Raiders RB Josh Jacobs looked phenomenal during his Fall of Fame game showing. Now, teams are reportedly calling the Silver and Black to talk about the running back.
The Las Vegas Raiders played their first preseason game on Thursday, besting the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-11. Jarrett Stidham, Zamir White, and Josh Jacobs were all true stars of the contest, but why was Josh Jacobs playing?
After rejecting the $8 million fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie contract, many fans have concluded head coach Josh McDaniels elected to play Jacobs early in the Hall of Fame game to boost the running back’s trade value.
According to McDaniels, there’s a much more reasonable explanation.
"“I always think it’s good for backs to carry the ball in the preseason. There’s a lot of things that happen when you’re getting tackled and hit that you can’t simulate in practice. I think all our guys had the ball tonight. I think all our guys either caught it or were handed the ball and had to get tackled. We can’t really simulate that or rep that in practice.”"
McDaniels reasoning makes a lot of sense. Besides, many starters took the field at some point on Thursday night, including Tre’von Moehrig and ’21 rookie sensation Nate Hobbs. You can bet neither of these young stars are being shipped, too.
Even still, the media spun their narrative to the point NFL teams had reportedly called the Raiders to check on the status of Jacobs. Among those rumored teams are the Eagles, Lions and Bay area rival 49ers.
It doesn’t seem like there’s any real interest to move the 24-year-old running back, nor does it make much sense to do so. As the saying goes, though, everything is available if the price is right.
Josh Jacobs is vital to the Raiders’ success in 2022
There have been many conflicting opinions on Jacobs, mostly centered around his injury history. The truth is this – He’s too important to move on from.
In 2019, Jacobs was named the most elusive back leaguewide per Pro Football Focus, forcing more missed tackles than anyone. The Alabama alum was just as elusive in 2020, and logged the third-most forced missed tackles in 2021.
The Las Vegas Raiders headed to Canton on Thursday to play the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL's first scrimmage game of 2022. Whose stock increased?
Jacobs is one-of-two players to record 20+ broken tackles in each of the last three seasons. The Raiders running back has proved he can hang with the best the NFL has to offer when running the football, and Las Vegas would be foolish to walk away from that during such a pivotal year.