The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly reached out to the New York Jets about trading for Le’Veon Bell prior to his release and signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Raiders were one of the last teams to inquire about Bell, but they did not want to take on his massive contract.
In 2019, the Jets signed Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $27 million guaranteed, which was record breaking for the running back position at the time.
Since then, Joe Mixon, Christian Mccaffrey, and Alvin Kamara have received even more, but their level of play has warranted it — unlike Bell in the last two seasons.
Bell sat out the entire of the 2018 NFL season in order to finish out his deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has unfortunately not looked the same since leaving.
In Bell’s five seasons with the Steelers, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry, which is very efficient over the course of 62 games. Unfortunately, that has changed.
However, in Bell’s time with the Jets, his yards per attempt have dropped down to just a pedestrian 3.3 and he failed to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark in his 17 games.
As for the Raiders, it was wise of them to not take on Bell’s contract via trade due to the fact they already have an All-Star running back in Josh Jacobs now.
Jacobs is still on his rookie deal of four-years, $11.9 million and is not set to make more than $3 million in any year until his contract expires after the 2023 season.
While the Raiders could have paired the two by making Jacobs the early downs back and Bell the receiving back, it would only slow Jacobs’ development.
Jacobs is capable of being a three-down back and he has not done anything to make them think that he is not, therefore he should be given the chance to prove it.
The Raiders ultimately dodged a bullet with Bell’s contract and can now return their focus back to grooming one of the league’s next best running backs in Jacobs.