Josh Jacobs fell from grace last season, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a renaissance in Cincinnati.
The Las Vegas Raiders running back was one of the best at his position in 2022, with 1,653 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on only 340 attempts (4.9 yards per attempt) along with 400 yards receiving.
But in 2023, he slowed down, with just 3.5 yards per attempt, in part due to a quad injury he sustained against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14.
Meanwhile, the Bengals can save $6 million if they cut their current starting running back, Joe Mixon. They could then look to add a veteran running back to replace him as opposed to banking on a rookie hitting the ground running.
For these reasons, Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus has the Bengals (along with the Green Bay Packers) as a potential suitor for Jacobs. Here’s what the analyst said:
The Bengals hypothetically move on from running back Joe Mixon in this exercise, getting younger at the position with Jacobs. Cincinnati has fed Mixon carries and targets over the years, and Jacobs can shoulder the same load as a workhorse back.
Green Bay was reportedly one of the teams calling about Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor before he eventually signed an extension, and A.J. Dillon is a pending free agent while Aaron Jones is still uber efficient despite missing a lot of time in 2023.
Playing with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and (maybe still) Tee Higgins could get Jacobs back on track, which would be huge. If the Bengals can get anywhere near the production the running back had just a couple of years ago, they’ll be tough to stop on offense.