Jan 7, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders star RB Josh Jacobs not holding grudges after pay dispute

NFL rushing champion Josh Jacobs said Wednesday he harbors no hard feelings against the Las Vegas Raiders after his well-publicized contract dispute.

Jacobs declined to sign the $10.091 million franchise tag and held out from training camp in hopes of landing a long-term deal. The two sides eventually reached agreement on Saturday on a one-year, $12 million deal plus incentives.

“We made it happen, so it ain’t no hard feelings now,” Jacobs told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. “It’s a clean slate with me. It was never … no hate on each side. I understood it, but at the same time I understood my value, too. So it was just about meeting in the middle.”

Running back salaries have been an issue throughout the NFL and Jacobs decided to hold his ground after a standout 2022 season.

Jacobs, 25, compiled 1,653 rushing yards on 340 touches (4.9 yards per attempt) and 12 touchdowns while starting all 17 games last season. He added 400 receiving yards to lead the league with 2,053 total yards from scrimmage.

Jacobs was a first-team All-Pro and received his second Pro Bowl nod.

Jacobs is currently on the roster exemption/commissioner permission list, but the expectation is that he will be available to play in the season opener against the host Denver Broncos on Sept. 10.

He said he isn’t sure yet how big of a workload he can handle against Denver.

“Physically, I ain’t missed a step,” Jacobs said. “I didn’t have no errors (in practice). I came in and it didn’t feel like I missed a step.”

Jacobs said he kept in shape by working out with his former high school football team (McLain High) in Tulsa, Okla. But he missed being around his Las Vegas teammates.

“You want to grind with your guys, especially knowing there’s a lot of new guys coming in,” Jacobs said. “You want the guys to know who you are and respect what you do, respect your work. That was just the biggest thing, not being able to have that camaraderie.

“But I wouldn’t say they was just all negative, you know? Being at home allowed me to spend a lot more time with my kids and help my dad do his diet plans and get in shape and things like that. So, I mean, it was pros and cons on both sides, but at the end of the day, I wanted to play football. I wanted to be here with the guys. So, I’m just glad it worked out.”

In 60 games (59 starts) since the Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama, Jacobs has rushed for 4,740 yards and 40 touchdowns. He has topped 1,000 rushing yards in three of his four NFL seasons.

Jacobs is just the second Raiders running back to lead the league in rushing since the NFL merger in 1970. Marcus Allen accomplished the feat in 1985 when the team was in Los Angeles, and Clem Daniels led the former American Football League in 1963 when the franchise was located in Oakland.

–Field Level Media

January 1, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders RB Josh Jacobs ending holdout soon

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is nearing the end of his holdout, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The reigning NFL rushing champion is expected to report before the Sept. 10 opener at Denver, but the exact timing of his return is unclear.

Jacobs, 25, has been away from the team this offseason while seeking a long-term contract.

He has not signed the franchise tag tender that would pay him $10.091 million for the 2023 season.

Head coach Josh McDaniels told reporters Sunday that he hopes Jacobs will get some practice time in before Week 1.

“I think that it’s important for every player,” McDaniels said. “This is the National Football League, so it’s not easy to go out there and just play games and do it at the speed and level that you want to do it at, unless you’ve really kind of had enough opportunity to get yourself ready to do that.”

Jacobs compiled a league-high 1,653 rushing yards on 340 touches (4.9 yards per attempt) and 12 touchdowns while starting all 17 games last season. He added 400 receiving yards to lead the league with 2,053 total yards from scrimmage. He was a first-team All-Pro and received his second Pro Bowl nod.

In 60 games (59 starts) since the Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama, Jacobs has rushed for 4,740 yards and 40 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders coach Josh McDaniels respects Josh Jacobs’ holdout

With star running back Josh Jacobs in the early stages of his holdout, Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said he respects the decision of the NFL rushing champion not to report to training camp.

Jacobs and the Raiders were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract before last week’s deadline for franchise-tagged players. He then decided not to sign his $10.091 million franchise tender for the 2023 season.

“Obviously I can’t speak for anything that happened in the meeting,” McDaniels said regarding negotiations between Jacobs’ agent and the team. “Obviously I wasn’t privy to any of that. But, look, I respect every player’s right to do what’s right for them. That’s why the league is what it is in terms of value and contracts. And those things are personal. We all have to go through them.

