Le'Veon Bell's aggressive holdout strategy paid off this offseason after the New York Jets inked him to a four-year, $52.5 million deal. But his tenure as a member of Gang Green has not gone well over the first half of the season, as he's only totaled 349 yards on the ground with one touchdown and 32 catches for 187 yards and one more touchdown. Now, Manish Mehta reports the Jets are looking to trade their prized offseason acquisition before today's trade deadline at 4 P.M.
This is a shocking move, given that Bell hasn't really had a chance to show what he can do next to Sam Darnold after the latter missed time for mononucleosis. But regardless, these three teams seem the most likely landing spots should the Jets succeed in their endeavor to offload Bell and his rather hefty contract.
Yes, this would be insane. But it's not like Bell has a no-trade clause in his contract, and despite the messy divorce between himself and the franchise, the Steelers are fully committed to winning this year (as their Minkah Fitzpatrick trade should prove). James Conner went down with a shoulder injury last night that doesn't appear to be season-ending but will hamper him for a few weeks, and Jaylen Samuels has struggled with a knee injury for several weeks. Mason Rudolph clearly cannot do this on his own, and the Steelers are still in the mix for a Wild Card spot if they can make a second-half push. This would require laying aside everything that's happened, but if the two sides can do it, it's an intriguing and legitimate option.
Speaking of teams committed to winning this year who need some help to do so, the Lions placed Kerryon Johnson on IR last week, and Ty Johnson didn't get the job done against the Giants. Bell would immediately become the most talented backfield mate Matthew Stafford has ever had and could do wonders in Darren Bevell's zone run offense. Detroit also needs to load up on weapons in what is likely the toughest division in football. This might not be the smartest move to make as a franchise, but if the goal is to make the playoffs and nothing else, this is the move to make.
The Seahawks are in a plenty tough division of their own, and Bell would be an interesting match. The team really likes Rashad Penny and Chris Carson, but Bell is much better than both of them and possesses the ability to make guys miss that anyone running behind this average Seattle line needs. He'd also make for a very dangerous pairing with Russell Wilson. Seattle doesn't necessarily need to do this; their running game has been very effective over the last few weeks, and Carson is probably 75 percent of what Bell is at a significantly cheaper price (fumbles aside). But this may be the worst defense we've seen in the Pete Carroll era of Seattle football, and a move for a star running back might give them the firepower required to hang with the Niners and Rams in the divisional race.