There’s no longer any doubt surrounding Josh Jacobs‘ availability for Week 1. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Raiders running back has agreed to a revised contract with the organization. Jacobs has since confirmed the news on Twitter.
Per Pelissero, Jacobs signed an “upgraded” one-year pact worth up to $12MM. Jacobs was previously attached to the $10.091MM franchise tag, but he’ll now earn a base salary of $11.8MM next season, according to Pelissero. The RB can earn another $200K via incentives, leading to the $12MM number.
The revised deal will also have some future implications on Jacobs and the Raiders. Pelissero tweets that Jacobs’ new deal could help boost a potential 2024 franchise tag value to north of $14MM.
After Jacobs no-showed training camp and the preseason, there were some questions if he would extend his holdout into the regular season. However, it sounds like both sides made significant progress this week to get the star RB back on the field. According to Pelissero, the player and agent Chad Wiestling flew to Las Vegas this week to meet with Raiders officials. The reporter adds that Jacobs will be at the team facility on Sunday to officially sign the contract.
Jacobs lost some leverage when he failed to sign a long-term contract with the organization by the July 17 deadline. However, the player sounded sincere when he threatened to sit out the 2023 campaign due to dissatisfaction with not only his contract, but the RB market in general. Since Jacobs didn’t ink his franchise tag, he wasn’t subject to fines from the organization for his absence.
After the sides failed to agree to a new deal, there were whispers that the Raiders and Jacobs made considerable progress in the hours leading up to the deadline, and that framework may have been important in this revised deal. Later reports indicated that the Raiders offered Jacobs a deal worth $12MM a season, a value that was ultimately reflected in his reworked one-year pact.
While Jacobs has been absent from Raiders camp up to this point, there seemed to be some optimism regarding Jacobs availability for the start of the regular season. This was especially true when fellow franchise-tagged running back Saquon Barkley signed a revised deal with the Giants, perhaps paving the way for Jacobs to ink a reworked deal in Las Vegas. The Raiders also made it clear throughout the process that they had no intention of trading Jacobs, although that didn’t stop teams like the Chiefs, Broncos, and Dolphins from reaching out.
While the player’s future with the organization is still cloudy, both sides can enter the 2023 campaign knowing that the RB will be leading the backfield. With Derek Carr no longer on the squad, the offense will be counting on Jacobs more than ever. The RB had his best season in 2022, finishing with 2,053 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns en route to a first-team All-Pro nod.
Zamir White seemed like the top candidate to take over the RB1 spot if Jacobs sat out regular season games. With the starter definitively playing next season, the team may be willing to hold fewer running backs than they originally intended. The rest of the team’s depth chart at the position includes pass-catching veteran Ameer Abdullah, special teams ace Brandon Bolden, former Chiefs RB Damien Williams, and young options like Brittain Brown, Sincere McCormick, and Darwin Thompson.