NFL Franchise Tag Deadline Passes, Signaling Training Camp Repercussions for Giants’ Saquon Barkley And Raiders’ Josh Jacobs

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This is kind of messy for the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Giants.

The NFL deadline for franchise tag players and their teams to agree on a multi-year contract passed Monday afternoon and neither Josh Jacobs nor Saquon Barkley got deals done.

Next stop … drama.

It already existed because neither Jacobs nor Barkley were willing to accept long-term contract offers from the Raiders and Giants, respectively. But with the passing of the deadline, they won’t be able to negotiate a deal until next offseason.

And it gets worse.

Josh Jacobs may sit out training camp.
Running back Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders runs against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half of their game at Allegiant Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

Josh Jacobs Unlikely To Report To Start Of Camp

Sources say that barring a significant change, neither player will sign their tenders in time to be present when the Raiders and Giants have veterans report to camp July 25.

Jacobs has even told confidants he’s willing to miss all of training camp and hasn’t fully decided on whether he’ll be present for the regular season’s start. Barkley’s status for all of training camp and the start of the season is unclear.

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, also tendered with a franchise tag, has signed his $10.1 million tag. He is expected to report to training camp.

So what happens next?

Saquon Barkley will have to play season on franchise tag.
Saquon Barkleyof the New York Giants during warm up before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Saquon Barkley Drama On Way For Giants

For the Giants, this is bad news because it instantly drives an uncomfortable narrative for the start of training camp. And the club hates that.

The Giants view themselves as New York’s businesslike team. They keep problems and disagreements within the walls of their training facility.

They enjoy the fact they surprised some people and unexpectedly made the playoffs in coach Brian Daboll’s first season. They like that the crosstown Jets get attention on the back pages of New York tabloids while they fly under the proverbial radar.

But there will be no hiding under the radar with Barkley. He was the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher with 1,312 yards last season. And him likely missing the start of training camp is a big issue.

Josh McDaniels was not certain about Josh Jacobs before 2022.
Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels wasn’t completely sold on Josh Jacobs as the team’s long-term answer at running back before the 2022 season. (Photo by Getty Images).

Raiders Could Have Had Jacobs Under Contract

The Raiders have turned over coaches and starting quarterbacks and have consistently been in the news. They are not averse to attention. But the Jacobs situation makes them look bad.

Because they’ve miscalculated.

Before last season they had the opportunity to extend their control over Jacobs by placing a fifth-year option on him. That would have gotten Jacobs under contract for 2023 at a cost of $8.03 million.

The Raiders, fresh off the hiring of a new general manager and coaching staff, seemed unsure Jacobs was a great investment. They didn’t want to marry themselves to him.

So they declined the fifth-year option. And Jacobs answered the brain trust’s uncertainty by gaining an NFL-leading 1,653 yards. He scored 12 touchdowns.

Josh Jacobs was NFL leading rusher in 2022.
Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders walks off the field after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium on January 07, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

Josh Jacobs Led NFL In Rushing

Good news: Jacobs suddenly became a player the Raiders want on their roster in the future.

Bad news: They couldn’t get him signed to a multi-year deal in time. Then they had to resort to the franchise tag.

And the franchise tag is costing the Raiders $10.1 million, which is $2 million more than had they used the fifth-year option last year.

It’s not just the salary cap savings that resonates here. It’s that Vegas missed a chance to have a highly productive player under contract and avoid the drama that now looms.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero 

Written by Armando Salguero

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