Philadelphia Eagles

NFL rumors: Jets favorites to sign reported Raiders target Le'Veon Bell

NFL rumors: Jets favorites to sign reported Raiders target Le'Veon Bell

Despite Oakland native Damian Lillard's best efforts, the Raiders reportedly are not the favorites to sign Le'Veon Bell in free agency. 

The New York Jets are "undeniably the favorite" to sign the running back, a "high-profile agent" told The Athletic's Connor Hughes. The Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are "also in the running," Hughes reported citing another agent.

The Jets are armed with over $102 million in salary-cap space, according to OverTheCap.com, which is the second-most of any NFL team this offseason. But as it stands right now, the Raiders have much more space ($72,915,680) than the Bucs ($15,633,489) or the Eagles ($4,183,815).

All four teams have a clear need in the offensive backfield, too, and boast coaching staffs that like to get the running back involved in the passing game. Raiders running back Jalen Richard, for instance, was targeted more times (81) than all but two offensive players on the team last season. In the last three seasons in which he played at least 12 games, Bell was targeted no fewer than 94 times.

[RELATED: Raiders make most sense for Antonio Brown, Peter King says]

It's conceivable that Richard's presence on the roster would help the Raiders' pitch, too. Part of the reason Bell sat out of all of 2018 was because he was concerned about his workload with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2017, Ball had 406 touches (rushes and receptions) and become one of only 43 players in NFL history to have 400-plus touches in a season.

Should Richard re-sign as a restricted free agent, he could take some off of Bell's plate. The Jets, Eagles, and Bucs don't exactly have alternatives in place on their rosters to share (some of) the load, but that could change in free agency. 

The Raiders might not be among the reported frontrunners, but they remain a good fit on paper.

NFL rumors: Nick Foles to sign with Jaguars at start of NFL free agency

NFL rumors: Nick Foles to sign with Jaguars at start of NFL free agency

The 49ers have their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Raiders recently reaffirmed their faith in Derek Carr as theirs.

The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to have no such faith in Blake Bortles, and according to Les Bowen of Philly.com, they've already found their replacement in the Eagles' Nick Foles.

"The only Eagles quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl is bound for Jacksonville when NFL free agency opens March 13, according to NFL sources with knowledge of the situation," Bowen wrote Sunday.

"A market for Nick Foles outside of Jacksonville has not developed, and though nothing is certain until it is official, the Jaguars absolutely expect to sign Foles, sources said."

Foles signing with the Jaguars -- the Eagles have already announced they do not plan to use the franchise tag on him -- would not have a direct impact on either the 49ers or Raiders, but quite possibly an indirect one.

Acquiring Foles would seem to eliminate Jacksonville from the list of quarterback-needy teams. That list has been dwindling rather rapidly after Denver traded for Baltimore's Joe Flacco. Washington and Miami will likely be in the market for a quarterback, but in general, the supply currently outweighs the demand, and that would be further exasperated by Foles signing with the Jags.

This is quite relevant to the 49ers and Raiders due to their position at the top of the draft order. There are rumors abound that Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is the odds-on favorite to go first overall, and Ohio State signal-caller Dwayne Haskins is expected to go very high as well.

[RELATED: Report: Murray to Cardinals with No. 1 pick is 'done deal']

The more QB-needy teams there are come draft time, the better position the 49ers and/or Raiders would be in to exact a high price in a trade back with one of those teams.

With Foles reportedly heading to Jacksonville at the start of free agency, that's likely one fewer potential trade partner to take advantage of.

2019 NFL Draft: Raiders' first-round picks finally set after Eagles' loss

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2019 NFL Draft: Raiders' first-round picks finally set after Eagles' loss

The Raiders’ NFL draft order finally is set. It took far longer than they had hoped, especially with 2019 draft slots acquired for Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.

Fingers were crossed that the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys would stink and sacrifice high picks for such star power.

Fortune didn’t smile on Jon Gruden there. His trade partners made the playoffs, pushing first-round picks deep into the 20s.

He should be thankful neither team made a serious run.

The Bears bowed out in the opening round and ended up handing over the No. 24 overall pick as part of larger compensation package that will be paid off over two NFL drafts.

The Cowboys didn’t go down easy, winning a playoff game before the Rams overmatched them Saturday in Los Angeles.

That draft slot wasn’t secured until the divisional round ended Sunday afternoon. Philadelphia’s 20-14 loss to New Orleans locked Dallas’ pick into the No. 27 overall spot.

Every team that loses in a given round of the playoffs is lumped together and then sorted by regular season record. Strength of schedule breaks an equal-record tiebreaker.

The No. 27 pick taken from Dallas will be the Raiders’ last selection of the first round and the third of four selections in the top 35.

The Raiders earned the fourth and 35th picks with a disappointing 4-12 campaign.

An Eagles victory would’ve bumped the Raiders up one spot, which doesn’t seem like a big deal on the surface. But it actually could be the difference in getting the desired player over a backup plan.

That happened last year with the 49ers using the No. 9 overall pick on Mike McGlinchey right before the Raiders were on the clock. Had Gruden won a tiebreaking coin flip with the 49ers, McGlinchey would be rocking silver and black right now.

The Raiders have four early selections at No. 4, No. 24 (from Chicago), No. 27 (from Dallas) and No. 35 overall. That’s a significant cache the Raiders can use to import four top college players turning pro. They also can make a trade moving around the draft board or for an established veteran.

While the Raiders hoped for higher picks this year from Mack and Cooper trades, they still have plenty of top assets to make big moves while rebuilding their roster.