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Josh Jacobs: If you want me to come back and be the hero, you have to pay me like a hero

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs joins Mike Florio and Chris Simms on set to discuss playing in a contract year, what it was like to silence his critics, and more.

Over the weekend at the Pro Bowl, running back Josh Jacobs made it clear that he would not like the Raiders to use the franchise tag to keep him in Las Vegas.

Jacobs was again asked about that on Thursday’s edition of PFT Live from radio row at the Super Bowl and noted that there actually is a way that he’d be OK if that’s what the Raiders decide to do.

“Obviously, I wouldn’t want to get franchise tagged. I feel like nobody really does,” Jacobs said. “But, to me, I wouldn’t mind it if they got the right guys in the building around us. [If] they got some guys on defense, figure out the quarterback situation, got some guys up front, then I would be like, ‘OK, I really wouldn’t mind coming back on the franchise tag.’

“But if you want me to come back and be the hero, you’re going to have to pay me like a hero.”

Jacobs, who led the league in rushing, is set to become an unrestricted free agent next month because the Raiders didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. But Jacobs said he wasn’t that insulted by that choice, mainly because it allowed him to control more of his outcome for 2023.

“I told [my agent], I didn’t really want them to pick up my fifth-year option because it was, I think, $8 million at that time,” Jacobs said. “And I was like, man, I’m going to be a year older and then they can still [franchise] tag me. Things like that. I was like, I’d rather just be in the driver’s seat and try to ball this season and however it goes, the weight will be on me.”

What did bother Jacobs, however, was playing significant snaps in the Hall of Fame game back in August.

“That was the one, I was kind of like, yeah… I felt a type of way,” Jacobs said, adding he “definitely” felt the Raiders were trying to send a message by playing him. “Or they were trying to see how I would respond. Either way, I didn’t like it.”

Still, Jacobs wants to be back with Las Vegas in 2023 — just on a long-term deal.

“I want to be a Raider for life,” Jacobs said. “And honestly, man, I don’t want to play this game too long. I want to retire when I’m 30 — still healthy, be able to play with my kids and things like that.”

If the Raiders do franchise Jacobs, he’d be set to make $10.09 million playing on the one-year tender.

Jacobs led the league with 1,653 rushing yards and 2,053 yards from scrimmage in 2022.