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Have we seen the last of Josh Jacobs in a Raiders uniform?

Friday the Raiders very last injury report for the 2023 season was released. And Josh Jacobs was ruled OUT. His last snap of the season coming December 10th against the Minnesota Vikings. And perhaps his last ever snap as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders.

We’ve been here before. Two years ago the Raiders opted to void the final year of Jacobs’s rookie contract, making the 2022 season potentially his last with the Raiders. Then he went out and had his best season and winning the rushing title with 1653 yards along with over 2000 yards from scrimmage.

At that point the Raiders had a few options, but letting him just leave was not one of them. Jacobs wanted a lucrative long term deal, but the team went with the franchise tag instead. Figuring they could give it another season and revisit things this offseason.

Jacobs was unable to reproduce the magic from the 2022 season. Even before he left with his injury, he was having his worst season, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.

Clearly the Raiders would not be inclined to step up and give him the big payday he was looking for last offseason and they would be even less inclined to put the tag on him a second time, which would cost them even more than the $10.1 million he earned on his first tag.

It leads us to what seems like a decent likelihood that he could find another team who may be willing to give him a strong deal on the open market in the hopes they could get something closer to the 4.9 yards per carry Jacobs had in 2022 or at least the 4.4 yards per carry he averaged over his first four seasons.

There are reasons for him to return. The primary reason being that he might not want to enter the market coming off his worst season. In that vein, re-signing to the Raiders on a one-year deal might be smart.

For Jacobs, though, it may be smart to at very least test the market. Because, just as with the draft, it only takes one team to believe in him. And there’s probably a good many teams that would be willing to give Jacobs a one-year deal. Some of whom may be willing to pay him more than the Raiders.The thing is, he doesn’t know until that free agent negotiating window opens.

What Jacobs finds out there could also be a team that is in a better situation than the Raiders. After all, the Raiders could be headed for a bit of rebuild. At least in terms of the coaching staff and the starting quarterback. Poor coaching and quarterback play is what killed his season this year and with the kind of mileage he’s putting on, he can’t afford to waste too many seasons.

Keep an eye on how Zamir White plays in the finale as well. White has 285 yards on 59 carries (4.8 ypc) in his three starts since replacing Jacobs.

The elephant in the room whenever White has a good game is that it makes Jacobs appear more expendable.

If White can have another big game in the finale, it may suggest to the team that either White deserves a shot at the job, or even as obviously talented as Jacobs may be, it’s not worth it to them to spend big money on him.

There is a lot to think about and explore from both sides this offseason. As the players often say, this is a business. Both the team and the player have to do what they think is best for them.

Jacobs wasn’t happy about getting the tag last offseason. Job security is important in this league. Injuries happen as do down seasons. And Jacobs had both. Luckily for him, the injury isn’t more serious. But you couldn’t really blame him if he was still a little burnt by the whole situation.

There are a lot of reasons why I could see Jacobs not only hitting the market in March, but signing elsewhere.

So, as the Raiders take the field today to face the Broncos, they will do so with Josh Jacobs watching from the sideline. And next time he suits up it could be in a different uniform.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire