One Of The NFL’s Elite Backs Could Hit Free-Agency This March, Should The Lions Make A Run At Him?
Le’Veon Bell is one of only a few running-backs in this league that is truly a three down player. He is an exceptional runner (did I mention he was patient?), but also a superb route runner. Pittsburgh consistently lines him up as a slot or even outside receiver to create match-up issues.
If he were to enter the open market, and there’s plenty of reason to think he may, considering this and this, Bell would have plenty of teams lined up to offer the Brinks trucks for his services. So should the Lions enter the Le’Veon Bell sweepstakes? Let’s make an old fashioned pros and cons list to figure it out.
Getting Bell would mean that the entire offense would basically be locked in and ready to play football in March. He would make them a complete unit with really only one interior line position to take care of. More than making them a complete unit, Bell is just flat-out elite, and gives Matthew Stafford a stallion standing next to him in the pocket.
The biggest advantage to signing Bell is that it would free up a high draft pick this year while also ensuring that high draft pick wouldn’t have been spent on a running-back who’s a bust. Bell knows this league, he knows how to pass-protect, all he needs to learn is the playbook. The Lions would be getting a sure-fire superstar, and able to spend their picks on other positions of need.
The elephant in the room is how much it costs to buy Le’Veon Bell. Bell reportedly turned down a contract offer by the Steelers which included over $12 million a year. In a song Bell made, he rapped that he wanted $15 million a year.
Along with the steep price tag also comes a history of concussions and character concerns. Bell has been suspended to start the season twice due to drug offenses as well. As linked earlier in this article, he basically skipped the Steelers last walkthrough and also showed up late to the game.
Ultimately, I’d be surprised if Quinn even went after Le’Veon Bell, let alone signed him. He spent a lot in free-agency last season, and has said in the past that he builds through the draft. If I was a betting man I’d say Bell is in Pittsburgh next season making one last run with Big Ben. To think about what Bell would do for the team is still fun though, and if he does indeed hit the open market, Lions fans should follow him closely.