“I’ve said it multiple times this spring, I respect him tremendously. I have a great deal of respect for him as a player and a person. What he did for our team last year — and I look forward to seeing him whenever he is here. And I respect that process too. It’s his decision to make. They all have to do what they think is best for them.”

Jacobs compiled 1,653 rushing yards on 340 touches (4.9 yards per attempt) and 12 touchdowns while starting all 17 games last season. He added 400 receiving yards to lead the league with 2,053 total yards from scrimmage.

Jacobs, 25, was a first-team All-Pro and received his second Pro Bowl nod.

That’s a lot of production not in training camp, and McDaniels said he is fine with waiting for the process to play itself out.

“I respect his decision to ultimately not sign a deal at that point,” McDaniels said. “So, right now, I mean, it is what it is. There hasn’t been much since the deadline. Certain things can change, we know that, but certainly that’s a lot of his decision. And whatever he chooses to do that’s his choice. I look forward to seeing him when we see him.”

If Jacobs accepted the tender, he would make the ninth-most money among the 2023 Raiders.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was upset with his situation, as well, but relented Tuesday and signed a one-year deal with incentives that could be worth $11 million.

McDaniels was asked if the Barkley deal might sway Jacobs.

“I don’t know all the details,” McDaniels said of Barkley’s signing. “I was here doing a bunch of stuff so I’m not exactly sure of the ins and outs on that. But anything can certainly change in that regard.”

In 60 games (59 starts) since the Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama, Jacobs has rushed for 4,740 yards and 40 touchdowns.

Without Jacobs, the Las Vegas ball-carriers include journeymen Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden.

McDaniels also touched on team’s addition of cornerback Marcus Peters, a three-time Pro Bowler who has played for three other teams.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” McDaniels said. “Marcus has been a very decorated player for the entirety of his career for the teams that he’s played for. I’ve coached against him a number of times and when you’re playing against him, always know where he’s at because there’s a chance you might not want to throw at him.

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) looks for room to run against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Chubb on RB pay: ‘There’s really nothing we can do’

A group of top NFL running backs met via Zoom to discuss the salaries being paid at the position, and Cleveland Browns star Nick Chubb had a sobering message for his fellow running backs.

“Right now, there’s really nothing we can do,” Chubb told ESPN on Sunday.

Chubb confirmed to the outlet that he was among the players to take part in the videoconference on Saturday, which Pro Football Talk reported was the brainchild of Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers. Chubb said Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley were among the running backs who joined in.

The meeting came on the heels of Barkley (New York Giants), Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) and Tony Pollard (Dallas Cowboys) all being unable to reach multi-year contracts ahead of the deadline for franchise-tagged players.

ESPN said the running backs brainstormed ideas but did not come up with any plans to address ways to boost their pay.

“We’re kind of handcuffed with the situation. We’re the only position that our production hurts us the most,” Chubb said, per ESPN. “If we go out there and run 2,000 yards with so many carries, the next year they’re going to say, you’re probably worn down. It’s tough. … It hurts us at the end of the day.”

Barkley and Jacobs both were franchise tagged by their teams but have not signed their franchise tenders, worth $10.09 million for the 2023 season. Pollard signed his tag and is expected to report to training camp. Barkley and Jacobs are not, per ESPN.

The average salary for an NFL running back is $1.76 million, which is about $1 million less than the average for a player on offense, according to Spotrac. The average salary for a left tackle is $8.95 million, by contrast.

McCaffrey is playing on a four-year, $64 million contract extension signed with the Carolina Panthers — the highest annual average pay at the position.

“This is Criminal,” McCaffrey tweeted about the contract situations facing Barkley, Jacobs and Pollard. “Three of the best PLAYERS in the entire league, regardless of position.”

Chubb agreed.

“We’re definitely in a tough situation, running backs as a whole,” he said. “Saquon’s a great player and you can ask anyone around the league or even on the Giants how much he means to that team. So it’s hard seeing him not get what he deserves.”

–Field Level Media

Jun 13, 2023; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) during minicamp at the Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Top RBs plan Zoom call to discuss depressed market

Los Angeles Chargers star running back Austin Ekeler has organized a online video call on Saturday night with several of his peers to discuss the depressed market at their position, Pro Football Talk reported.

