Josh Jacobs Holdout: Will the Raiders RB Play in 2023?

Will Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs play in 2023? Let's take a look at the current holdout situation to assess.

As training camps roll on, the Josh Jacobs holdout situation is now entering its fourth week without resolution. With preseason action in full swing and Week 1 of the NFL regular season less than a month away, we’ll do our best to figure out if Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is going to play in 2023 or if he really will sit out the season.

Will Josh Jacobs Play in 2023?

This is the multi-million dollar question that the Raiders would love to know the answer to sooner rather than later. Jacobs has made it clear that he had no interest in playing on the franchise tag this season and was adamant about signing a deal that would give him the long-term financial and job security he seeks.

Currently, the Raiders have the franchise tag placed on Jacobs that is set to pay him just north of $10 million for the 2023 season. And although there were extensive talks about an extension between the two parties, leading to a moment where Jacobs was waiting in his car in the team parking lot to enter the building and sign the new agreed-upon deal, ultimately, they could not come to an agreement by the 4 p.m. ET deadline on July 17. That set the holdout in motion and Jacobs leaving town.

There is an obvious shift in perceived value about the running back position as a whole within the NFL. The players feel disrespected and think they provide a unique service that the top of their position should be paid as such. Meanwhile, the league has changed its view on the position, and teams thus believe there are several different ways to approach the RB room without breaking the bank.

Will Jacobs’ Holdout Be Resolved Before Week 1?

The franchise tag element of this provides an intriguing wrinkle. With Jacobs having not signed his deal, he is not under contract and, therefore, is not subject to fines from the team for holding out. Jacobs does officially start losing money from his franchise tag deal until he misses a game.

The only real leverage the team has is to rescind Jacobs’ franchise tag and let him enter a free agency pool that has seen Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, and others struggle to find a deal in recent weeks. If the Raiders do that, then Jacobs might struggle to find anyone willing to give him the big-money, long-term deal he is seeking. However, that is a risk the Raiders may not be willing to take.

The obvious sentiment is that it is in the best interest of both parties to come to an agreement and mutual respect that gets Jacobs back on the field with his teammates.

At some point, whether it’s about the principle or the money, a resolution will be hashed out between the Raiders and Jacobs that will either force Las Vegas to satisfy their starting RB or begin to look at life without the running back sooner than they even expected.

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