Josh Jacobs’ game against the Seahawks this year is one of the greatest rushing games of all time, to go along with his career year for Las Vegas. And this all comes on an unexpected contract year, after the Raiders declined his fifth-year option.
On Sunday, Jacobs basically ran the Raiders to a win, rushing for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns on 33 attempts, while also catching 6 of his 7 targets for 74 yards.
That was just the third game since the 1960’s where a running back had over 300 all-purpose yards with over 30 rushing attempts, trailing just Jim Brown in 1961 and Adrian Peterson in 2007.
But, what would Jacob’s career game look like if compared to the same league average as those two Hall of Famers?
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With a 5% boost to his rushing attempts, but a 7.4% loss in catches, Jacobs would finish with 40 total touches and 310 yards, trailing just Peterson who would inflate his total yards from 315 to 325.
That’s not a bad game to have on your resume for the potentially soon-to-be free agent.
And that monster game pushed his season statistics into an even more impressive total, leading the league now in rushing yards (1,159), yards per game (105.4), and yards from scrimmage (1,484).
So, since the Raiders do not seem likely to re-sign Jacobs, what would a potential free agent running back make after a year like this, if he avoids the franchise tag?
Currently, 49ers back Christian McCaffrey is the top earner at the position, making $16 million a year for the next 4-years.
Despite Jacobs only being 25 next season, coming off 3 1,000+ rushing yard seasons, it’s safe to assume that the Alabama alum could earn a deal similar to Aaron Jones or Joe Mixon, which is around $12 million per year for the next 4 years.
Thus, Jacobs could have taken the fact that Las Vegas did not believe in him enough to be worth $8 million next year, which would value him as the 9th-highest contract of all running backs, and instead increase her per-year salary by $4 million and ensure him for 3 additional seasons.
All Jacobs would need to do over this stretch is maintain a similar pace and stay healthy for 6 more weeks, which may be shortened since Las Vegas is all but eliminated from playoff considerations.
And on the flip side, the Raiders will be tasked with losing their second-best offensive weapon, behind Devonta Adams, to be replaced by Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden, or somebody not in-house.