Jets Won’t Break Bank For Le’Veon Bell

The Jets have interest in Le’Veon Bell, but they won’t take a do-whatever-it-takes approach to sign him, Manish Mehta of the Daily News hears. The Jets will have upwards of $100MM in cap space, but it appears they will prioritize other needs instead of going all-in on one of the game’s most dynamic running backs. 

Bell’s ability cannot be questioned and he profiles as someone who would keep defenses honest as quarterback Sam Darnold continues in his development. However, Mehta hears there is a “level of concern in the building” about Bell’s motivation if he lands a big payday.

Bell sat out the entire 2018 season with the Steelers, forgoing a $14.5MM payday in order to preserve his health for free agency. His actions may give NFL executives pause, but on the plus side, Bell should be entering the 2019 season with fresh legs. He may also be extra motivated to prove the doubters wrong.

Last year, Bell turned down a five-year, $70MM offer from Pittsburgh that would have included $33MM in guarantees. There’s no telling what kind of offers Bell will fetch this time around, but it’s safe to assume that he’ll be aiming for a larger guarantee on a deal with an AAV in excess of $14MM.

Bell has expressed interest in joining the Colts, but Mehta guesses that they will not spend big on a running back given the presence of Marlon Mack. He also suggests the Buccaneers, Eagles, Raiders, and Dolphins as potential fits for the multiple-time Pro Bowler.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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50 comments on “Jets Won’t Break Bank For Le’Veon Bell

    • adshadbolt1

      Who’s gonna give him that gurley got 65 for 6 didn’t he bells gonna be lucky if anyone gives him 12 per year

        • TheTruth12

          Do you realize how dumb that is? Go back to baseball 9M per puts him 4M less than David Johnson and he’s better than him. If any team offers him that he should immediately block their number cause it’s incredibly disrespectful

  1. slpdajab55

    I hope he gets a fair contract but to me a fair contract is not what he’s looking for. He needs to be at the top of the class or close but he shouldn’t be given that nonsense of top running back and #2 receiver pay. No one is worth that.

  2. TheTruth12

    People are really still caught up in the Bell thing huh? Just because he didn’t play last year doesn’t mean he’s not a top 3 RB. Look at his 2017 stats more rushing yards, receiving yards, and catches than Gurley this year. But as someone said in another thread people value their opinions over facts and numbers.

    • bigjonliljon

      Facts- injuries. Suspensions. Sitting out a year.
      Is the type of person you would want on your team? Children in a teams fan base learn how to be an idiot and still get paid.
      I don’t see him getting Gurley money or anything close to what he thinks he’s worth. Let him sit out another year. His body has been pretty used and abused already by the Steelers. I don’t think he’s got 2 decent seasons left in those legs.

      • TheTruth12

        You’re the exact kind of person I was talking about I promise you every team that has a hole at RB would love to have him on their team, like do you understand how stupid you sound? The guy is the best dual threat RB, in 2017 had more catches than Kelce, Baldwin, Green, Hill, Ertz, Adams and Diggs to name a few. Based off STATS NOT OPINION Bell absolutely deserves to be in that Gurley range.

        • bigjonliljon

          Lmao. You seem a bit short sided. What he had done in the past has no guarantee he will continue doing. He’s been abused. Simple as that. RB’s simply do not have the shelf life. He wants a long term big money deal it may be fine for a year, maybe 2. Then it’s wasted money and a salary cap hindering situation. You can have him on your team. I, like most nfl teams, will pass

          • Begamin

            Dont you think his shelf life has been increased since he rested last season?

        • cka2nd

          I have nothing against Bell, but I don’t see him making as much as Gurley. Gurley is two-and-a-half years younger. He only averages 0.1 yard more per run than Bell, but averages 1.6 yards more per reception, and has much better touchdown rates, averaging one TD per 22.7 rushes to Bell’s one TD per 35.1 rushes, and one TD per 18.7 receptions to Bell’s one TD per 44.6 receptions.

          The only significant statistical advantage I see for Bell over Gurley – using your basic stats from Pro Football Reference, not any esoteric ones that may be out there – is in fumbles, where Bell fumbles only once every 192.6 touches versus Gurley fumbling once every 111.7 touches.

          I hope he gets an excellent deal with someone, but I wouldn’t pay him as much as Gurley.

    • 2012orioles

      Steelers did the right thing. He’s not worth what he’s asking. Conner had a pro bowl season at a fraction of what bell would be paid

      • TheTruth12

        Conner is nowhere near the same level as Bell, who cares about the Pro Bowl? It’s a meaningless tag football game, facts are facts without Bell they didn’t make the playoffs. Conner has 1470 yards from scrimmage, Bell had 1946 almost 500 more it’s not close educate yourself

        • 2012orioles

          500 yards more for how many more million? I’m not denying bells the better player. It’s not close. But to say the Steelers should pay Bell what he wants isn’t smart for the Steelers. They have holes in the secondary that need adressed. When someone produces like Conner, you can let Bell go and live with having a slightly less effective running back, while improving other areas

      • tsolid

        Glad you value Pro bowls over Playoffs. Conner really was a factor in all those games that the Steelers blew this. You guys are funny. Funny that Conner couldn’t even come close to 400 touches like Bell did in 2017.

