Josh Jacobs could be heading to NFL free agency on March 15, and without a shadow of a doubt, if he does he will be the belle of the running back ball on the open market.
The next few days could be very interesting when it comes to Josh Jacobs’ plans for 2023. The four-year veteran’s rookie contract came to a close in the 2022 season, and to finish out his first NFL contract Jacobs delivered the best season of his career.
In 2022-2023 the 25-year-old delivered career bests in games played (17), rushing yards (1,653), touchdowns (12), yards per game (97.2), receiving yards (400), and had the longest run from scrimmage of his career (via Pro Football Reference). An 86-yard backbreaking game-winner that came against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11.
On the NFL free agent market, Josh Jacobs would garner a huge amount of interest, however, there is still a very strong chance the Las Vegas Raiders slap a franchise tag on the All-Pro before March 15. However, if the team does allow him to test the market, these are the five teams with the best chance to land his elite talents for next season and beyond.
Las Vegas Raiders
Just because the Raiders pass on using a franchise tag on Josh Jacobs doesn’t mean they still won’t re-sign him outright. And considering the funds that they have available this offseason, and the glaring hole at quarterback, they desperately need to hold on to Jacobs. Even if that means paying him an amount above current running back market rates.
Ahead of the Raiders on the available salary cap list for 2023 are the Chicago Bears. Considering how run-dominant the Bears were last season, adding Jacobs would take that strength to elite levels. Chicago has the money and the need with 2022 starting running back David Montgomery also a free agent this year.
With the team fully invested in incumbent starting QB Justin Fields, they need to use their cap space to give him more weapons and continue his growth into a franchise signal-caller. Jacobs would prove to be a fantastic weapon for Fields in year three.