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Le'Veon Bell (Ric Tapia via AP)

Football

Le’Veon Bell Agrees to Deal With Jets

The New York Jets have taken the next step in building what they hope is a competitive team by agreeing to a four-year, $52.5 million deal with disgruntled running back Le’Veon Bell. This move comes after the Jets bolstered their defense by signing linebacker C.J. Mosley.

Bell showed in his five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers that he is a dynamic running back, by displaying his speed and powerful running paired with his ability to catch passes in the backfield. The Jets will hope that Bell can return to that form for the next four seasons, despite him sitting out the 2018 season, due to demanding more money than the Steelers offered to pay him.

While Bell wanted to be the highest paid running back in the NFL, his plan to sit out and wait until free agency backfired. The Steelers had offered him a five year, $70 Million deal before the 2018 season, which averages $14 Million a season, in comparison to the $13.1 Million a year he is receiving from the Jets. Therefore, his effort to hold out for the 2018 season to increase his market value actually ended up being the least logical outcome, because he could have received more money and more years.

The Jets are looking to build off the promising rookie season of Sam Darnold, who could be their franchise quarterback, by giving him a weapon in Bell to utilize in the offense. Although the Jets have improved their offensive line by trading for All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele, their O-Line is still mediocre compared to the line Bell had in Pittsburgh, so he will have something to prove with the Jets in that aspect.

The best case scenario for the Jets is that Bell returns to his old form that he had in Pittsburgh, which benefits Darnold’s development, and the Jets get on the right track and have a winning season. The worst case scenario is that Bell struggles in the new Jets system and does not live up to his past success, which leaves the Jets in the same place that they are in. While the former scenario seems to be a bit more likely, either scenario could happen, and the Jets will need to wait for the 2019 season to see what happens.

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