After what has been a successful summer for the Oakland Raiders, one missing piece still remains. They have the veterans, they have the coaches, but some young talent is still missing.
Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is the only rookie who has not yet signed his rookie contract. Jacobs was taken 24th overall with the pick that Oakland acquired from the Chicago Bears as a part of the Khalil Mack trade.
Recently, it was reported that Jacobs and the Raiders have come to a dispute on how his rookie contract should be structured and he could hold out into Training Camp, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic:
Running back Josh Jacobs, one of the team’s three first-round draft picks in April, is the only Raiders draft pick still unsigned and league sources say the negotiations have not been going well. There is a growing sentiment that Jacobs will not be at camp when rookies report on July 23. (The official start of camp — when the veterans report — is three days later.)
Rookie holdouts are rare in the NFL these days after the installment of a rookie wage scale, since contract values and signing bonuses are predetermined. But there is still wiggle room regarding the payment schedule of the signing bonus and whether salary guarantees will have offsets. The bonus issue is apparently the hangup between Jacobs and the Raiders.
Jacobs has been expected to be the team’s workhorse since the injury of Isaiah Crowell. Jacobs was a standout running back during his three years at the University of Alabama.
As mentioned, Jacobs is the only rookie who has remained unsigned. The Raiders happily announced the signing of other rookies a few weeks ago. With Training Camp fast approaching, the team will need to assure that Jacobs is ready to go by the time the season picks up, which means he will need as many reps as possible to learn head coach Jon Gruden’s offensive scheme.
If for some reason the two sides are not able to come to an agreement before the start of the regular season, then the Raiders would turn to Doug Martin and Jalen Richard at running back.