From rumors that head coach Adam Gase didn’t want to sign him in the first place, to averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per carry on the ground, it’s safe to say Le’Veon Bell‘s tenure with the New York Jets has gotten off to a rocky start.
Now, recent roster moves by the Jets front office has left Bell’s future with the team a bit murky. New York signed future Hall of Famer Frank Gore on Tuesday. The addition reunites him with the same coach that played the veteran back ahead of an uber-talented Kenyan Drake while in Miami.
The Jets also used a 4th-round pick in last month’s draft to select running back Lamical Perine out of Florida.
Could this mean the end of Bell’s time in New York? With the Jets GM being non-commital to Bell in the past, it’s certainly possible. So we decided to take a deep dive into the top-three potential landing spots for the star running back, including a few teams that just missed the cut.
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Top-3 Landing Spots for Le’Veon Bell
On the cusp: Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars
- 3) Seattle Seahawks
- Seattle has never shied away from adding talent in the past, and they could use some at the running back position right now.
Marshawn Lynch is currently in talks about potentially rejoining the Seahawks. No offense to BeastMode, but his 2.0 yards per carry including the playoffs last season doesn’t exactly live up to his nickname.
Chris Carson is a phenomenal running back when healthy and holding on to the football. The former Oklahoma State standout has never finished a full 16-game season in the NFL. He’s also put the ball on the ground 10 times over his previous 29 regular-season games.
Rashaad Penny is currently rehabbing from a late-season ACL tear and his return to the playing field is unknown at this time.
Bell would be able to man Penny’s role as the team’s receiving back, while also seeing his fair share of touches in the ground game. The Seahawks ran the ball 481 times a season ago (3rd-most in NFL), meaning Bell should still see a fairly hefty workload as a runner despite the presence of Carson.
2) Chicago Bears
Chicago’s 3.7 ypc as a team a season ago was tied for the 3rd-worst in football. David Montgomery was a major disappointment in his rookie season. While Matt Nagy appears allergic to involving Tarik Cohen in the running game.
There have been rumblings of the Bears poking around the idea of adding Leonard Fournette via a trade. However, Bell’s skillset is clearly better suited than Fournette’s for Nagy’s system. Evident by the fact that the Bears reportedly had strong interest in signing Bell last offseason when he was a free agent.
1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay has already brought in Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski this offseason. No reason to stop now, go all-in.
The Buccaneers drafted Ke’Shawn Vaughn out of Vanderbilt in the 3rd round of this year’s draft. He’s a bruising running back. However, his limited athletic ability and lack of shiftiness may cap his NFL ceiling. Ronald Jones showed glimpses a season ago, but is still likely best served as a change of pace back in this league.
Tampa Bay ranked as the ninth-worst rush offense in all of football a season ago. They need a jolt of talent at the running back position if they hope to see their Super Bowl aspirations come to life. The duo of Vaughn and Jones leaves much to be desired.
In Bell, the Buccaneers would be getting a player who’s proven able to carry a heavy workload in both the passing and receiving game, having averaged nearly 25 touches per game during his Pittsburgh tenure.
The Bucs were connected to David Johnson for much of the offseason due to his dual-threat abilities. Bell is simply a better version of D.J., and one that Bruce Arians would work seamlessly into his offense.
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