The Oakland Raiders just keep spending through the early stages of the NFL free agency legal tampering period. And after they spend big in one area, they move to another position, which has resulted in the next signing. With that said, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock certainly have the cap space to spend, and they’re addressing multiple key needs in the process.
It started with the trade for Antonio Brown which featured a nice pay increase for the All-Pro wideout. As Pro Football Talk reported, Brown’s salary jumped up to $50.125 million from $38.925 million over the next three seasons. But beyond that, he also received up to $4 million in incentives over that span and $30.125 million added in guarantees, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
But along with that, there was a record-breaking contract for offensive tackle Trent Brown worth $66 million over four years with $36.75 million guaranteed, as Schefter reported. And finally, the Raiders addressed the safety position, and as ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez reported, the deal is worth roughly $10.5 million per year.
The Raiders have plenty of cap space that’s going to good use it seems, but this still leaves one question – what’s the plan at running back?
Le’Veon Bell Now Too Expensive?
We could see the Raiders go a number of ways moving forward with their projected remaining cap space, but handing star running back Le’Veon Bell $15-$17 million per year seems unlikely. He’s going to receive a big contract, but maybe there’s a chance it won’t be quite as lucrative as expected and Oakland decides they’re comfortable diving into the mix.
Even still, this seems like a longshot now, and more likely than not, the idea of Bell in the Bay Area (and then Las Vegas) may be slowly coming to an end. But with Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin both free agents, Gruden’s offense is going to need a new starter.
Maybe the Raiders will address the position in the 2019 NFL Draft, but even if that’s the plan, another option in Adrian Peterson could make a lot of sense.
Adrian Peterson a Fit With Raiders?
The Raiders have spent their money on one “veteran” receiver (Brown is technically a vet) and some young talent to this point. But we know Gruden loves his veteran leaders who have been around the league and are ready to come in and work to prove they can still compete at a high level.
And eventually, we’re going to see the team add at least one or two of the infamous ‘Gruden Grinders,’ so why not Peterson?
The man known as ‘All Day,’ spent last season with the Washington Redskins and showed he still has plenty left in the tank and could be a perfect option to pair with a young back. He works hard and it’s obvious at the age of 33 that he’s remained in football shape. After all, the man rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns during his 12th NFL season.
It may not be the long-term answer, but Peterson and the Raiders could be a match made in heaven as a one-year fit. Plus, the idea of him running in an offense with Derek Carr throwing to Antonio Brown and a talented offensive line is exciting to think about.
The one big argument against signing Peterson? Bringing Lynch back could make more sense if the Raiders choose to go the veteran route.