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For whom the (Le’Veon) bell tolls

Le’Veon Bell will be a free agent for this upcoming offseason. The former Michigan State running back sat out this past year due to contract issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here are my top five teams, in order of likelihood, that could sign the superstar.

Todd Gurely, a running back for the Los Angeles Rams, recently signed a four-year, $60 million deal that could set the market price for Bell. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Todd Gurely, a running back for the Los Angeles Rams, recently signed a four-year, $60 million deal that could set the market price for Bell. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

1. Bell goes to H-Town

The Houston Texans made the playoffs last year. They have a young franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson. And, for the first time in a while, they have hope for the future.

The defense looks really good. They have plenty of cap space to spend this offseason, and they have a legitimate shot at winning another AFC South title this year. One could argue that they’re one big piece away from becoming Super Bowl contenders, and one could also argue that Bell is that big piece.

Imagine having Deshaun Watson, Bell, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller V all on the field at the same time. Pretty exciting right? Well, it could happen, but perhaps the Texans aren’t willing to pay Bell.

They already have Lamar Miller, a solid back who can succeed in their system. And their most glaring need is the offensive line who was at one point on pace to allow Watson to be sacked 68 times in one season. But man, that would be fun to watch.

2. Bell joins the pack

The Green Bay Packers haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Eddie Lacy in 2014. This is a crying shame. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL Aaron Rodgers and they have squandered his talents recently by surrounding him with a subpar supporting cast.

Sure, Rodgers has had his fair share of problems with the injury bug, but I would argue that some of these injuries could be prevented if he didn’t have the pressure of having to do it all himself. Bell would provide some relief. The Packers already have a solid offensive line, and Davante Adams has proven to be an elite pass catcher. Bell could be that final ingredient to make the Packers an elite offense.

3. Bell goes Broadway

The New York Jets have their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold. He is a talented young quarterback, and they are excited to see what he can do under new, wide-eyed (literally) coach Adam Gase.

Sam got off to a solid start as a rookie, but his supporting cast was below-average at best. The running back position is definitely a need, and there doesn’t seem to be a standout back in this year’s draft class. Signing Bell would at least solve one of the many problems the Jets has. And it would help Darnold in his development as it would give him an elite running back to count on while he continues to settle in at the NFL level.

The Jets also have many needs defensively, but with the cap space they have, they would still be able to sign a difference maker at that end of the ball. They could then use their high draft pick to potentially draft a solid offensive lineman, which they also desperately need. Bell would be excited to play in the bright lights of New York, and the Jets would be lucky to have him.

4. Ring the Liberty Bell

Bell sat out the entire 2018-2019 campaign in response to the Steelers not giving him a long-term contract. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Bell sat out the entire 2018-2019 campaign in response to the Steelers not giving him a long-term contract. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Philadelphia Eagles have had two straight years of Carson Wentz going down with season-ending injuries. They haven’t had a great running back in either of the two seasons, and Bell has expressed interest over Twitter in joining the Eagles.

But, would the Eagles be willing to financially commit to a position that isn’t necessarily a glaring need? Sure, they would love to have an elite back to ease the burden that Wentz has with his offense as it’s constructed right now.

The Eagles would also probably have to shed some salary by cutting some of their current players. But if they really want a game changer at the running back position, it would be a small price to pay for the former Steeler.

5. Fire the cannons, Bell’s a Buc

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been bad. Really bad, and for a while now. They spent their number one overall pick on a quarterback that has had a lot of on and off the field problems. They’ve gone through several head coaches, and they only have one over-.500 season to show for it. They’re desperate.

They just hired new coach Bruce Arians who seems committed to trying to make things work with their young problematic quarterback. And their general manager, Jason Licht, is probably one horrendous (or in the Bucs’ case, average) season away from getting the ax. So he needs to make a splash, and Bell would be that splash.

The Bucs could shed some salary and get rid of an unhappy player by trading DeSean Jackson, and then they could throw whatever they can at the superstar running back and hope he decides to take his talents to Tampa Bay. Would it help them become an actual football team? No. But hey, it could sell some more tickets.

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