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If you think you’ve heard Bell’s name on the block, well … yes.
The Pittsburgh Steelers never made it to the two-time All-Pro in 2018, when Bell finished out of season instead of playing in a $ 14.5 million franchise.
Last year, Bell signed a four-year contract with the Jets worth $ 52.5 million. Since then, the deal has largely highlighted the philosophical differences between coach Adam Gaze and former general manager Mike Macanyan – he was fired two months after Bell’s introduction – as well as the apparent suppression of friction between Gaze and Bell himself. The coach has repeatedly tried to publicly confirm his relationship with Bell amid rumors that he never wanted him on the list at all or while controlling the damage, when the seven-year veteran sends mysterious signals on social media that seem to contradict him with Gase .
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The Jets tried to dump Bell last season, according to numerous reports, but found no players in a player with an average income of $ 13.1 million a year. Among running defenders, only Christian McCafrey, Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Camara – all significantly more productive players than Bell at the moment – earn more on average.
The Jets will pay Bell all his $ 27 million guarantees by the end of this season, when his base salary is $ 8.5 million. He should receive a $ 8 million basic salary next year and $ 9.5 million in 2022 – a pretty cheddar for a man who averaged 80.2 yards from a fight outing since coming to New York and 3.3 yards of wear. (Bell averaged 1 yard more on the run with the Steelers and nearly 129 yards from a brawl.)
He also already missed three games in 2020 with a lower leg injury. And while Bell’s disappointing stay in New York is not entirely his fault, it’s hard to predict much of the market for an expensive 28-year-old who plays a position not usually set aside for significant resources.
Regardless, if the jets are ready to receive – a quarter of a dollar? pennies? – To move from Bell, here are six (sort of) teams that could appear as potential suitors before the November 3 trading deadline:
Chicago Bears: As effective as big body receiver Alan Robinson can be, QB Nick Falls doesn’t work with any dynamic weapons – a problem exacerbated by the loss of RB Tarik Cohen to the knee at the end of the season. Bell does not have the Cohen oscillation factor, but he is a natural receiver who can complement Robinson and No. 1 RB David Montgomery, while writing the latter and even sharing the box with him. Incredibly, as the Bears started 4-1, they solidified in the wild card race and are only half a game behind the undefeated Green Bay Packers in NFC North. But the addition of reinforcements seems imperative if Chicago stays in the playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs: Since the outbreak of rookie Clyde Edwards-Heller’s 138-yard shot in his professional debut, champions have an average of 107.8 yards per player (on them) per game on the ground. Edwards-Heller is obviously the future here – and so is the present. But after Damien Williams gave up this season, KC looks alarmingly weak behind their first-round pick. Bell would not only provide insurance, but could also have an immediate impact such as a change of pace or back down – it will certainly be able to chew pieces of yard, given the space created below such as WRs Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman and TE Travis Kelce stretch your defenses to their limits.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Worth considering, unlikely, as the collection seems. Sustainability did not start the business card of RB James Conner, and sophomore Benny Snell Jr. there are four career admissions. And where else could Bell make an immediate sensation given his knowledge of QB Ben Roethlisberger and the culture of this proud team? And it would certainly be nice to play appropriate games again, Pittsburgh went for its first start with 4: 0 from the era of the steel curtain. And who knows? Reconciliation can really work in the long run when it is believed that Conner is not signed after this season.
San Francisco 49ers: Let’s first admit that they have a fleet of running backs, which includes Rahim Mostert, Jeric McKinnon, Tevin Coleman (currently wounded) plus FB Kyle Yushchik. Still, this spray violation, which barely breaks the top 10 in the fast yards of the game, needs some spark. Bell could provide that, even if used mostly outside the slot, which he certainly is able to do – and especially if he has to join such a raw group of receivers.
Tennessee Titans: Pop test – who will break through if the emergency champion in 2019 Derrick Henry fell? Answer: Who knows? The depth chart suggests that rookie Darinton Evans and / or Jeremy McNichols will try to fill the void, but will they really be enough to support the team that rode Henry to the edge of the Super Bowl last season? Even if Henry continues to mow the opposing defenders without a scratch, it will still make sense to kick Bell’s tires, given what an extremely limited successor Henry still is.
Team X: Of course, a responsible answer. But a lot can happen between now and the end of week 8, the last round of games before the trading deadline. Cohen and Sakuon Barkley are gone for the year (not that the giants will be on the market). But McCaffrey continues to sit with a high ankle sprain, and Browns’ Nick Chub – who finished second after Henry in the rush last year – is currently in injury reserve with a knee injury. Meanwhile, teams with legitimate inspirations for the playoffs – they think the Seahawks, Colts, Raiders, Cowboys, Eagles and Saints – are just a catastrophic back injury as their hopes are dashed. And if you’re a Jets GM Joe Douglas, the desperate trading partner is the one you want to dance with.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis
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