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Josh Jacobs hints that he’s taking a stand for future running backs

Mike Florio and Chris Simms take a deep dive into Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury history and shed light on why he must adjust his mindset to protect himself if he wants to consistently be healthy.

The Raiders have applied the franchise tag to running back Josh Jacobs. He has yet to sign it. The two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.

Jacobs posted a tweet on Saturday suggesting that he’s thinking about other running backs.

“Sometimes it’s not about you,” Jacobs said. “We gotta do it for the ones after us.”

It’s a rare mindset for NFL players. With short careers and the ability of teams to find replacements at most positions, few will take a stand in the interests of making things better for other players.

Jacobs is looking at $10.1 million fully guaranteed for 2023, and either a 20-percent raise in 2024 or a path to unrestricted free agency. It’s unclear what he wants; the standard approach to franchise-tagged players would entail fully guaranteeing two years of the tag as part of a long-term deal.

For Jacobs. that would be $22.32 million over the first two years.

The other question is what Jacobs would make on the open market. As mentioned on Saturday, the Raiders could now try to sign Dalvin Cook for less than $10.1 million in 2023, and strip the tag from Jacobs. Then, what would Jacobs get as a free agent who becomes available three months after it opened?

While Jacobs’s desire to help others who play the position, he needs to be realistic. It’s hard for running backs to land significant second contracts, largely because they do their best work before they get their second contracts.

The fight shouldn’t focus on the second contract but the first one. As previously mentioned, young running backs should get rewarded through a league-wide fund for yards gained and touchdowns scored while operating under cheap, wage-scale contracts.

In his current posture, Jacobs is taking a significant risk. The Raiders could indeed remove the tag and move on. He then could be hard pressed to get from another team the contract he’s trying to get from the Raiders -- especially at this stage of the offseason.