DONE DEAL: Raiders successfuly signed two key player from Vikings and giants beast for $178.8 million

HoBy Matt Schneidman, Larry Holder, Tashan Reed, and Randy Mueller

According to people briefed on the situation, the Green Bay Packers are making a significant change at running back by signing former Las Vegas Raiders All-Pro Josh Jacobs and cutting veteran Aaron Jones.

Josh Jacobs seems to fit as the new starting running back for the Packers.

The 26-year-old Jacobs played in 13 games for the Las Vegas Raiders last season, rushing for 805 yards on 233 carries and six touchdowns. Following a 2022 campaign in which he was named to the first team of the All-Pro and Pro Bowl, Jacobs played with the Raiders last season while carrying the franchise tag. With 1,653 yards (4.9 yards per rush) and 12 touchdowns, he led the NFL.

He has without a doubt been a workhorse ever since the Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2019 draft. Together with 197 receptions for 1,448 yards and no touchdowns, Jacobs has amassed 5,545 yards on 1,305 carries (4.2 yards per run) and 46 touchdowns.

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The previous season, Jones, 29, saw action in 11 games for the Packers. He gained 656 yards on 142 runs, two running touchdowns, and 233 receiving yards on 31 receptions, along with one touchdown. In addition to 2,076 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, the seven-year veteran back ran for 5,940 yards and 45 scores.

The Raiders desired Jacobs’ return. During the NFL Scouting Combine last month, general manager Tom Telesco and coach Antonio Pierce of the Raiders both stated as much. A league source claims that during the Raiders’ meeting with Jacobs’ agent Chad Wiestling that week in Indianapolis, the team expressed interest in re-signing the running back to a long-term contract.

Going into the start of free agency, the Raiders were confident in their ability to keep Jacobs, and a person with knowledge of the situation characterized them as “optimistic” that a contract would be reached. The Packers, however, outbid them.

Jacobs’s fit
Since Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst stated during the season that he “absolutely” expected Jones to return to Green Bay for the final year of his deal, it seemed as though the team was planning to start Jones alongside Jacobs in the backfield when the news initially broke. But a person with knowledge of the matter claims that Jones will be released by the Packers because the parties were unable to come to an agreement on a revised deal that would have reduced Jones’ more than $17.5 million 2024 cap charge.

million. Jacobs now takes over feature back duties in Green Bay by himself instead of sharing a backfield with another proven No. 1. Jacobs is no stranger to being a lead dog, as he had been the Raiders’ No. 1 running back since they drafted him in the first round in 2019.

2024 impact

After leading the NFL in 2022 with 1,653 rushing yards, Jacobs ran for less than half that in 2023 while playing in four fewer games. He also ran for only six touchdowns last season after finding the end zone 12 times on the ground the year prior. Jacobs’ decline in production was partly because of his health toward the season’s end and because of lackluster offensive line play. He turned 26 years old in February — he’s more than three years younger than Jones — and the Packers hope he can return to his 2022 level of production while staying on the field more than Jones did in 2023. Jacobs’ arrival likely doesn’t affect the status of AJ Dillon, Green Bay’s 2020 second-round pick who is an unrestricted free agent. The Packers likely can find a new No. 2 running back cheaper through the draft or elevate 2023 undrafted running back Emanuel Wilson, who flashed promise as a rookie.


Jacobs was the first running back drafted in 2019 when the Raiders took him at pick No. 24 out of Alabama. In five seasons with Oakland/Las Vegas, he ran for 5,545 yards and 46 touchdowns, an average of 1,109 yards and about nine touchdowns on the ground per season. Jacobs made the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team in 2019 before making the Pro Bowl in 2020 and 2022 and being named a first-team All-Pro selection in 2022. Jacobs has also averaged almost 40 catches and 290 receiving yards per season.

Cap update

NFL Network’s Tom Pelisaro reported that Jacobs’ contract will be for four years and $48 million.


It’s tough to gauge how replacing Jones with Jacobs affects the Packers’ Super Bowl chances for next season. Jones only ran for 656 yards and two touchdowns last regular season while enduring the most injury-hampered season of his seven-year career, but looked like an elite running back for the final three games of the regular season and in the playoffs. Jacobs suffered his own injuries and didn’t produce as much as the season prior, but he was the best running back in football in 2022 while playing all 17 games and is still significantly younger than Jones. Both running backs are among the most productive in the NFL when healthy and the Packers now must cross their fingers Jacobs stays healthier next season than either running back did last season. In the long term, Jacobs is the safer option given his age — the Packers might’ve kept Jones for only one more season even if they were able to agree on a reworked contract — and Green Bay’s new running back meshes more with the identity of a young, promising offense.

Mueller’s scouting report on Jacobs

Jacobs’ skill set combines what the Packers have needed two players — Jones (speed and agility) and AJ Dillon (power) — to give them in the past. He brings both to the table. Jacobs runs with very good pad level and power inside while still being elusive at the second level. He also has good hands and can make defenders miss after the catch. If healthy, he upgrades them at RB, without a doubt, even with Jones being released.

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