able to have the same type of season in 2023, with his numbers down across the board. The coaching staff loves Jacobs, but it would be a surprise if they franchised him again. However, don't rule out the possibility of the Raiders signing Jacobs to a long-term deal once free agency begins."
Like last season, the Raiders might use their franchise tag on Jacobs again. He and the team could agree that it works for both sides in the short term.
Although Jacobs might want a long-term contract, returning to the Raiders on a team-friendly contract could be better for his long-term future.
The NFL Draft will be held in Detroit, Mich., on April 25-27, 2024. The Las Vegas Raiders currently hold the No. 13 overall pick.
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