Raiders News: Josh Jacobs, Johnathan Abram, Clelin Ferrell Contract Options Declined

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 29, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 09:  Running back Josh Jacobs #28 of the Las Vegas Raiders runs against the Los Angeles Chargers during their game at Allegiant Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 35-32 in overtime.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders announced they've declined the fifth-year options in the rookie contracts of running back Josh Jacobs, defensive end Clelin Ferrell and safety Johnathan Abram.

"We look forward to working with all three players and we will evaluate each situation individually moving forward," general manager Dave Ziegler said Friday.

The Raiders selected all three players in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft, which was conducted by the former regime of general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden.

Jacobs is the only one who warranted strong consideration with regard to the fifth-year option for 2023. He's recorded 3,839 yards from scrimmage and 28 total touchdowns across 43 appearances, and he earned a solid 77.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021.

Positional value worked against him, though. Teams have become hesitant to pay running backs because of the league's pass-heavy focus, a trend the Raiders followed in the offseason by trading for longtime Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams and giving him a five-year, $140 million extension.

Jacobs will remain a key cog in the Raiders' offense in 2022 and could still re-sign with Vegas before next offseason.

Meanwhile, neither Ferrell nor Abram has developed into a high-end contributor on defense.

Ferrell, the fourth overall pick in 2019, has tallied just eight sacks in 42 career games. He finished last season with a mere 14 total tackles and 1.5 sacks in 16 contests.

Abram has emerged as a starter in the Raiders' secondary, racking up 202 tackles over the past two years, but he's provided few game-changing plays, with three interceptions, no forced fumbles and no sacks in 28 appearances.

Vegas figures to see quite a few defensive changes over the next year or two after a 2021 season in which they ranked 26th in scoring defense (25.8 points allowed per game) and 29th in takeaways (15).

It's a process that's already begun with several additions on that side of the ball in the offseason, led by Pro Bowl linebacker Chandler Jones.