1. Josh Jacobs
The Raiders’ new regime did not pick up Jacobs’ fifth-year option last offseason, then he played in the Hall of Fame Game to seemingly seal his lack of a future in Las Vegas. Then all he did was lead the NFL in rushing (1,653 yards), with 12 touchdowns and 53 catches for 400 yards. In some respect, with no plan to keep him the Raiders put him on the DeMarco Murray circa-2014 plan and ran the crap out of him (340 carries).
The Raiders could tag Jacobs and end his status on the open market. But Josh McDaniels’ New England roots may tell him he doesn’t need to pay big for a running back, and there’s a strong case the Raiders should allocate more signficant resources to other areas of the roster.
Jacobs will have multiple suitors if he is in play for other teams, with three 1,000-yard seasons on his resume at age-25. And he has topped 50 receptions in each of the last two seasons.
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently matched some free agent running backs with teams, and he paired up Jacobs with the Lions (and Williams with the Cincinnati Bengals, if you’re curious).
"Proposed team: Lions The Raiders may tag their breakout starter, but Josh McDaniels has leaned on a committee approach before. The Lions, meanwhile, could lose 17-touchdown man Jamaal Williams to free agency, and former second-rounder D’Andre Swift has yet to stay healthy. With a decent chunk of change at their disposal, and early draft capital to address other spots, Detroit could juice up its balanced offense by spending big for Jacobs, who registers as a potential Dan Campbell favorite for his hard-nosed style."
Jacobs would amount to an all-in move for the Lions to replace Williams, if they find themselves in that situation. But he would be worth the investment.
Update, March 3, 3:52 p.m. ET: The Raides plan to franchise tag Jacobs.