The legal tampering period for free agency has barely even begun yet and already the Oakland Raiders have handed out the two largest contracts of the offseason. After trading third and fifth-round picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Antonio Brown, the Raiders reworked the star receiver’s contract, taking him from $0 to more than $30 million in guaranteed cash on a three-year deal that will pay him in excess of $50 million total.
Then, just as the legal tampering period opened, the Raiders reportedly agreed to sign former Patriots left tackle Trent Brown to the richest contract for any offensive lineman in NFL history, handing him a four-year, $66 million deal that contains $36.75 million in guarantees.
That amounts to over $66 million in guaranteed cash in just a few days’ time. So maybe we should not be all that surprised that apparently, the Raiders will not be chasing after Le’Veon Bell … because they don’t have the cash to sign him.
Bell is looking for a market-setting deal at the running back spot, but the presumed suitors for his services don’t appear to be all that numerous, and some of the teams many thought would be in on the bidding (like the Raiders) may in fact be out. Oakland can use all the talent it can get but it’s going to be difficult to bring players in if the team is as low on cash as this report makes it seem. This is definitely a situation to monitor, as it could potentially affect the ambitions of Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock.