If you read the numerous articles, tweets and analysis Josh Jacobs, you would swear he stole money. The rookie running back and the Raiders remain far apart on his rookie contract. Despite camp still weeks away, people decided to take umbrage. In my mind, this remains a fool’s errand. Below, you will find the reasoning.
“Running backs have been phased out of the league for some time. It started as a subtle shift, but has now grown to a clear preference for passing the ball. For example, the last time the league saw teams with equal parts rushing and passing attempts was in 1983. And starting with 2008, the divide continues to grow.” Neil Greenberg, Washington Post, 2015
In reality, NFL running backs enjoy a career span of 3.3 years. In that span, they need to secure lucrative contracts. Josh Jacobs is not the exception. With a career that short, he needs to ensure his future. Teams like the Raiders will release him the moment he becomes ineffective. As a result, the need to plan becomes the immediate priority for Jacobs. Seeing a 35-year-old Jacobs in the backfield in Vegas remains unlikely.
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The Actual Issue
For those calling Josh Jacobs a holdout, stop. As of this writing, the Oakland Raiders are not conducting any team activities. In actuality, camp begins on the 23rd. Under those circumstances, Jacobs remains unsigned. I know it is semantic, but that minutia is important. Jacobs wants specific language in his deal. While rookie salaries are slotted by the CBA, Jacobs maintains the right to challenge the wording.
I have seen articles and social media comments criticizing Jacobs’ stance. They label him selfish. Really? How many of you work a job that ends in an average of 3.3 years? A job, where, others get paid to smash into you with full force and reckless abandon? None. Sit down. The only entitlements are the fans that continue to live in players’ pockets. Players like Jacobs incur all of the physical/mental, and emotional trauma of playing, but some fans believe they actually have a say. People tweeted at Jacobs to complain about his contract status. Rightfully, he blocked them. This matter is between the Raiders and Josh Jacobs. People become oddly obsessed with the money of others. In some circles, that type of pocket-watching is frowned upon.
As mentioned, Josh Jacobs will do what he deems is right for him. Every player should. If you know his story, Jacobs’ strong stance makes even more sense.