The deadline for players given the franchise tag to sign long term deals came and went as not a single player with the tag signed a deal. Yes, not even Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. It has long been rumored that the 26-year-old running back may leave the Steelers if the deal he seeks is not granted. Bell could be a hot commodity nect summer.
The Steelers have reportedly been in contract talks with Bell since is rookie deal ended and they have yet to reach an agreement. He played under the franchise tag last year and will again this year if he doesn’t hold out. But if Pittsburgh decides not to sign him, where could he go he wind up in a worst-case scenario?
New York Jets
The first requirement for a team that would sign Bell is a team that has a lot of cap space and the Jets definitely fit that bill. What better of a team to sign with than a team that just recently drafted a quarterback in Sam Darnold? Not to mention, Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell aren’t necessarily featured backs. However, the Jets are still in the process of a rebuild and it may not be the most ideal situation for Bell to enter into next year.
Texans have a lesser advantage when it comes to salary cap because they are already paying hefty amounts of money to JJ Watt, DeAndre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney. However, Lamar Miller is the poster child for being an average running back and if the Texans manage to find the money to sign Bell, they will have a top 10 defensive player when healthy, a top 10 wide receiver, a top 10 young quarterback and a top 10 running back all on the team which would pave the way for a huge season down in Houston.
Despite having a few hefty contracts on the books, the Colts still have quite a bit of free cap space. They seem to refuse to draft an early running back and currently sit with Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins on the team, all of whom were Day 3 picks in the last two drafts. With Chris Ballard having started a rebuild in Indianapolis around quarterback Andrew Luck, Bell would be a great addition to that offense to add a new dimension.
It should be noted that while there will always be speculation like this, it’s still July of 2018 and there is still a whole season to go before Bell hitting the market even becomes a reality. There will be plenty of suitors should he hit the market however and there could be a dark-horse option out there weighing their options. The most likely situation is that the Steelers end up paying him because Bell is the type of player that doesn’t come around often.