Weeks following the deadline for franchise-tagged players to agree to long-term contracts with their respective teams, the Las Vegas Raiders and RB Josh Jacobs, who was tagged earlier this offseason at $10.1M, appear to be far apart on a one-year deal to keep the first team All-Pro in the silver and black for another season under the proper payroll. However, considering the recent wave of mistreatment around the NFL regarding the disvaluing of RBs by general managers, the momentum doesn't seem to be swinging in favor of Jacobs especially as rumors suggest the Raiders are considering rescinding their tag offer.
With the news of Josh Jacobs potentially being on his way out following his massive breakout season, the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are two teams interested in the disgruntled RB should he become available, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Florio further states that the Broncos would only be interested in pursuing Jacobs if the "price was right" likely not making Denver a strong suitor. Interestingly enough, both suitors in the Chiefs and Broncos are in the same division as the Raiders likely meaning the price (if traded) would be a hefty one, given the fact that Raiders GM Dave Ziegler would not give away Jacobs for just a decent return. The asking price would likely include a few early-round draft picks and possibly more.
While the Broncos are not necessarily in need of another star RB at the moment, if they truly are operating in a "win now" mode, then it makes sense for them to shoot for the stars and lurk around a deal for the 2X Pro Bowl RB. From the outside looking in, it doesn't appear GM George Paton values RBs very highly however, he has traded up to acquire Javonte Williams in the 2021 NFL draft and did give Samaje Perine a two-year, $7.5M deal in free agency earlier this offseason despite only rushing for over 400 yards just once in his seven-year career.
Jacobs, 25, started all 17 games in 2022 and rushed for a whopping 340 attempts while accumulating 1,653 yards on the ground along with 12 touchdowns and 400 receiving yards out of the backfield. That's over 2,000 scrimmage yards. Statistically, it was the best 54th-best season of all time by an NFL RB as he finished just above some legendary players including Ray Rice, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, and our very own Terrell Davis. Remarkable production.
Under Sean Payton's offensive system, you can only imagine the level of production and skill he would be able to provide to an already talented backfield and how virtually unstoppable it would make Denver's offense in a competitive conference. Prioritizing the run game, both Jacobs and Williams would greatly complement one another under Payton's offense which strongly benefits young RBs with the skill of both contact balance and vision behind an improving offensive line.
At the end of the day, it will ultimately come down to whether or not HC Sean Payton and GM George Paton believe it is necessary to sacrifice capital in order to acquire another RB that will immediately expect a very expensive contract. For what it's worth, the Denver Broncos' chances of a Super Bowl would instantly look significantly more promising.