Levon Bell has been one of the best running backs in the NFL for the last few years now and he has been asking for a new contract for ever it seems but the Steelers are unwilling to match him which has made for a messy off season for the 2nd year in a row.
Personally i think he deserves the money but the Steelers are not going to give him the long term contract he needs and they have placed the franchise tag on him twice which has caused Bell to miss out on all off season activities.
The Steelers do business a bit differently from other teams so im shocked to see them being taken hostage for so long but this speaks volumes to the player Bell is. He can run, catch, line up at WR and the workload and numbers hes put up are as good as anybody in NFL history but i think its time for him to go….
The Steelers seem to be fully committed to moving forward with the guys they have and have a ”when ever he shows up he shows up” attitude about the whole thing but the season starts in less then a week and they have expressed their disappointment and surprise that he hasnt turned up.
Heres what we do know….The Steelers have offered Bell close to 15m a year which he turned down last year and turned down a similar contact this year. The Steelers surely have had enough now and its been a distraction that doesnt look like its going to end any time soon.
I say TRADE him while hes still in his prime and get full value….Before you guys go crazy listen, its not like they have won superbowls with him or had many deep post season runs so if they trade him are they really ruining their chances of a superbowl? They have always had productive running backs ill in and they still have the best WR Antonio Brown and a cast of other talented players including potential Bell replacement David Connor whos looked great. Not to mention a hall of famer at QB. They can still get by without Bell and that money could be used to spend on that defense that has been terrible the last few seasons and below the Steeler standard.
This team has enough weapons on the offensive side to still get it done its the defense that has to step up if they want to compete with the Patriots and for a Superbowl and even though they will miss Bell i just think overall both sides will be better off separating.
Heres 3 teams i would love to see him traded to
The New York Jets
This makes sense on so many levels. The Jets have no offensive fire power what so ever, they probably have guys like Terrel Pryor as their number 1 guy and can anybody even name the starting running back? They have a young promising QB who they took 3rd overall and some nice pieces on defense so why not help out the young man by giving him a QBs best friend? Bell would be the perfect piece to get this franchise rolling in the right direction but the key thing here is that they CAN pay him what he wants, they were in the sweep stakes for big prize free agents like Kirk Cousins and Suh so they got money to spend and since they missed out on free agents they can use that money for Bell. Darnold is in his rookie contract so the time to make a move like this is right now and even though they might not win this year they will for sure be a team to watch next season if they can add a WR or two and Darnold in his 2nd year. I love this move.
The Oakland Raiders.
It might be tough to get Bell under the cap but its a move that they could pull off, they have some nice weapons on offense and adding Bell would make them one of the best in the league. Oakland doesnt have a long term plan at running back so a move like this could cheer the fans up after losing Mack to the Bears. One things for sure the Raiders will have to put up big points all year and Bell could be the equalizer for that bad defense that just got alot weaker.
The Baltimore Ravens.
They wont trade him to their division rival but the Ravens have needed stability at the running back position for a few years now. They have some good but unproven players there but bringing in Bell would settle the offense and help out shaky Joe Flacco. It would make for some nice drama when these two teams play and the Ravens arent as far away as people think. Bell could easily turn them fro a team on the fence to firmly in the playoffs and probably the division crown.
The Washington Redskins.
Since they love to pay free agents big bucks why not….it would actually fill a huge need and the Skins are known for moves like this but i think the Skins are more then a running back away from competing which might turn him off but money talks.