NFL rushing champion Josh Jacobs said Wednesday he harbors no hard feelings against the Las Vegas Raiders after his well-publicized contract dispute.
Jacobs declined to sign the $10.091 million franchise tag and held out from training camp in hopes of landing a long-term deal. The two sides eventually reached agreement on Saturday on a one-year, $12 million deal plus incentives.
“We made it happen, so it ain’t no hard feelings now,” Jacobs told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. “It’s a clean slate with me. It was never … no hate on each side. I understood it, but at the same time I understood my value, too. So it was just about meeting in the middle.”
Running back salaries have been an issue throughout the NFL and Jacobs decided to hold his ground after a standout 2022 season.
Jacobs, 25, compiled 1,653 rushing yards on 340 touches (4.9 yards per attempt) and 12 touchdowns while starting all 17 games last season. He added 400 receiving yards to lead the league with 2,053 total yards from scrimmage.
Jacobs was a first-team All-Pro and received his second Pro Bowl nod.
Jacobs is currently on the roster exemption/commissioner permission list, but the expectation is that he will be available to play in the season opener against the host Denver Broncos on Sept. 10.
He said he isn’t sure yet how big of a workload he can handle against Denver.
“Physically, I ain’t missed a step,” Jacobs said. “I didn’t have no errors (in practice). I came in and it didn’t feel like I missed a step.”
Jacobs said he kept in shape by working out with his former high school football team (McLain High) in Tulsa, Okla. But he missed being around his Las Vegas teammates.
“You want to grind with your guys, especially knowing there’s a lot of new guys coming in,” Jacobs said. “You want the guys to know who you are and respect what you do, respect your work. That was just the biggest thing, not being able to have that camaraderie.
“But I wouldn’t say they was just all negative, you know? Being at home allowed me to spend a lot more time with my kids and help my dad do his diet plans and get in shape and things like that. So, I mean, it was pros and cons on both sides, but at the end of the day, I wanted to play football. I wanted to be here with the guys. So, I’m just glad it worked out.”
In 60 games (59 starts) since the Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama, Jacobs has rushed for 4,740 yards and 40 touchdowns. He has topped 1,000 rushing yards in three of his four NFL seasons.
Jacobs is just the second Raiders running back to lead the league in rushing since the NFL merger in 1970. Marcus Allen accomplished the feat in 1985 when the team was in Los Angeles, and Clem Daniels led the former American Football League in 1963 when the franchise was located in Oakland.
—Field Level Media
Original source here
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