The Oakland Raiders just made the biggest move of the NFL offseason with a trade for All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, and they might not be done just yet.
Reports have indicated that the Raiders have serious interest in soon-to-be free agent Le’Veon Bell, who, like Brown, forced his way off of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As Pro Football Talk reported, Bell is gaining interest from a number of teams, but the Raiders could be the frontrunner.
As the report noted, there have been plenty of indications that the Raiders wanted to land Bell as well.
“Rumors and speculation that the Raiders, who are slated to exit Oakland after this season and enter Las Vegas in 2020, could pursue Bell have percolated for months,” the report noted. “Given that he’ll be hitting the open market unrestricted and unfettered, the Raiders could get him for no trade compensation.”
There have been other hints that the Oakland Raiders could be giving a strong look at Le’Veon Bell. As the New York Post pointed out, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr started to follow Bell on Twitter. Social media was a harbinger of the trade for Antonio Brown, as he took to Instagram to post a video of himself working out while wearing the Raiders silver and black.
1. Trade for Antonio Brown.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 10, 2019
2. Sign Le'Veon Bell?https://t.co/gmSm28lUqt
The Raiders just landed Brown for the low price of a third- and fifth-round pick, though it also came at the cost of a massive pay raise for Brown, who will get $50 million over the next three years. The team could also be offering a similar deal to Bell, with Spotrac noting that the team could give another $50 million with $30 million guaranteed to Le’Veon Bell.
The Raiders have been going for a quick rebuild under head coach Jon Gruden, after having traded Amari Cooper last season to pave the way for Brown to become their No. 1 receiver.
“Jon Gruden, I believe, is a future Hall of Fame coach and one of the great offensive minds in football, and the Raiders have a fantastic franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, they have a great tradition, great fan base, moving to Las Vegas,” said Drew Rosenhaus, Brown’s agent, via ESPN.
It’s perfectly possible, if not likely, that the #Raiders offer Le’Veon Bell the exact same 3 year, $50M-ish, $30M-ish guaranteed contract in a few days.— Spotrac (@spotrac) March 10, 2019
If the Oakland Raiders do sign Le’Veon Bell, it would seem to put an end to rumors of a return for running back Marshawn Lynch, NBC Sports noted.
It will only take a bit longer to see if the rumors connecting Le’Veon Bell to the Oakland Raiders pan out, as free agency starts this week.