49ers Offered Le’Veon Bell ~$38MM

It sounds like the 49ers really did make a big push for Le’Veon Bell. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (via Twitter) that the organization offered the running back a three-year, $38MM contract that was “just about fully guaranteed.” Bell ended up inking a four-year, $52.5MM deal ($25MM guaranteed) with the Jets.

We heard conflicting reports earlier this week regarding the 49ers’ interest in Bell. The team would have been a relatively peculiar fit, as the team already invested a four-year, $30MM contract in Jerick McKinnon last offseason. Matt Breida also emerged as a potential two-down back for San Francisco, meaning Bell wouldn’t have been as much of a necessity as a commodity. Ultimately, the 49ers ended up adding former Falcon running back Tevin Coleman to their backfield.

Meanwhile, while Bell had an idea he was going to join the Jets around the NFL Combine, it sounds like a team besides New York and San Francisco continued to push for his services. Fowler notes that Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and wideout (and former Steelers teammate) Antonio Brown were trying to get the running back to join Oakland.

Fowler also tweets that Bell intended to return to the Steelers in Week 7 last season. However, the running back subsequently learned that he didn’t need to accrue a full season in order to reach free agency, a revelation that changed his plans. Had the running back returned, he would have played around 10 games for Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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14 comments on “49ers Offered Le’Veon Bell ~$38MM

  1. oneoffcommenter

    Hard to believe this report given what the 49ers have in the backfield already.

    Also worth noting that at least 9 games a year they play would be in California which means paying the big California state income tax. Not that NJ isn’t high better but CA is still 4.33% higher.

  2. mgrap84

    Honestly don’t think they needed him. The backs they have are good enough. While they might not have what Bell has, i think they are better off without him.

  3. Ironman_4life

    Id throw money down neither of 2 teams wins more than 5 games with or without Bell.

  4. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    I see people still trying to defend Bell (even PFT writers) by saying “he was smart to not risk injury and the larger payday” by making almost $15 million last year.

    Have they ever heard of insurance?

    Bell could have played and insured himself for more than he made on his new deal for far less than he gave up that year.

    Oh, and he spent much of his sabbatical year doing risky things that could have also injured him and gotten nothing. So that argument doesn’t make a lot of sense anyway.

    He lost millions and was achieved nothing.

  5. Bdd1967

    He’s screwed himself going to the Jets…it reminds me of Herschel Walker going to the Vikings…minus the bounty paid for him..but he never panned out and just faded away.

    • cka2nd

      The Vikings’ GM Mike Lynn – a money man, NOT a football man – traded for Walker one-third of the way through the 1989 season, adding him to a team that had gone to the playoffs the previous two seasons and ran an offensive scheme that totally did NOT suit Walker’s game at all. It was one of the worst trades in the history of professional sports, perhaps the worst ever given the provisions in the trade about the Cowboys getting first and second round draft picks from the Vikes if the Cowboys released some of the players the Vikes had included in the deal after one year.

      How does this situation in any way resemble a free agent running back being signed by a losing team that will happily adjust it’s offensive scheme over the course of the off-season to fit Bell’s game to a T?

      My apologies if the unhappiness I still feel about that trade – Marcus Allen or James Brooks would have been ideal in that offense – 30 years later is making me sound more snarky towards you than you deserve.

  6. Bryzzo2016

    Bell gambled on himself and lost, plain and simple. Picking between two terrible franchises, the 49ers or Jets, for less than he would have made if he would have taken the Steelers offer.

    • Bell could have gone to the Raiders and played on a stacked offense with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams and a ready Derek Carr. Jon Gruden’s project is looking interesting. Should have taken the smaller paycheque for the more interesting team.

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