Le’Veon Bell has not taken an NFL snap since the 2017 season. He sat out 2018 and gave up his entire $14.5M salary. The time has finally come. He’ll be a free agent this offseason and will be free to sign with any team. While we don’t exactly know what his market will look like, it is possible for us to envision him with other teams.
Here are the 5 best landing spots for Le’Veon Bell:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have a new coach with Bruce Arians on board. Tampa averaged just 95.2 rushing yards per game last season, which was fourth-worst in the league. Without an elite feature back, the Bucs relied on former undrafted free agent Peyton Barber. Adding Bell and using him the way Arians used David Johnson in Arizona would be a a major upgrade. It would also take off a ton of pressure from Jameis Winston, who needs to have a bounce back season. Tampa will make some cuts to clear cap space. If they want Bell, they have the financial flexibility to do it.
New York Jets
The Jets simply need to add offensive weapons for Sam Darnold. Adding a dynamic talent like Le’Veon Bell would be enormous for Darnold as he enters his sophomore season. Jamal Adams has been publicly touting for Bell to come to NY and the Jets front office surely hears him. The Jets will have the second most cap space in the NFL when free agency opens, but according to reports they won’t break the bank for Bell. Expect the Jets to closely monitor Bell and be players for his services.
Similar to the Jets, the Bills also must add offensive weapons for their young QB. Josh Allen turned heads last year as a rookie QB. While plenty of people said he wouldn’t make it in the NFL as a franchise guy, Allen proved to have the potential to be an NFL QB. LeSean McCoy is aging and is coming off his worst NFL season as a pro. His 2019 cap hit is third among all RB in the NFL and simply cutting him would free up $6.4M in cap space. Buffalo will have approximately $80-$90 million in salary cap space this offseason. Considering the lack of WR talent on their roster and on the free agent market, adding a Bell type talent seems like a reasonable idea.
The Texans are a very intriguing team for Bell. Adding Bell to Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins just sounds so exciting. And guess what, they could make it happen. The Texans are projected to have roughly $65M in cap space this offseason. Their current RB, Lamar Miller, can be released and would free up an additional $6.2M in cap. If you recall, the Texans had 29 total rushing yards from their RBs in their playoff loss to the Colts. Adding a dynamic RB like Bell to the mix would make Houston dangerous as a running and passing team. This is just my personal stance, but I would love to see Watson-Bell-Hopkins in 2019.
I personally don’t think the Colts will go after Le’Veon Bell. GM Chris Ballard didn’t sound like he wanted Bell when he last spoke to the media. But looking at the big picture, the Colts will have the most cap space in 2019. Bell has hinted on social media that he wants to play with the Colts. Andrew Luck is a top-5 QB. Their offensive line is top-5 in the league. And simply putting it, Le’Veon Bell is a top-5 RB. Can you imagine piecing together Luck-Bell-Hilton-Ebron with that offensive line and an offensive HC like Frank Reich? There’s a lot to like about the idea. However, the Colts do like their trio of RBs right now with Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins. It sounds like GM Chris Ballard wants to keep potential distractions off the team and let the original rebuild plan continue.
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