With his contract dispute firmly in the rearview mirror, Josh Jacobs is all set to make his mark in the upcoming Raiders’ season.

“Everything’s squared away,” Jacobs declared on Wednesday. “We found common ground, and there’s no lingering tension. It’s a clean slate for me. There were never any hard feelings. I understood the Raiders’ side, and they understood my value. It was about reaching a compromise.”

With less than two weeks to go before the Raiders’ season opener against AFC West rivals Denver on September 10, Jacobs is working tirelessly to regain his peak form.

“Physically, I haven’t missed a beat,” Jacobs confidently asserted. “For me, the challenge was getting back into the groove mentally with the playbook and the new plays. I didn’t want to fall behind. Today, though, I made no mistakes. Now it’s about building on this foundation.”

Recently, Jacobs and the Raiders inked a one-year contract, reportedly worth up to $12 million, as disclosed by an unnamed source. Earlier, the Raiders had placed the franchise tag on Jacobs, which would have earned him $10.1 million. In this off-season, several star NFL running backs, including Jacobs, faced contract offers they deemed subpar.

Josh Jacobs Resolves

In the previous season, Jacobs led the league in rushing with an astounding 1,653 yards, factoring in both rushing and receiving. Coach Josh McDaniels has hinted at a continued heavy reliance on Jacobs in the upcoming season.

However, McDaniels emphasized the necessity of practice time to bring Jacobs up to full speed before loading him with plays. It’s possible that Jacobs might have a gradual return to the field.

“He’s one of the sharpest football minds you’ll ever coach,” McDaniels praised. “I anticipate him quickly adapting to the system and his role. As for his overall readiness and conditioning, and how many snaps he’ll play, we’ll figure that out in the next 10 days.”

The Raiders secured a roster exemption for Jacobs, allowing them one extra player beyond the standard 53. They’ll need to make a cut before facing the Broncos next week.

Jacobs expressed enthusiasm about this year’s team after his initial practice. The Raiders are aiming to improve upon their 6-11 record from the previous season.

“We’ve got more speed,” Jacobs noted. “We’ve got players who love the game and have high football IQs. That’s the first thing I noticed. It’s got me really pumped up for the season.”

One noticeable change upon Jacobs’ return to practice is his jersey number. He’s now wearing No. 8 instead of No. 28. Jacobs had wanted to switch to the single-digit number he wore at Alabama but found it cost-prohibitive.

“They wanted $3.5 million for it, so that was a no-go,” Jacobs chuckled. “Throughout my life, that’s the number I’ve always worn. I’ve always felt it brings out something different in me.”

Going with Three Quarterbacks

The Raiders have chosen to retain three quarterbacks, including the experienced Brian Hoyer alongside starter Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Aidan O’Connell.

“Having some experienced guys to mentor Aidan when he has the chance to learn from them is invaluable,” McDaniels explained. “We’re preparing all of them diligently. While there isn’t necessarily a designated No. 2 quarterback, we’ll have to declare one for each game, indicating that we’ll be taking advantage of the new emergency QB rule.”

Roster Moves

Las Vegas has signed 14 players to the practice squad, notably including defensive tackle Matthew Butler, cornerback Tyler Hall, guard Netane Muti, wide receiver Devin Ross, and cornerback Sam Webb. Three spots remain, with one extra due to the development program for international players.

McDaniels expressed his desire to keep linebacker Drake Thomas, but he was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Seahawks.

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“It’s one of those situations where you try to create the right 53, and sometimes you miss out on a player if you want to continue developing them on the practice squad,” McDaniels reflected. “We wish him the best, and we’re confident he’ll excel there.”