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Josh Jacobs hopes to stay with Raiders long term: 'It's definitely a place that I want to be'

Last offseason, Josh Jacobs did not have his fifth-year option picked up by the Raiders, setting up a "prove-it" season with the team in 2022.

Jacobs delivered in a contract year, exploding for a league-leading 1,653 rushing yards. He also set career-highs in rushes (340) and yards per attempt (4.9), matched his career-high of 12 TDs and averaged 97.2 rushing yards per game.

His efforts earned him a second Pro Bowl nod, and he was named a first-team All-Pro for the first time in his career. And now, with the season over, the focus moves to determining where he'll play next season.

After producing career-high numbers in almost every category, Jacobs is in a much different situation heading into a possible stint in free agency this offseason. The soon-to-be 25-year-old hopes he returns to Las Vegas in 2023 and beyond.

"I mean for me, I've got the Raiders seal tatted on me. It's always something that I wanted to be a part of," Jacobs said Thursday on Good Morning Football. "I want to give back to win and change the culture to get the winning mentality and things like that, I'm fully invested in that.

"I mean I just bought a house in Vegas, it's definitely a place that I want to be."

The choice by Las Vegas not to exercise its option on the former No. 24 overall pick came after Jacobs showed significant potential in his rookie year, collecting 1,150 rushing yards. His production slacked off in the next two seasons, largely due to his recurring presence on the injury report, which preceded Las Vegas' decision on the fifth-year option.

With that decision rearing its head this offseason, the Raiders can use the franchise tag on the All-Pro RB, or else he will be an unrestricted free agent come March. While Jacobs strongly prefers to stay with the team that drafted him, he did say that he's keeping his options open in case negotiations to stay in Vegas don't come to fruition.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who has been the signal-caller for as long as Jacobs has been in Vegas, is likely parting with the team sooner rather than later, and Jacobs said the pair joked during last week's Pro Bowl Games that he could end up following Carr to wherever he ends up landing.

"Me and (Carr) sat down and were just like 'Man, it's a possibility that it could happen,'" Jacobs said. "So it's definitely something that I'm keeping my options open with, but he's a great dude, wherever he ends up he's definitely going to contribute to that team in a positive way, and I'm happy for him."

If the Raiders are able to retain Jacobs either through the franchise tag or a new contract, however, the presence of a reliable running back already familiar with the organization could help make the change at QB more seamless as the team tries to build back from a disappointing 6-11 record in 2022.

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