It appears the Le’Veon Bell sweepstakes are coming to an end. It “seems like” Bell is down to the Jets and the Ravens as his final two choices on where to sign, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Contradicting Rapoport’s report, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that he continues “to be told the Ravens are not in on Le’Veon Bell.” It’s unclear who’s right, but the Ravens would definitely be at a significant disadvantage as they’re in a much worse cap situation than the Jets.
The Jets have been the team most consistently and heavily linked to Bell over the past handful of months, but the Ravens appear to be making a late push and coming on strong, depending on who you believe. We also just heard the Ravens were the “frontrunners” to sign Mark Ingram, which could limit their willingness to pursue Bell.
Bell appears genuinely interested in the Ravens, and “has indicated to some friends around the league how much he likes Baltimore,” Rapoport writes. Less than an hour ago it was reported the Raiders hadn’t quite ruled out signing Bell yet, but it appears they’re lagging far behind if they’re even still in it at all.
The Jets were just spurned by linebacker Anthony Barr, and the latest word is that the Jets were going to use some of the money they were going to pay Barr to make “a last and final big offer” to Bell. The Jets desperately need a running back and have some of the most cap space in the NFL, so they can outbid anybody.
The Colts have officially been declared out and other teams like the Texans and Bills always seemed like long-shots. If it’s really down to just the Jets and Ravens like it appears to be, we should know where Bell is heading very soon.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.