Oakland Raiders

Raiders reportedly have real interest in Le’Veon Bell

Le’Veon Bell is one of the hottest free agents on the market this month, and it sounds like the Oakland Raiders could be one of his potential suitors.

Few free agents will have as much of a ripple effect this offseason as Le’Veon Bell, who showed he was serious about getting more guaranteed money as a running back by sitting out the entire 2018 season. With James Conner emerging as a feature back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the AFC North franchise has little reason to keep Bell, who will command a high price on the open market.

But several teams around the league looking for a proven, versatile playmaker could be ready to meet his asking price. Per a report from FanSided.com’s Matt Verderame, the Oakland Raiders have “significant interest” in the 27-year-old.

Of course, as Verderame notes in the tweet, there will be many suitors for Bell, but it sounds like Oakland may be ready to make a play for a running back who had nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage in his last full season, in 2017.

Last night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Raiders are also among the three teams most interested in Steelers superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is available for trade. Given that their most productive player on offense last season, tight end Jared Cook, is a free agent, this reported interest in two of the NFL’s best weapons is unsurprising.

Though Jalen Richard, Jordy Nelson and Doug Martin were serviceable players in the Raiders offense, Oakland lacks any sort of star power at the skill positions around Derek Carr. A player like Bell would immediately change that; he’s one of the NFL’s most dangerous rushers and is an even better pass-catcher out of the backfield than the Charlie Garner-like Jalen Richard. In the prime of his career, Bell would be a game-changer for Jon Gruden’s franchise.

Next: Ranking The 30 Best Running Backs In NFL History

Bell was reportedly looking for $17 million a year from the Steelers in 2018, and if enough teams like the Raiders show interest, then there’s a chance a team could give him this kind of market-setting money. The running back position may seem less valuable to some fans, but with the need for playmakers and with cap space growing league-wide, Bell’s decision to wait a year could pay off.

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