Per the report, all of the high-profile running backs have been invited to the conversation on the Zoom platform. The NFL Players Association also will take part in some capacity.

The reported call comes on the heels of star running backs Saquon Barkley (New York Giants), Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) and Tony Pollard (Dallas Cowboys) all unable to reach multi-year contracts ahead of the deadline for franchise-tagged players.

That brought about very vocal responses over social media from fellow running backs Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis Colts), Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans), Christian McCaffrey (San Francisco 49ers) and Najee Harris (Pittsburgh Steelers), among others.

Ekeler, himself, also was unable to receive a long-term contract and is heading into the final season of a four-year, $24.5-million deal with the Chargers.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

Running backs express outrage at lack of contract action

Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry weren’t shy about voicing their displeasure after fellow running backs Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard were unable to reach multi-year contracts ahead of the deadline for franchise-tagged players.

Barkley, Jacobs and Pollard are in line to play under the $10.091 million tag this season, provided the first two sign the tender.

While Barkley tweeted “It is what it is” on Monday, Taylor had a much longer response in regard to the situation surrounding the New York Giants running back.

“1. If you’re good enough, they’ll find you. 2. If you work hard enough, you’ll succeed,” the Colts running back wrote on Twitter. “…If you succeed … 3. You boost the Organization …and then… Doesn’t matter, you’re a RB.”

Henry, a two-time rushing champion for the Tennessee Titans, took an even strong stance.

“At this point, just take the RB position out the game then,” he tweeted. “The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization, just seems like it don’t even matter. I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve.”

San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey, who is the NFL’s highest-paid running back at $16 million per season, labeled the situation as “criminal.”

Pittsburgh Steelers standout Najee Harris said in part that the “notion that we deserve less is a joke.”

Barkley, 26, was the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after a dynamic career at Penn State. He posted a career-high 1,312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 16 games (all starts) last season while playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

The Giants’ current regime of general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll did not draft Barkley, but he appeared to be part of their long-term plans. Reports indicated that the sides were negotiating a long-term deal up until the deadline.

The Las Vegas Raiders did not pick up the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie contract a year ago.

Jacobs, 25, responded by putting up 1,653 rushing yards on 340 touches (4.9 per attempt) and 12 touchdowns while starting all 17 games. He added 400 receiving yards in order to lead the league with 2,053 total yards from scrimmage. He was a first-team All-Pro and received his second Pro Bowl nod.

The Dallas Cowboys’ running game will go through Pollard, who is taking over RB1 from the released Ezekiel Elliott. Pollard took part in offseason activities as he recovered from ankle surgery, and he is expected to be ready to go when training camp opens July 26.

Pollard, 26, was selected to his first Pro Bowl after last season, in which he ran for a career-high 1,007 yards. He added 39 receptions for 371 yards, and he scored a combined 12 touchdowns in 16 games (four starts).

–Field Level Media

January 1, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Raiders, Josh Jacobs fail to reach deal by deadline

Josh Jacobs and the Las Vegas Raiders did not reach an agreement on a long-term contract by Monday afternoon’s deadline, several reports said.

The Raiders placed the franchise tag on Jacobs, meaning the two sides had until 4 p.m. ET Monday to sign a new deal. Now, because Jacobs has not signed the $10.09 million franchise tender, the NFL’s leading rusher from a year ago may hold out into the 2023 season.

Jacobs faces no penalty for skipping training camp and practices because he has not signed the tender. He already skipped mandatory minicamp last month.

Jacobs’ situation mirrors Saquon Barkley’s with the New York Giants. Barkley also did not receive a long-term contract by Monday’s deadline, has not signed his tender and could continue sitting out.

A third running back, Tony Pollard, did not reach a new deal with the Dallas Cowboys by the deadline, but Pollard has signed his tender.

The Raiders did not pick up the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie contract a year ago. Jacobs responded by putting up 1,653 rushing yards on 340 touches (4.9 per attempt) and 12 touchdowns while starting all 17 games. He added 400 receiving yards in order to lead the league with 2,053 total yards from scrimmage. He was a first-team All-Pro and received his second Pro Bowl nod.

In 60 games (59 starts) since the Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama, Jacobs has rushed for 4,740 yards and 40 touchdowns.

