Jacobs, the only skill position player to start for the Raiders in Canton on Thursday night, had five carries for 30 yards. He added two catches for 14.
Coach Josh McDaniel played down his decision to use Jacobs in the bonus preseason game, explaining that running backs need to get used to hitting and tackling before big games. Still, Jacobs is bound to fall out of favor with the new regime in Las Vegas.
The first clear indication came when the Raiders didn’t pick up his fifth-year pick. Jacobs, who knows the way McDaniel has lined up running backs in New England, knows his trio of 250-plus-touchdown seasons is over.
So in a contract year, Jacobs may not get the kind of regular-season workload that would help him secure the second deal he hopes to eventually land with the Raiders or another team. It will be more likely to meet with another group.
The decision to use Jacobs extensively during the preseason opener will be a signal to the rest of the league. Jacobs is available. Because the position involves the contact of an injury-prone car crash, it’s an issue or time that starts on the tail end with another team for weeks or months or the rest of the season. That’s when the raiders come calling. And Jacob may end up in a position where he will have more opportunities to show what he can do.
Jacobs has a fully guaranteed salary of $2.122 million. The Raiders have no reason to be in a rush to move him. You can wait for the right time – even if it doesn’t come until the season starts. Between now and the Tuesday after Week 8, the opportunity to trade Jacobs will arise.
He has over 3,000 rushing yards in three seasons, with a pair of 1,000-yard campaigns. Although he doesn’t have much of a future with the Raiders, he has done enough to earn another chance somewhere. And that’s enough for the Raiders to get him worth the final year of his rookie deal.