Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer July 25, 2023, 2:44 PM ET
ClosePaul Gutierrez joined NFL Nation in 2013 and served as a reporter for the Las Vegas Raiders. He has multi-platform roles – writing on ESPN.com, television appearances on NFL Live and SportsCenter, and podcast and radio appearances. Prior to coming to ESPN, Gutierrez spent three years at CSN Bay Area as a multi-platform reporter, covering the Raiders and Oakland Athletics and hosting cable news show SportsNet Central. Gutierrez votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame and is also a member of the American Professional Soccer Writers and currently serves as president of the Las Vegas chapter of the PFWA. He is also a member of the California Chicano News Media Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Gutierrez has authored three books: Tommy Davis’ Tales from the Dodgers Dugout, 100 Things Raiders Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die and If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Sideline Raiders, The Locker Room, and The Press Box with Lincoln Kennedy. You can follow Paul on Twitter @PGutierrezESPN
HENDERSON, Nev. — Josh Jacobs is expected not to report Tuesday for the first day of Las Vegas Raiders training camp. After all, not only did he and the Raiders fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension by last week’s deadline, but the first-team All-Pro running back still hasn’t signed his franchise label.
Jacobs can’t be fined for missing time at training camp, because he doesn’t have a signed contract.
Still, trainer Josh McDaniels reaffirmed Tuesday that he would welcome Jacobs back, whenever he chooses to report.
“I know Dave [Ziegler] and Tom [Delaney] worked feverishly with his representatives last week to do what they could,” McDaniels said of the Raiders general manager and senior vice president/director of football administration.
“I appreciate [Jacobs’] the decision to end up not signing the deal at that point. So now, I mean, that’s how it is. There hasn’t been much since the deadline and certain things can change, obviously, we know that, but that’s obviously a lot of his decision and I respect whatever he chooses to do. It was his choice and I look forward to seeing him when we do.”
The struggling running backs market changed little Tuesday morning when Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants, who also did not sign his contract or agree to an extension, agreed to a new one-year contract befitting his franchise label. Thus, the $10.1 million adjusted franchise label is fully guaranteed and up to $11 million in incentives while matching a $2 million signing bonus, as well as an additional $909,000 in incentives payable in equal amounts across three categories (1,350 rushing yards and playoff berth, 11 touchdowns and 65 receptions).
“Anything can definitely change in that regard,” says McDaniels. “And look, I’m a coach, I want to have all of them here. That’s obviously our preference so we can work with every player. But when it happens, we’ll see.
“I respect every player’s right to try to do what’s best for them. That’s why the league is like this, in terms of values and contracts, and those things are personal… I’ve said that many times this spring – I respect him a lot, respect him a lot as a player, as a person, what he did for our team last year and I look forward to seeing him whenever he’s here and I respect that process as well. It’s a decision he made and I know they all have to do what they think is best for them.”
Jacobs, the Raiders’ first-round pick in 2019, lacked the fifth-year option picked up by Las Vegas last year and responded with the best season of his career. He led the NFL in rushing yards (1,653) and yards from scrimmage (2,053) while catching 53 passes for a career-high 400 yards and his 12 rushing touchdowns also tied career highs.
He has remained largely silent about the situation, aside from a few cryptic tweets suggesting he prefers the security that comes with a long-term deal, over the more lucrative short-term contracts.
Also Tuesday, McDaniels said there would be no “barriers” on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who underwent surgery in March on his left foot and passed his physical over the weekend.
“We’re going to do what we always do with players coming out of any type of rehab – we’re going to do it the right way,” said McDaniels. “So maybe not 100% repeat on day one, but we would never do that with anyone.”
McDaniels also said there was “no timeline” for first-round draft pick Tyree Wilson to come out of a missing non-football injury. Edge rusher, takes the No. 7 overall, had surgery on his right leg in November and a follow-up procedure in March to remove hardware.
“That’s going in the right direction,” said McDaniels, no doubt. excited about it. And this is, again, just the process we expect, based on what was happening when we built it. We know that there will be a rehabilitation process and then there will be a re-acclimatization phase here. So, he’s doing a good job of everything he’s doing now. Once he is ready to play then we will put him back into training the right way and then get him ready for the regular season.”