        • TheTruth12

          What are you on about? You’re literally saying everything I said holy crap dude

          • tsolid

            You do realize that just b/c my response is under yours it doesn’t mean I was responding to YOU specific comment. It means we are responding to the same person.

          • washington_bonercats

            Locker room mentality is a big part of what teams look at when signing players. I agree that most teams will probably overlook that aspect of his game if their hole at RB is big enough but they will almost certainly think twice about a proven injury prone player who’s taken a year off football. You mention 2017 stats but players like Carr (11) and Mccoy (27) we’re voted in the top 30 best players (votes by players) that year and now look at them. More than just your name and stats from 2 years ago go into these signings. You need to reconsider your stance before going after people who are justly on the fence about Bell

        • akaydn

          I am a Steelers fan but that isn’t a Super Bowl winning team with or without Bell. Pittsburgh can’t meaningfully upgrade the rest of the roster if they were paying Bell what he wanted. The Rams benefit from a rookie scale QB and we are stuck paying for a talented but leadership-poor QB. If DB drafting somehow improves we might make some playoff noise again before Ben is gone but it will have to be due to excellent execution and nit overwhelming talent (Bell, Brown, etc)

        • 2012orioles

          I knew everyone would jump on the pro bowl remark. I don’t value it over playoffs, I was stating that he he a good year. Good enough to let Bell walk with his selfish self and let someone else overpay for him. Hopefully he can stay healthy and not be suspended for whoever pays his asking price

          • tsolid

            Hey… orioles, I hope the next time you ask for a raise, or you or any of your friends/family members decide to make a BUSINESS decision in the best interest of them and their families, I hope you call them selfish also. Heaven forbid a guy doesn’t want to be abused by a team and not get rewarded. Stupid people like you have no understanding of what business is

            • 2012orioles

              My bad man. He has the right to do what he feels is best. I just feel that he let the team down

  3. TJECK109

    All I know is no matter what contract he gets he will never recover the 14+ that he threw away this year

    • Rocket32

      True, but if he played he could have went down with a devastating injury while he had no long term security and cost himself money in future seasons that he would never recover either.

    • sluman46953

      sorry .. i read this in every bell post here.. is he worried is he on food stamps is he on welfare ????

  4. Incentivize the contract that will make him the highest paid RB in the league. Base salary of ~$14 AAV, but could increase to $18 AAV based on performance. Guarantee 75% of the total contract. So 5 years, $70MM base, $52.5MM guaranteed w a max value of $90MM over the five years… the number can change, but the contract structure is what is going to matter for both team and Bell.

  5. Jayphils

    Will not be the Eagles , they are over the cap already with need of OL, DB, LB already, cannot see how the Eagles are a fit

  6. Danthemilwfan

    Gotta take into consideration game plan and qb. Big Ben looks then dumps. Most qbs don’t do that do less receptions. Also they have the right line and play calling for him. Aaron Rodgers is a great qb but bell wouldn’t have as much success there

    • tsolid

      Bell actually lines up and runs routes just as good as some receivers, so he does more catch “Dump” passes. Also, excellent blocker in the passing game

  7. vinman66

    Don’t care how good a running back is, if you don’t have a good to decent offense line it really does not matter.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I award you the game ball for best comment here. It’s so obvious yet few seem to understand that you can’t put the cart before the horse and expect to go anywhere.

    • 2012orioles

      And Steelers have one of the best lines, a hall of fame qb and a top 3 receiver. It’s gonna be all on Bell if he joins a team who has none of those qualities

      • crosseyedlemon

        Leaving the Steelers was absolutely the right decision. They are toxic. Your point about him likely struggling without the OL support is valid though.

  8. axisofhonor25

    Actually his ability can be questioned. Different O-line, different playbook, and been out of the NFL for a full year. It’s possible he’s not the same back, he’s nothing may have changed but I like the Jets approach. You don’t want to break the bank to find out if he can still perform at a high level. Being a year out alone should drop his price.

  9. 94yankees

    The dolphins have already stated they are not signing any big name FA and are tanking for tua. How exactly are they a fit?

    • crosseyedlemon

      Because driving the wife to shoe sales and Bed Bath & Beyond is just so much more fulfilling.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Hard to believe he passed up the chance to be a Dairy Queen legend. Think of all those “employee of the month” awards he could have earned.

  10. cspera77

    Gonna be hilarious when Steelers put the transition tag on him in order to trade him and his offers come in so low they match it and he is stuck with Pitt. If I was the owner I would match any offer just out of spite.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Why don’t you just draft Bell for your fantasy team then bench him all season….that will teach him.

  11. Begamin

    Jets should be willing to pay the guy. $100M in cap space and they need to give Darnold a good supporting cast to take the weight off his shoulders. Sign Bell, draft an o-line.

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