The Raiders spent a first round pick on Josh Jacobs to fix their run game, but he won’t help them if they can’t get him into training camp.
Jon Gruden and company took a lot of criticism for spending a first round pick on running back Josh Jacobs. The Raiders are only going to take more hits if they can’t get the former Alabama star into training camp.
According to The Athletic, Jacobs could be headed towards a training camp contract holdout. It’s presumed his issues with the Raiders center around potential guarantees in his deal. As the No. 24 pick in the draft, he’s right on the edge of where players generally get four years of fully guaranteed money. It’s unclear whether or not Oakland officials are willing to give him that sort of security.
Jacobs certainly isn’t in the mood to discuss his contract issues with the public. He recently took to Twitter to let everyone know they’d be blocked if they tried to ask him about his contract status on social media. Jacobs’ unwillingness to shed light on the subject will only lead to increased speculation about how long he might stay away from official team activities with the Raiders.
Oakland might be the last team in the NFL who can afford this type of distraction. Jacobs is the highest draft pick who hasn’t already signed his rookie contract. Given all of the instability the franchise suffered in Gruden’s first year at the helm, the team needs to do everything it can to keep the locker room stable heading into the 2019 campaign. Allowing Jacobs’ holdout to become a distraction will only strengthen the idea that Gruden’s tenure in charge of the Raiders is destined for failure.
The good news for Raiders fans is that their favorite team still has several weeks to go before training camp begins. There’s still plenty of time for Jacobs to sign his deal and comfortably attend all mandatory team activities.
Gruden and company desperately need for that to happen. A quick look at their depth chart makes it very clear they need Jacobs to produce as a rookie. There’s simply no other running back on the roster who is prepared to handle a starting role. If Jacobs isn’t ready to go when Week One arrives, the Raiders are going to struggle mightily to run the football effectively.