While Fans Are Screaming For Bob Quinn To Sign Le’Veon Bell, I’m Here To Explain Why He Won’t.
Everyone who watches the Detroit Lions knows that the team has had many chances at having a good running game, but it keeps failing for them. Since Reggie Bush and Joique Bell were the dynamic duo in 2013, Detroit hasn’t had a solid back to take over. Ameer Abdullah was drafted to become that starting running back in 2015, and while he did play the full season, he had an injury that had to be treated in the offseason and he only played in two games in 2016 due to a lisfranc injury.
It didn’t help that the Lions didn’t have an offensive line to help create holes for the team. The team upgraded with Taylor Decker last season, and while he did a good job, the Lions still had trouble letting the other backs get open in space. While Abdullah will be ready for the 2017 season, many people are already on the hype train of signing running back Le’Veon Bell from the Pittsburgh Steelers as he didn’t sign an extension with the team before the deadline on July 17, meaning he will be a free agent next season unless the Steelers franchise tag him again. So is he worth it? Let’s look into it a bit.
Le’Veon Bell Will Cost Too Much
As of today, Matt Stafford still hasn’t signed his contract extension with the Detroit Lions, and either has Ziggy Ansah. While the fans shouldn’t have to worry about Stafford coming back to Detroit, or if Ansah will return just yet, they do need to worry about how much they will be getting paid. Stafford is next in line to get paid well in the NFL, with Kirk Cousins not signing an extension before the same deadline as Bell, Stafford could get paid big.
So even after Detroit brings back Stafford and possibly Ansah, the amount of money to bring in Bell will still be too high and Detroit won’t be able to afford him. Darius Slay signed a hefty extension last season, Golden Tate is up for an extension, Marvin Jones got paid well to come to Detroit in 2016, Rick Wagner and TJ Lang were compensated well to arrive in Detroit this season, and also Glover Quin and Matt Prater need extensions after the 2017 season.
With five players due for an extension (and that doesn’t include the possible one for Ebron), Detroit won’t have too much money to be throwing around at another star player on the team.
Ameer Abdullah Is Still The Starting Running Back
While he is on his final string for me at least, Abdullah deserves another shot to start in Detroit. Abdullah never had any injury issues in college, but since arriving in the NFL he has had some bad luck. Hopefully, things start turning around for him, as both sides would be disappointed in his performance.
If Abdullah has a good season in 2017, then there isn’t a need for Bell to come to Detroit. They have their starting running back signed to a contract that isn’t expensive and with an extension looming like Ebron, Abdullah won’t cost nearly as much as Bell.
If Abdullah has another bad season filled with injuries, then it could be time to look elsewhere at a starting running back. While Detroit could find one in free agency, and if Bell is there they could look, but they won’t touch him.
Another Loaded Running Back Class Awaits
While free agency could be a destination for Detroit to find a possible replacement if Abdullah turns out to be a dud, the NFL Draft for 2018 has another loaded class at the running back position.
The Detroit Lions Podcast own Sean Lanigan has been doing some scouting for the draft next season. Here, he breaks down Saquon Barkley and how he could be a great pick for the Lions if running back is a big need. While it is early to see how some of these players work out before the college season starts, it doesn’t hurt to look, but as of right now this class will be just as good as the 2017 draft class.
Overall, Detroit won’t be talking to Le’Veon Bell come free agency next season. Bell will cost too much for the team, Abdullah still deserves another chance, and they could find a cheaper option that is just as good in the upcoming draft.