The new season is here. However, the Las Vegas Raiders star running back will not suit up soon.
Josh Jacobs has yet to sign his franchise tender that would put him on the one-year franchise tag for the 2023 NFL season. The NFL is a business, and like the league, Jacobs is playing hardball to get a worthy contract extension after a stellar campaign in 2022.
Currently, the Raiders aren't budging on their side of contract talks, and while that may be a cause of concern for fans - this could be a blessing in disguise for the Silver and Black.
How a Jacobs Holdout Benefits the Raiders
The Raiders aren't the only team in the NFL hesitant to pay running backs. There are at least five former Pro Bowl running backs on the free agent market today. While some believe that there is a lack of emphasis on the backfield, it is evident that the running back market is a testament to that belief being true.
The team saves money and remains in control by doing this - but will lose their Pro Bowl running back, whether by trade or contract expiration, which plays right into the hands of the former Alabama Crimson Tide standout.
Josh Jacobs Has Everything to Gain in this Situation
While Jacobs loves the Silver and Black, he understands his worth. If it were not for his Herculean efforts last season, the team would have had a much worse record than what they did. The shelf life for the average NFL back is, give or take, five full NFL seasons, and the Raiders star knows that he has to look out for himself health-wise and monetarily.
If he's not participating in training camp, it will allow his body to rest. An All-Pro back like himself doesn't necessarily need the reps that other skill positions do, like quarterback and any position on the offensive line. Should the two sides agree to a tender or extension, he has already stated that he feels better than any previous NFL offseason.
Additionally, the organization cannot fine him because he has not signed the franchise tender. Ultimately, this affects those on the depth chart behind him more than anyone else.
The Raiders Will See What they Have in Zamir White
With training camp starting next week and no Josh Jacobs in sight, Zamir White will share lead-back responsibilities with veterans Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden. The former 4th-round draft pick will be front and center with the first team in practice.
With minimal usage, it remains to be seen what he can contribute to the team. A name to keep an eye out for as well is Sincere McCormick. Sincere missed his rookie season due to injury. However, he was one of the college football's best backs at UTSA. Don't be surprised if he gains more reps as training camp progresses.