The deadline arrived and Le’Veon Bell failed to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers for duty. Consequently, he will not be eligible to play football during this season.
So far, Bell has missed out on $8.5 million in wages for the 2018 season. The remaining $6 million is forfeited, too. Bell is bidding goodbye to a total of $14.5 million to stay healthy and strike a potential mega deal this offseason. After a major injury to Seahawks’ safety Earl Thomas, his move seemed all the more reasonable.
Bell will now be a free agent in March of 2019, and it’s never too early to look at where the star running back might be headed. SportsRadioAmerica.com examines teams who might make a bid at inking the All-Pro running back.
New York Jets
The Jets will have massive amount of cap space this upcoming offseason. They will have the cash to entice Bell, but maybe not the talent. Last season, the Jets seemed to solidify the running back position by signing Isaiah Crowell to a three-year, $22 million deal.
Crowell was one of the Cleveland Browns’ few bright spots during their winless season (853 yards, two touchdowns). However, neither Crowell nor backup Bilal Powell can make plays in the passing game like Bell, who could be considered a top wide receiver on some teams. He has the ability to both split out wide and make plays from backfield.
If Bell wanted to prove the Steelers wrong while playing for a playoff-caliber team, a move to the Ravens would provide Bell with two cracks at Pittsburgh annually. Current Baltimore backs Javorius Allen and Ty Montgomery both have deals expiring and Alex Collins will be a restricted free agent.
Needless to say, Baltimore would let everyone go for Bell. Alex Collins has been a decent back for the Baltimore Ravens, but someone like Bell could take this team to the next level. Imagine Bell’s career had he played alongside Michael Vick!
The Ravens now look to have Vick 2.0 with Lamar Jackson, a frightening potential with that duo on the same backfield. The Ravens don’t have as much money as some other teams and would have to make some moves, but the potential of Jackson and Bell plus Bell’s motivation against the Steelers could be too much to pass up.
The silver and black with five, first-round picks over the next two years, will have a young roster with pressing need in the backfield where Marshawn Lynch is on injured reserve.
Bell would be a godsend for the embattled Derek Carr and the team would be his as the Raiders move to Vegas. Oakland has more than $9 million in cap space and will have to create breathing room, but the Raiders always look to make a splash (good or bad).
Bell replacing running backs Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin is no-brainer. He’d join a proud organization which could be poised for a quick resurrection depending on how Jon Gruden uses all his first-round picks for trades or new talent. Can Sin City bring Bell to play on the strip? Time will tell.