After back-to-back seasons of stalled contract extension talks, there’s a high probability, barring future events of the 2018 season, that Pittsburgh superstar Le’Veon Bell will not be a Steeler in 2019.
The running back financial market has been stalled for quite a while compared to other skill positions, but Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley and his 5-year, $57.5 million extension with $45 million guaranteed reset the course.
Unfortunately, it was too late for Bell this season, who remained without a new deal after the Steelers missed the deadline to rescind his franchise tag tenure and restructure him. He’ll be a highly sought-after free agent next season. With the Steelers expected to be tight to the cap in 2019, they are slowly falling out of contention to land the stud whose price will likely be out of their range.
Odds on which team Le'Veon Bell will be on for the first game of the 2019 NFL season (@BovadaOfficial):
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) July 28, 2018
Enter the New York Jets, who haven’t had a weapon on offense for god knows how long. Josh McCown will likely be retired by 2019, and quarterback Sam Darnold is on a very affordable rookie contract for the next four-to-five seasons.
The Jets have plenty of cap space to play around with, and they lack a player of Bell’s caliber in a backfield committee that currently consists of Bilal Powell, Isaiah Crowell and Elijah McGuire.
Could New York feel pressured to pay big at the position after its stadium brothers, the New York Giants, just drafted one of the most promising stud running backs in Saquon Barkley?
The Jets are probably in the best position to sign him. I might have been willing to swap 2nds with them this year but obv that ship has sailed.
— Neal Coolong (@NealCoolong) July 16, 2018
Only time will tell.
We might be putting the cart way before the horse here, but the Jets are in the midst of a rebuild, and the 26-year-old, three-time Pro Bowler could certainly expedite the process playing for the biggest sports market in America.