Raiders RB Josh Jacobs puts contract squabbles in past: 'It's a clean slate with me'

Josh Jacobs' offseason holdout ended with an adjusted, one-year contract signed over the weekend.

On Wednesday after his first summer practice, he had a chance to speak for the first time since returning to the Raiders.

Simply put, Jacobs has more money in his pocket. The Raiders have their star running back. Everything seems pretty buttoned up.

"I mean s---, we here. I mean I feel like we made it happen," Jacobs said. "So, it ain't no hard feelings now. I feel like I said, 'We made it happen' so it's a clean slate with me. It was never really like no hate on each side. But at the same time I understood my value, too. It was just about meeting in the middle."

The "middle" was a deal that offered Jacobs a chance to make nearly $2 million more than he would have received under the franchise tag, thanks to the addition of incentives in the one-year contract he signed. It mirrored Saquon Barkley's one-year replacement for his franchise tag tender, but it's worth more in total.

Now, Jacobs has to get ready for the season, one in which he might have to carry the bulk of the workload like he did when he led the NFL in rushing in 2022. He arrived with just two weeks left before the Raiders start their campaign on the road in Denver on Sept. 10, and after his first practice, Jacobs doesn't see any reason to worry.

"Physically, I ain't missed a step, for sure. I can definitely say that," Jacobs said. "The biggest thing for me really was coming back mentally with the playbook and everything. With the new plays and all of that I didn't want to be behind. When I came in today, I didn't have no errors. So, I came in today and I was like, 'Oh I remember this, I remember this' so now it's just about stacking days.

"To me, we came up with a workout plan over the course when I wasn't here and stuff like that. I came in and I didn't feel like I missed a step."

A tip of the cap is due to his personal trainer for keeping Jacobs ready to roll despite missing the majority of camp and every preseason game. Just a year ago, Jacobs was playing extended snaps in the Hall of Fame Game in what many interpreted as an audition for other teams interested in acquiring him.

Now, he had plenty of reason to skip all of the preparation. A 1,653-yard season will provide a player with such leverage.

As long as Jacobs understands his assignments and feels comfortable to go, all of the offseason worry will have been for naught -- which is exactly what every fan hopes is the conclusion to off-field drama. Jacobs and the Raiders are close to putting the 2023 offseason behind them for good.

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