NFL Free Agency Primer: Josh Jacobs

The regular season has come to a close, and most teams have already begun the complicated process of preparing for the 2023 season. In the coming months, we'll be covering the impending free agents most capable of shifting the balance of power in the NFL.

The Player: Josh Jacobs

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is set to hit free agency at just the right time. The 24-year-old is coming off a career year, leading the NFL in rushing yards (1653) and yards from scrimmage (2053) while earning first-time All-Pro honors. He hadn't approached that sort of production at any point earlier in his career, but he has been at least durable and effective since entering the league as the 24th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft: the two-time Pro Bowler has accumulated 5892 yards from scrimmage and 40 touchdowns in 60 appearances.

The Fit:

At only 25 years old, Jacobs is a young, ascendant back who can punish defenses with inside running and catch passes out of the backfield. He makes sense for any team that wants to establish a high-volume rushing attack in order to open up efficient downfield passing. His success with the Raiders this season means they'd likely love to keep him, but he'd also work well on a team with a young quarterback that needs protection from negative game scripts.

The Cost:

Jacobs isn't going anywhere. He's a prime candidate for a franchise tag, which is set to be a relatively affordable $10.091 million. So long as his relationship with the Raiders doesn't have any irreconcilable differences, he'd be wise to cash in this offseason on a long-term deal. San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey currently tops the market at a little bit over $16 million per year. Arguably the best running back in the league in 2022, Jacobs shouldn't accept any less than the $15 million per year Ezekiel Elliot and Alvin Kamara are currently playing at.

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