The contract battle between the Las Vegas Raiders and running back Josh Jacobs could be headed toward a holdout, which could have a major impact on the early part of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 season.
The Raiders placed the franchise tag on Jacobs for the 2023 season, securing his rights to Las Vegas for 2023. But the two sides have still not agreed on a contract. They have until July 17 to work out a long-term extension. If they aren’t able to come to an agreement, Jacobs will have to play under the franchise tag contract or not at all in 2023.
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That uncertainly could lead to a holdout, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero said during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday.
“At this point, if there’s not a long-term deal I don’t anticipate Jacobs being there at the start of training camp and I don’t know that he shows up Week 1,” Pelissero said.
Because Jacobs is not yet under contract, he would not face fines or discipline if he does not attend training camp. He would lose one game check, or about $595,000, for each game he does not play.
The Steelers face the Raiders in a Week 3 trip to Las Vegas on Sunday Night Football. While it seems far-fetched that Jacobs would decide to take the Le’Veon Bell route and sit out the entire season, he could miss the Steelers game or struggle after a disrupted offseason.
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Jacobs’ play had a huge impact on the Raiders’ performance in 2022, as detailed by Michael F. Florio of NFL Network.
This is wild. Josh Jacobs accounted for
– 79% of the Raiders rushing attempts
– 80% of their rushing yards
– 100% of their rushing TDs
All those by far led the league last year
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) June 26, 2023
Jacobs isn’t the only running back with an unsettled contract situation. New York Giants starter Saquon Barkley has also yet to agree to a deal after being hit with a franchise tag. Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott remain free agents after being released for salary purposes earlier this offseason.
Regardless of whether or not the Raiders situation with Jacobs directly impacts the Steelers in 2023, there will definitely be an indirect impact, as that deal will be part of the precedent when it comes time for the Steelers to make a decision about a long-term contract with running back Najee Harris in the coming years.