An offseason standoff in Las Vegas is nearing its end.
The Raiders and running back Josh Jacobs have agreed to terms on a new one-year contract worth up to $12 million, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on Saturday. The deal replaces the $10.091 million franchise tag and clears the way for Jacobs to return to the Raiders after staying away from the club throughout the offseason and training camp.
Jacobs can earn another $200,000 in incentives under the new contract, per Rapoport and Pelissero.
The team has since announced the news.
Jacobs led the NFL in rushing in 2022, which was a contract year for the 2019 first-round pick out of Alabama. He also kept the Raiders somewhat afloat in a season in which Las Vegas couldn't close games and all but wasted a top-three statistical year for wide receiver Davante Adams.
Jacobs is currently one of the Raiders' two most valuable players, but Las Vegas declined to secure his services via a long-term deal before July's deadline for franchise-tagged players, following a league-wide trend in which clubs have avoided attaching themselves to even the best at the running back position. Knowing his earning power was at its peak, Jacobs avoided offseason activities and remained at home through training camp, waiting for his representation to reach an agreement, even if it lacks the security of multiple years.
Jacobs' deal resembles the adjusted one-year contract signed in July by Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who also received the franchise tag and expressed dismay at a lack of commitment from New York. Barkley ended up signing a deal worth slightly more than the franchise tag rate, thanks to incentives.
Like Barkley, Jacobs' deal will also include incentives.
At 25 years old, if he's going to cash in, it will be soon. It just likely will not be in a deal that lasts five years. Nick Chubb's three-year, $36.6 million extension signed in 2021 might serve as a model for what the Raiders could offer Jacobs, which would put him in line to remain with the team through his age-28 season.
But the Raiders are also a team undergoing change in Year 2 of the Dave Zielger and Josh McDaniels-led regime. They've demonstrated they don't prioritize running backs enough to lock up the NFL's leading rusher, so there's no guarantee they'll be quick to do so even if Jacobs replicates his 2022 performance in 2023. The frays caused by this standoff might also play a part in any potential deals.
At minimum, though, this agreement means the Raiders will welcome back theirs and the NFL's top rusher, eliminating a concern at the position with two weeks left before the start of the regular season. That's better than the alternative.