Le'Veon Bell Rumors: Raiders Had 'Real Buzz in the Building' About Signing RB

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

As Le'Veon Bell was still deciding which team he would sign with, the Oakland Raiders were confident they had an offer the three-time Pro Bowl running back would accept. 

Per The Athletic's Vic Tafur, the Raiders had a "real buzz in the building" that Bell would agree to a deal with them. 

"There was some real buzz in the building around noon on Tuesday," Tafur wrote. "The Jets had given Bell a deadline, and there was a sense that if money wasn't the most important thing Bell would rather play for the Raiders than the Jets."

Per ESPN.com's Adam Schefter, Bell ultimately agreed to a four-year deal with $35 million guaranteed from the New York Jets

Le'Veon Bell @LeVeonBell

NYC, let’s do it ✈️ https://t.co/uinxo3J3Se

The Raiders also had the ability to sell Bell on playing with Antonio Brown again after they spent five seasons together with the Pittsburgh Steelers

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Raiders will acquire Brown for a third- and fifth-round draft pick in 2019. 

Unfortunately for Oakland, Anthony Barr's decision to return to the Minnesota Vikings likely played a role in Bell agreeing with the Jets. 

Barr had a verbal agreement with the Jets Monday night, per Schefter. He changed his mind the following day, agreeing to a five-year deal with Minnesota, per Rapoport

Rapoport added the Jets were using some of the money they saved not signing Barr to increase their offer to Bell. 

The Raiders will have to turn to their secondary plan at running back for 2019. Marshawn Lynch is a free agent and hasn't committed to playing next season. Jalen Richard is a restricted free agent who has shown great potential with 6.5 yards per touch in three seasons.