Ladies and gentlemen we are off and running with the legal tampering period and already the Oakland Raiders behind the power trio of owner Mark Davis, general manager Mike Mayock, and head coach Jon Gruden have made power moves.
Trading for Antonio Brown was just the tip of the iceberg. It represents a commitment to the narrative pushed by Mayock and Gruden all offseason when asked about the status of their quarterback. Derek Carr is the starting quarterback for the Raiders.
Carr is going to get every single opportunity to succeed this season. He has been given the best wide receiver in football, and the Raiders continued their offensive makeover by reaching an agreement with top free agent offensive tackle, Trent Brown.
Trent Brown will get a record setting 4yr/$66M contract, $36.75M fully guaranteed and average $16.5M per year which will make him the highest paid tackle in the NFL. Brown, at 25 is a mountain of a man standing at 6-foot-8 and weighs in at 360 pounds and moves like dancing bear.
ESPN’s Chris Mortenson has alleged the franchise is cash poor, and suggesting that after the signings of the Browns they would be unable to make a run at free agent running back Le’Veon Bell.
Here's the video of @mortreport reporting the Oakland #Raiders are cash-poor and can't afford to sign former #Steelers RB @LeVeonBell due to real cash issue, not salary cap issue. [part 1 of 2, h/t @ftbeard_17] pic.twitter.com/p4uJBZztuV— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 11, 2019
This despite having at the time some $42 million in salary cap. Since then they have signed free agent defensive back Lamarcus Joyner to a 4-year deal, their first defensive addition. The numbers aren’t in yet, but they figure to be significant as Joyner was considered among the top free agents available.
Could they keep it going and grab the top running back prize? Should they be?
If there was a perfect balance of a running back for a Gruden it would be Bell. The patience in the backfield, the infuriating running style, soft hands and power. Over the course of his five year career Bell has caught 78.04% of his targets, averages 4.4 yards per carry and 1,599.2 yards from scrimmage in his career.
In other words Bell is a matchup nightmare. For a team devoid of iconic star power the Raiders have cleared enough cap space to meet his lofty contractual demands of $15-17M per year.
With his best friend from Pittsburgh already having relocated to the Bay Area it would be only natural for the Raiders to court Bell and make him stare into the Black Hole.
Signing Bell would be a major coup for the Silver & Black for a multitude of reasons.
First and foremost the Steelers will be a significantly weaker opponent. The Steelers missed Bell down the stretch despite the strong play from second year pro James Conner.
Bell has been offered a deal by a couple of teams and he had this to say about his struggles.
I’m sooooo torn right now ...decisions— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) March 11, 2019
The Raiders have been connected to a lot of players recently including defensive end Markus Golden, wide receiver Tyrell Williams, Le’Veon Bell, and could still looking to work out a deal to re-sign Jared Cook.
Should the Raiders be turning their attention to trying to reel in Le’Veon Bell?
This poll is closed
Yes, he should be top priority
No, focus on others