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Josh Jacobs reveals ‘biggest difference’ between Packers and Raiders, leading to Green Bay deal in free agency

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Josh Jacobs has found his transition to the Green Bay Packers as its new star running back “very easy,” which he attributes to everyone from the front office, to the coaching staff and, of course, his new teammates. 

The NFL saw numerous running backs switching teams, and Jacobs was among them as he left the Las Vegas Raiders – the team who drafted him 24th overall in 2019 – to head north to Green Bay. 

When news broke during free agency that Jacobs had chosen the Packers instead of returning to Las Vegas, Raiders fans were wondering why that happened. 

“Ultimately, I wanted to come back,” Jacobs told Fox News Digital after representing USAA alongside the Milwaukee Fire Department on Tuesday, where he learned about home fires and staying safe with the holiday weekend coming up. “I wanted to go back, but when we were having negotiations, and they made their decision, it made my decision pretty easy honestly.”

That decision was that the Raiders were not willing to match what the Packers offered, $12 million per season over the next four years, though only the first year is guaranteed. 

It was reported by the NFL Network this time last year that the Raiders offered Jacobs a deal worth around $12 million per season, though the amount of years was unclear. Jacobs ended up negotiating an incentivized franchise tag for the 2023 season. 


This time around, Las Vegas let Jacobs know their intentions, and he moved on as is the way of NFL business. 

In Green Bay, Jacobs found something he feels was lacking in Las Vegas during his five years there: stability. 

“I would say one of the main reasons was just the certainty of what I’m gonna get,” he explained. “There’s already a lot of structure, there’s already a lot of stuff in place. Having another new head coach over there [in Las Vegas], my fourth head coach while I was there, I never felt like there was any stability. 

Josh Jacobs runs on field

“Just to be able to come into a place where you’re not trying to pick up the pieces, and you’re not trying to build it out and see what works for us. We know what works, we’re basically just trying to execute the game plan. I think that’s the biggest difference.”

Jacobs’ Raiders career began in Jon Gruden’s second chapter with the franchise, though it ended in 2021 after homophobic and misogynistic language was found in Gruden’s emails, leading to an immediate resignation. Rich Bisaccia, who is reunited with Jacobs now while serving as the Packers’ special teams coordinator, took over for Gruden as interim head coach before Josh McDaniels came in. 

McDaniels was expected to get the Raiders back on track, but after going 9-16 over 25 games, he was dismissed and replaced by Antonio Pierce midway through last season. The Raiders ended up keeping Pierce in place heading into 2024. 

While Raiders players endorsed Pierce last season and during the hiring process, Jacobs moved on to the Packers, a team that was so close to reaching the NFC Championship Game last season after surprisingly dominating the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round on the road. 

“I actually watched that game about five times, and I’m not even exaggerating,” Jacobs said when Fox News Digital brought up that close fourth-quarter loss in the Divisional Round to the San Francisco 49ers, the team who would go on to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. “I literally seen – they should’ve won the game. 

Josh Jacobs

“I was telling them when I came in, the game of football really comes down to like 3-5 plays and however those 3-5 plays go, it really determines the game. Being able to see them go deep in the playoffs, it makes my mind wonder when I’m coming in like, ‘OK, I can be the missing piece,’ or, ‘What can I add or bring to help overcome that hurdle?’”

Jacobs added that he is trying to leave a legacy in the NFL, and to do so, he feels getting a chance to perform in the playoffs is paramount. He played just one playoff game with the Raiders, a wild card matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2021 campaign, when he had 83 rushing yards and 44 receiving yards in the 26-19 loss. 

The Packers, a young and hungry squad led by Jordan Love at quarterback and head coach Matt LaFleur, who has been in place since 2019, give him a chance to do so after the steps they took last season. 

“Playing in a playoff game, I feel like that’s what you get judged off of, what you get based off of when you talk about legacy and talk about career. I haven’t got the opportunity to be able to do that yet. So, that’s definitely something that’s big for me to do.”

With training camp right around the corner, Jacobs’ sole focus is getting acclimated to the Packers’ offense as quickly as possible and starting off on the right foot with this next chapter in his NFL journey. 

Josh Jacobs runs on field

While he is learning how to perform his best “Lambeau Leap,” the Raiders will be leaning on third-year back Zamir White and free agent acquisition Alexander Mattison to fill the hole left by Jacobs. 

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