The Raiders have already made big splashes by trading for Antonio Brown and signing Trent Brown. However, a pursuit of Le’Veon Bell should not be ruled out just yet, Michael Gehlken of the Review-Journal tweets.
On Tuesday morning, we heard that there were five teams still in on Bell – the Jets, Ravens, Packers, Texans, and Bills. The Raiders were conspicuously absent from that list, but we can add them back into the mix. Bell now appears to have six leading suitors and a decision could be just around the corner.
Anthony Barr‘s decision to spurn the Jets and return to the Vikings prompted the former to make a stronger push, possibly a take-it-or-leave-it proposal, for Bell. But nothing concrete about terms for any of these teams’ offers have emerged.
The Raiders have a barren running back depth chart, with both Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin residing as free agents. Oakland placed a second-round tender on Jalen Richard. While some of Richard’s game overlaps with Bell’s, he is not nearly as well-rounded as the two-time All-Pro.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Raiders still hold more than $42MM in cap space. Their skill-position situation remains somewhat thin, with Jared Cook also a free agent. A Bell addition would stand to give this corps a significant upgrade. Although Bell has more tread on his tires than most marquee running back free agents have over the past several years, with 1,541 career regular-season touches, he avoided further punishment by making the rare decision to sit out an entire season. He figures to have some prime years remaining, though it can’t be certain how many are left.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.