Josh Jacobs: I didn’t have a problem with Raiders declining fifth-year option
The future for running back Josh Jacobs and the Raiders is currently unclear.
A first-round pick in the 2019 draft, Jacobs was a candidate for offensive rookie of the year when he rushed for 1,150 yards with seven touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 166 yards.
But while Jacobs upped his receiving production to 54 catches and 348 yards last season, he rushed for only 872 yards.
Las Vegas declined Jacobs’ fifth-year option in the spring, which means the running back is now slated to hit free agency in March. But Jacobs said over the weekend that he doesn’t think about the team’s choice much.
“I’m a firm believer that the work that you put in is going to pay off for itself,” Jacobs said, via Mark Inabinett of Al.com. “I had to be here either way. This is where I want to be, so I didn’t have no problem with it. It just gave me more of a reason to come in every day, jell with the guys, and work, so that’s how I looked at it.”
But with the way head coach Josh McDaniels has historically used running backs, Jacobs’ production could go down once again. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported late last week that the team will use a “situational committee” in 2022 and the position could be totally revamped next offseason.
But for now, Jacobs has Kenyan Drake, Ameer Abdullah, Zamir Smith, Brittan Brown, and Brandon Bolden to contend with at training camp.
“The competition’s been amazing,” Jacobs said. “I mean, it’s fun, man. I’m a firm believer in having a group of guys that’s ready to compete. Iron sharpens iron. Just to be around them guys that’s willing to work every day and that’s as good or better in certain areas and to be able to compete with them, it’s been fun.
“To be able to come in and being a vet now and being with the rookies and being able to pass that knowledge along, that’s what the game is. That’s what the game is all about.”
Quarterback Derek Carr has said he’s “very excited” for Jacobs in the coming season given the attention defenses are likely to place on Las Vegas’ improved receiving corps. Time will tell if Jacobs actually will receive the bulk of the opportunities in the backfield in 2022.