Following a massive win against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders clearly think they could win it all this year. Well, a big-ticket player just hit free agency and Jon Gruden might not be able to help himself. The New York Jets unceremoniously parted ways with running back Le’Veon Bell and now he’s sitting in free agency weighing his options.
According to NFL insider Benjamin Albright, the Raiders are among the team who could be in his future.
Bears, Raiders, Patriots, Dolphins
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 15, 2020
Bell had a couple of weak years with the Jets but that doesn’t mean he won’t still have some strong years left in the tank. New York has been where talent goes to die over the last few years. Just ask Jamal Adams, Keliche Osemele and Trumaine Johnson. He could very much return to the form that saw him make it to three Pro Bowls.
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Raiders Don’t Need Bell
The Raiders being interested in Bell is both surprising and not. It’s no secret that Gruden is a fan of the running back but the team also really doesn’t have a need at running back. Josh Jacobs is second in the NFL with 377 rushing yards on the year. He’s also tied for second in rushing touchdowns with five. At this point in their careers, Jacobs is without a doubt the better running back.
Also, Devontae Booker has been a very capable backup this season. He’s averaging 7.1 yards a carry. There’s also Jalen Richard, who is an excellent blocker and receiver out of the backfield. Simply put, the Raiders just really don’t have a need at the position. If they really want to add a star free agent, defensive back Earl Thomas might make more sense.
Gruden Could Get Overindulgent
The Raiders used a first-round pick on Jacobs just a year ago and he’s their running back of the future. Even though the team really doesn’t need Bell, that might not stop Gruden from getting a little greedy. When you consider the fact that the Chiefs are among the teams interested, the Raiders aren’t going to want to see that happen. It might be worth it to force Bell onto the roster just to keep him away from Kansas City.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with having too much talent. Gruden is a creative play designer and would no doubt salivate at the idea of having two dynamic running backs to work with. In fact, adding Bell would probably give the Raiders the best running back duo in the NFL. Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson seemed to make it work back in the day so maybe Bell and Jacobs can. Las Vegas does have some cap room and Bell probably wouldn’t demand too much money. They could afford him if they truly want him. According to Bob Fescoe, Bell plans to make his decision this week so it won’t take long to know what his future holds.