Le’veon Bell sat out the entire 2018 NFL season in order to preserve his body and look for a massive contract that will make him the highest paid running back in the league. Well, with so many running back needy teams with deep pockets, he certainly can retrieve the loot he is looking for. Running back in today’s NFL needs to be multidimensional and be able to run different schemes as well as catch passes. Bell certainly fits the book as he was considered the best dual threat running back in the NFL before sitting out the 2018 season. In his 5 year career, Le’veon has over 5300 yards rushing and 35 rushing touchdowns, as well as over 300 receptions, 2600 receiving yards, and an additional 7 receiving touchdowns. So yeah, one can say he is a decent dual threat option coming out of the backfield. Still only 26 years old, he will look to cash in on a multi-year deal that will carry him into his 30’s where running back play typically falls off (unless you are a robot like Frank Gore). With the 2019 Free Agent Class looking like it will be a defensive heavy class, Le’veon will easily be the top offensive player on the market, and here are the top 5 teams that will look to sign him and implement him for sustained success.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Now here is something that NFL fans will wish for. A signing like this would turn the Chiefs into the NFL version of the Golden State Warriors. The Kansas City Chiefs have one of the most electric offenses in the league and with the newly crowned MVP Patrick Mahomes, the 2019 NFL Season will come with many expectations for these Chiefs. After losing Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs are in the position to draft a running back to replace the combination of Spencer Ware and Damien Williams. Why draft a running back when you can sign the best running back since 2013? Le’veon would give the Chiefs even more fire power to hang with the likes of the Rams and Saints. With a projected cap space of 44 million, they have enough money to throw at him and while there is much needed help to be had on the defensive side, the potential combination of Bell, Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce would give the Chiefs the top tier of offensive skill players.
4. Oakland Raiders: With a potential new rookie quarterback under center in 2019, the Oakland Raiders need every offensive weapon they can get. With over 80 million in projected cap space, why not make Bell an offer he cannot refuse? Bell would immediately step into a 20 plus touch role in this offensive, that despite their team struggles, still boasts a solid offensive line more than capable of opening up running lanes. The only cavoite here is whether or not that Bell would want to go to a team not heading to the playoffs any time soon and that will be undergoing a massive youth movement in preparation for the move to Vegas. Well, hey there is something that may sway Bell. Who wouldn’t want to play in Vegas?
3. New York Jets: Playing under the New York City lights is something every athlete dreams about. Getting handed the biggest running back contract in the process, well that would make it even better. The New York Jets do not seem like the best fit on paper for Bell, as they have an average offensive line, second year quarterback Sam Darnold, and not many weapons on offense. Money talks though. The Jets can easily pay Bell and make him the highest paid running back with their projected 107 million in cap space. A team desperate for playmakers will do everything they can to obtain Le’veon. From an performance standpoint, the Jets are historical for grinding out offensive possessions and playing good defense. So this marriage would work out to where Bell would easily get 25 plus touches a game and split out wide more as a receiver. With some money thrown to offensive line and receiver, this offense can be well oiled enough to take some attention off Le’veon, which means more yards and production. Do not be fooled though, the Jets are in play largely because of playing in New York and the amount of money that would come Bell’s way.
2. Houston Texans: This is my personal favorite landing spot for Bell from a fantasy football perspective. The Houston Texans can offer Bell a nice contract with their 68 million dollar cap space, and if they can find a trade partner for Lamar Miller, it will make the signing even more probably. The Texans do need an upgrade to their offensive line, which is the offseason priority, but signing Bell would solidify their offensive and throw their team directly into Super Bowl favorites. Watson, Le’veon, Hopkins would arguably be the best skill position trio in the league, add in a healthy Will Fuller and a solid defense, and you have a great season ahead of you. That offensive firepower would allow Bell to step into a similar role that he had in Pittsburg and with Watson a dual threat QB, he might even find himself getting free on some RPO’s. The Texans make a whole lot of sense.
1. Indianapolis Colts: The number one landing spot for Le’veon Bell is indeed the Indianapolis Colts. This signing makes almost too much sense. First off, the money. The Colts have the most projected cap space in the NFL for 2019, with just over 120 million. They can pay Bell and still have a good deal of money left over to sign their draft picks, sign a free agent wide receiver, and add some defensive help from the loaded free agent class. There are some hiccups in this signing. First the Colts do not have a dire need at running back. Marlon Mack has looked great when healthy, and Hines is a nice receiving back who they drafted in 2018. However, Le’veon Bell isn’t just a normal free agent running back. Signing him would boost the entire offense and could take some much needed pressure of Andrew Luck and his shoulder. Right now Luck is averaging an absurd 38 passing attempts per game. That is not ideal for someone coming off a lost year due to his shoulder injury. The other disclaimer is that the Colts could choose to use their deep pockets on signing defensive free agents like Jadeveon Clowney, Demarcus Lawrence, or Trey Flowers. The Colts can upgrade their defensive significantly with a signing of defensive line and also signing a safety like Landon Collins. With all that being said, signing a player of Bell’s caliber and adding him to that offensive with an MVP type quarterback in Luck is just too good to pass up. Bell would enjoy running behind a good offensive line and having a relatively open box with Luck throwing and T.Y. Hilton taking the top off defenses. Adding Bell would immediately throw the Colts into the AFC Championship picture. This signing checks all the boxes from money, positional needs, and fit in the offense, which is why the Indianapolis Colts are the number one landing spot for Le’veon Bell.