The biggest name in NFL free agency reportedly is off the board, and he won't wear Silver and Black.
Running back Le'Veon Bell plans to sign a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the New York Jets, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday night.
And there you have it. Raiders were in the hunt today, but Bell commits to the New York Jets. https://t.co/k2L8Rt2YhW— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) March 13, 2019
The maximum value and guaranteed money are pretty high, too.
Le’Veon Bell’s four-year deal with the New York Jets has a max value of $61 million and includes $35 million guaranteed, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2019
NBC Sports California's Scott Bair reported earlier in the day that the Raiders were contenders for Bell, but they evidently weren't interested in a bidding war for him. They believed they were competitive and under consideration by the two-time All-Pro running back, who started following Derek Carr on Twitter, setting off some speculation about the running back's future. That, and former Steelers teammate Antonio Brown's trade to Oakland over the weekend, seemed to play in the Raiders' favor.
Bell did not play in 2018, sitting out the entire season after the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him for the second consecutive season. The 27-year-old was concerned about his workload after accumulating 406 touches in 2017, knowing the Steelers would not retain him when he became a free agent.
Bell was one of the NFL's most productive players when he did play. In each of his last two seasons, Bell ran for nearly 1,300 yards and had over 600 receiving yards, and would've been a significant upgrade over Marshawn Lynch (if he returns), Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and De'Andre Washington in Oakland's backfield. Alas, Bell is staying on the East Coast.