Without Jacobs, the Las Vegas ball carriers include journeymen Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Raiders plan to use franchise tag on RB Josh Jacobs

The Las Vegas Raiders plan to place the franchise tag on running back Josh Jacobs if the two sides haven’t worked out a long-term deal by Tuesday’s deadline to use the tag, multiple outlets reported Friday.

The franchise tag for running backs is $10.09 million for the 2023 season.

Jacobs led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards and 2,053 all-purpose yards last season in his fourth NFL season, all with the Raiders. He had a base salary of $2.1 million in 2022.

Last offseason, Las Vegas declined to pick up Jacobs’ fifth-year option of $8.03 million for the 2023 season.

Jacobs, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, said recently that he would prefer to sign a long-term contract with the Raiders. Even if Las Vegas applies the tag on Jacobs, the two sides will have until mid-July to negotiate a contract.

Jacobs, 25, has rushed for 4,740 yards and 40 touchdowns in 60 games over four NFL seasons. He also has 160 receptions for 1,152 yards.

Jacobs is third Raiders running back to win the rushing title, joining legendary Marcus Allen (1985) and Clem Daniels (1963, AFL).

He was a first-round draft choice (24th overall) in 2019 out of Alabama.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) rushes fora touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Jacobs dominates Seahawks, hands Raiders OT victory

Josh Jacobs scored on an 86-yard run with 4:20 left in overtime to give the Las Vegas Raiders a 40-34 victory against the host Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon.

Jacobs carried 33 times for 229 yards and two touchdowns for the Raiders (4-7), who won in OT for the second consecutive week.

Derek Carr overcame two first-quarter interceptions to complete 25 of 36 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns.

The Seahawks (6-5) lost their second in a row and fell out of a first-place tie in the NFC West.

Seattle’s Geno Smith was 27-of-37 passing for 328 yards and two TDs. Rookie Kenneth Walker III rushed for two scores.

The Raiders got the ball first in overtime and moved to Seattle’s 37-yard line before the drive stalled. Daniel Carlson’s 56-yard field-goal attempt was wide right.

The Seahawks went three-and-out and had to punt to Las Vegas’ 14-yard line. On the next play, Jacobs went up the middle and was hardly touched on his way to the end zone.

Carr threw a 5-yard scoring strike to Foster Moreau with 1:54 remaining in regulation to tie the score.

That came after Smith threw an 18-yard TD pass to Travis Homer with 5:37 left to break a 27-all deadlock.

The first three quarters went back and forth, with neither team leading by more than eight points.

The Seahawks opened the scoring on a 12-yard run by Walker before the Raiders responded with an 18-yard pass from Carr to Ameer Abdullah.

The Seahawks took a 13-7 lead as Jason Myers kicked 24- and 34-yard field goals.

The Raiders took their first lead as Carr threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Mack Hollins on a flea flicker.

Jacobs scored on a 30-yard run one play after Denzel Perryman intercepted Smith to give the Raiders a 21-13 advantage midway through the second quarter.

Smith hit Tyler Lockett with a 35-yard scoring strike before Carlson kicked a 36-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the half to give Las Vegas a 24-20 lead.

Walker scored on a 14-yard run on Seattle’s first possession of the second half.

Carlson’s 25-yard field goal tied it at 27-all heading into the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs during the second quarter in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders not picking up options on three players

The Las Vegas Raiders said Friday they will not exercise the fifth-year options on all three of their 2019 first-round draft picks: defensive end Clelin Ferrell, running back Josh Jacobs and safety Johnathan Abram.

“We look forward to working with all three players and we will evaluate each situation individually moving forward,” general manager Dave Ziegler said in a statement.

Ferrell, the No. 4 overall pick in 2019, would have been guaranteed an $11.5 million salary in 2023 if the Raiders had picked up his option. Jacobs, drafted 24th, would have been guaranteed $8.03 million and Abram, selected 27th, would have been due $7.90 million.

Ferrell, 24, started all 26 of his games in his first two seasons before appearing in 16 games as a reserve in 2021. He has 79 career tackles, 24 quarterback hits, eight sacks and nine passes defensed.

Jacobs, 24, rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two campaigns and made the Pro Bowl in 2020. He has 3,839 yards from scrimmage and 28 rushing touchdowns in 43 career games (42 starts).

Abram, 25, has recorded 207 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 28 career starts. Shoulder injuries ended his rookie season after one game and his 2021 campaign in Week 15.

–Field Level Media