It was reported by Adam Schefter yesterday that the Steelers were exploring the possibility of trading Le’Veon Bell.
The star running back is still holding out after the two parties failed to come to an agreement over a long-term deal.
Bell was franchise tagged by the team and with concerns over his usage and it’s effect on his future earnings, he has held out.
When a player like Bell becomes available, there will be plenty of teams interested. What it will take to get him is yet to be seen but it would probably take a third round pick at a minimum. That is the compensatory pick the Steelers would be likely to get if he left as a free agent – albeit in 2020.
There are a few teams in the league that could afford him right now, and give him the big deal that he would want.
No team has more cap room right now, or as much projected cap room in 2019.
The Colts could easily afford the deal and could also frontload it to make the deal more team-friendly moving forward.
They have failed to really give Andrew Luck the tools to succeed in Indy and the addition of Bell could help take the Colts to the next level.
While the team would still have plenty of other holes to fill, particularly on defence, a Luck, Bell, Hilton trio would be as good as there is in the league.
Add him now and the Colts suddenly become a very interesting team in an AFC with perhaps just one team in the Chiefs really looking like contenders over the opening three weeks.
San Francisco 49ers
Like the Colts they have the cap space to take on Bell. Even after handing Jerrick McKinnon a large contract, the prospect of Bell may be too hard to pass up.
Thay McKinnon deal saw a lot of the money being paid this year. Even after suffering a season ending injury McKinnon was paid over $10m for the season meaning the rest of his contract is relatively cheap.
Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season ending injury and it could make the deal less likely. The team’s chances of a Super Bowl this season may have gone with that injury and the team may choose to stcik with what they have and build for 2019.
Like the Colts, there isn’t a lot of talent around the quarterback and Bell could go a long way to solving that.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have emerged as one of the favourites to sign Bell. Just as they were for Khalil Mack when he left the Raiders.
While Aaron Rodgers is not old, the clock is ticking on the Super Bowl window in Green Bay.
Adding Bell could help them get the second ring that a player of Rodgers calibre surely deserves. The running game has been an issue for the Packers in recent years and with the knee injury that the quarterback is carrying, Bell carrying a lot of the workload until he is healthy could be the Packers best chance this season.
The big issue in Green Bay is cap space. But the prospect of Bell could be too good of an opportunity to pass up. They would find a way to fit him in.
New York Jets
What better way to help your talented but raw rookie quarterback than by adding one of the best running backs in the league?
Having a quarterback on a rookie deal opens up the opportunity to spend elsewhere and that could go to Bell.
The Jets have two decent backs in Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell but neither is on the level of Bell.
Taking some of the pressure away from Darnold could be good for him. He is still very young and this could help his development.
The team is heading to Las Vegas in the very near future and lacking any real stars to sell the team there.
Marshawn Lynch has been running well but he is at the very end of his career and could well have just this season left in him.
Derek Carr has struggled somewhat and the addition of Bell could help him recapture some of his best form if the whole team isn’t on his shoulders.
The team paid out for the flashy coach in Jon Gruden, why not do the same at running back.
Bell playing with something to prove could really fit this Raiders team in their final games in Oakland.