If you haven’t been entertained by this 2019 offseason then you aren’t a true sports fan. As of last night, former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’veon Bell has signed with the New York Jets. The deal is worth 4-years, $52.5 million, and could reach $61 million with incentives. For those curious, the deal is giving Bell $13 million per year, $35 million guaranteed. This contract slides Bell right below Todd Gurley and just above David Johnson in terms of the highest paid running backs. Also for those wondering, Bell had over $15 million per year on the table with the Steelers back in July. Now that the contract situation is explain ed, let’s get into his fantasy outlook, because that’s what we really care about right?
2019 Outlook: Make no mistake there is some risk in taking Bell next season in the first round, but ultimately none can deny the type of running back you are getting. The workload will absolutely be there, the Jets offense improves after signing Bell and also Jamison Crowder! That being said, let’s think about this from a football and personnel perspective. Bell is coming into a new offense that he’ll need to learn, will be led by a young quarterback who you would definitively say is not as efficient as his former. His head coach, Adam Gase, has never coached an offense higher than 18th in terms of rushing attempts, and lastly of course we have to take into account Bell’s weight/playing shape. Taking a year out of football could lead to an increased injury risk as his body is not used to getting hit 30 times a game and we don’t know exactly how “rusty” he will be.
Risk it for the Biscuit: Let’s talk about some stats that have defined Bell throughout his career. These stats should make you feel better about taking the risk on Bell in the late first round or early second. In Bell’s five seasons played he has accumulated 1,200+ scrimmage yards in four of them. The same goes for touchdowns; four of the five playing seasons have resulted in eight plus touchdowns. Now we also know that Bell is one of the games best receiving backs as he’s commanded 90+ targets in all but two of his playing seasons. As Jemele Hill and Michael Smith most famously have reminded us, NUMBERS NEVER LIE! You take Bell with the risks above, but even Sam Darnold can’t mess up having the talent of Bell around him. To also play in Bells favor is the offensive line of the Jets, which has seen a tremendous “beef up” in the last couple of days as Kelechi Osmele joined the team and will continue to improve during the draft.
Conclusion: Here are some final thoughts and interesting observations I’ve noticed about the entire Bell situation. Last night DatPiff, the online hip-hop distribution website, released Bell’s third mixtape titled “Life’s A Gamble” which has two interesting pieces of information! The first, is simply in the title of one of his eleventh track “Gas on E” which spells out GASE for none other than head coach Adam Gase, great subliminal messaging! Secondly, if you listen to the lyrics you’ll hear several disses aimed at the Pittsburgh Steelers, which hate it or love it, is pure genius and leads into our next point. Revenge. The date is not yet set, but we know that the Jets will host the Steelers this upcoming season. This game absolutely will be given the primetime tag bringing fans across the nation together to see what Bell does and says to his former team. I expect Bell to have his best game against the Steelers.