The Le'Veon Bell rumor mill is swirling and the New York Jets are one of the first teams to crop up in the gossip columns. New York has reportedly made preliminary overtures to the Pittsburgh Steelers about trading for the disgruntled superstar. However, the talks have not produced anything of substance as the Steelers are rumored to be seeking a third-round draft pick in return for the potential one year rental. Nevertheless, adding Bell as the centerpiece of the Jets’ backfield is intriguing but what are the chances of Bell actually staying beyond this season and will he be worth the princely sum that it will take to keep him as a member of Gang Green for the foreseeable future?
Well, the possibilities are as delicious as a porterhouse at Peter Luger but the reality is that welcoming Bell into the Jets' locker room would be tantamount to disaster. There is no point in tossing away a third-round pick on a team that is building for the future as opposed to one on the cusp of a championship which needs that one critical piece to hurdle them over the top.
Secondly, the chance of Bell signing a long-term deal with the Jets is a longshot at best and the only way this 6’1” prima donna powerhouse will call New York his home is if the Jets overspend and destroy their cap structure. There are too many holes that have yet to be filled on this roster - although quarterback is fortunately no longer among them…we think – and the ransom Bell will demand would preclude the Jets from wooing any major free agents in the offseason to the Big Apple.
Lastly, let’s not forget that Mr. Bell has plenty of wear on his treads. He has been in the league for five seasons with over 1200 regular season carries and just one year in which he played a full 16 game schedule. Bell has averaged seven touchdowns per season and has a 4.3 yards per carry average over his career but 2017 saw that average drop to 4.0 yards per carry, the lowest since his rookie campaign. He will be 27 in February and his situation virtually mirrors another former superstar running back who held out back in 2011 named Chris Johnson.
The former Tennessee Titans standout was nearly the same age as Bell when he staged a walkout but the Titans caved and handed him over $53 million with $30 million guaranteed. Like Bell, he was a three-time Pro Bowler when he decided to sit but a funny thing happened after he was handed all that dough. He was never quite the same. He would see his stats diminish after tearing it up in his first three seasons and morphed from an elite back to a decent back to a spare part when he was released by the Titans and signed by the Jets in 2014. At 33, Johnson is out of the league and if you know anything about the lifespan of an NFL running back then you know Bell has possibly two prime seasons left in the tank after this one. But the question is, will he stay hungry once he gets fed? The Jets don’t need to find that out.
Moving on to Week 4 after the Jets dropped a 21-17 decision to the Browns and ushered in the Baker Mayfield era as the No. 1 overall pick rode in on a white steed and rescued the beleaguered Browns from yet another crushing defeat. Take a look at the Bovada review before placing some action. They are dealing on the Jets/Jaguars tilt in Jacksonville. Not surprisingly we see our boys as a 7 ½ point underdogs and if Sam Darnold and company had it rough in Cleveland on Thursday night then it certainly won’t get any easier against the Jags. The silver lining is that they have had 10 days to prepare and now we will see how the new kid in town deals with perhaps the most intense pressure he’s felt in his three week professional career. Let’s hope the Jets keep it close and Darnold stays upright because there’s a long road ahead.