There’s been some speculation over the last week that Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs could be traded.

That speculation stems from Jacobs surprisingly playing in the Raiders’ preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

Rookie running back Zamir White’s impressive performance against the Jaguars also added to the speculation.

And there’s the fact that Las Vegas didn’t pick up Jacobs’ fifth-year option, making him a free agent after the season.

A report over the weekend from the Las Vegas Review-Journal that stated the Raiders don’t plan to trade Jacobs seemingly put an end to the speculation. But I think we all know that speculation doesn’t die that easy in the NFL.

Las Vegas Raiders
Jan 15, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) with the stiff arm during the second quarter in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of speculation or reports, there’s one key reason why Jacobs shouldn’t be traded.

And it’s because White, despite his strong performance so far, is still unproven at the NFL level. Specifically, we don’t know what if White can be a bell-cow running back for the Raiders.

White has an injury history — he tore his ACL before his true freshman season. That’s not a huge deal — we’ve seen plenty of running backs recover just fine from significant knee injuries (including former Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb). But it’s still something that’s a factor for White.

What’s more concerning is that White has never really carried a full load in college. The most carries he received in a season at Georgia was 160 (last season). That’s over 100 carries fewer than Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr, who led the SEC in rushing yards last season, received in 2021.

Even the aforementioned Chubb carried the ball well over 200 times in each of his full seasons at Georgia.

We simply don’t know yet if White can be a guy in the NFL that receives around 300 carries and can still be productive. I’m not saying he can’t be the guy, I’m just saying we just don’t know yet.

And because we don’t know, the Raiders can’t afford to trade Jacobs.

Maybe that changes late in the season. Maybe Las Vegas sees what they need to see from White. But for now, I’d say it’s a lock that Jacobs will be on the Raiders’ 53-man roster when the season starts.

Featured image via Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports