Josh Jacobs' Pro Bowl season came at an opportune time, as he is set to become a free agent this offseason.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Jacobs said he hopes to re-sign with the Las Vegas Raiders, but the money will be a big factor in his decision.
"For me, it's got to make sense," he explained. "But this is obviously where I want to be. Coming in, I remember sitting down with [defensive end] Maxx [Crosby] and all these guys and talking about the Raiders organization and the culture and wanting to be part of the change. I still feel that way so, hopefully, I'll be back."
Under former head coach Jon Gruden, the Raiders chose to decline the fifth-year option on all three of their first-round draft picks from the 2019 NFL draft (Jacobs, Johnathan Abram and Clelin Ferrell).
Abram, the third of those three picks at No. 27 overall, was waived by Las Vegas on Nov. 8. He has since spent time with the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
Jacobs has been, by far, the best player from that group in the NFL. He finished second to Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. The 24-year-old has been named to the Pro Bowl twice.
First-year head coach Josh McDaniels made Jacobs the focal point of Las Vegas' offense this season. He led the NFL in touches (393), rushing yards (1,653) and yards from scrimmage (2,053). The Alabama alum tied his career high with 12 total touchdowns.
This is shaping up to be an important offseason for the Raiders. Derek Carr's time with Las Vegas could come to an end after he was benched and stepped away from the team for the final two weeks of the regular season.
The decision to bench Carr ensured he wouldn't suffer a serious injury, which would have guaranteed his $32.9 million base salary for 2023. The Raiders can save $29.25 million against the cap if they trade or release Carr.
Las Vegas is projected to have $33.1 million in cap space this offseason even before factoring in what might happen with Carr.
Maxx Crosby, who was a fourth-round pick in the same draft class with Jacobs, got his big-money extension last offseason. He signed a four-year, $94 million deal in March that ties him to the organization through 2026.
One key difference between Jacobs and Crosby is positional value. Crosby has been one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL over the past two seasons.
Jacobs was arguably the best running back in the NFL this season, but history has shown it's not hard to replace production at the position. He will almost certainly command a good contract from someone given his age and consistent production.
This was the third time in four seasons that Jacobs has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark. He has also scored 40 rushing touchdowns in 60 career games.
The Raiders had a disappointing 6-11 record this season after making the playoffs in 2021.