The Pittsburgh Steelers basically have four options when it comes to Le’Veon Bell. They can use the franchise tag on him, sign him to a long-term contract, let him become a free agent, or try to trade their super star running back. In a previous post I give my reasons why the team should attempt to trade Bell Le’veon Bell has a new negotiating strategy. Piggybacking on that article, let’s take a look at some teams that would be willing to make such a trade:
- Oakland Raiders – If I were Kevin Colbert this is the first team I’d be calling. They have a brand new coach in John Gruden who’s bound to be in win now mode. Not to mention they will be moving to Las Vegas soon, and what better splash for a new city like Vegas the to add a star like Bell. The Raiders offense would be pretty formidable with Bell, Carr, and Amari Cooper as their big three. Los Angeles owns the tenth overall pick in the draft, and they would probably be reluctant to deal such a high draft choice. If Pittsburgh held firm though, this is the kind of franchise who’d make that kind of daring (dumb) move.
- Detroit Lions – This is my next call if I’m the Steelers brass. Do you realize the Lions haven’t had a back run for 100 yards in a game since Reggie Bush in 2013? It really is an incredible stat when you think about it. There may be no quarterback in the league in need of a dependable running game than Matthew Stafford. The drawback here is that the Lions are set to hire Matt Patricia as their new head coach. As a Bill Belichick disciple on defense, it’s doubtful he’d be willing to spend that much on any running back. Despite this, the Lions would have to be intrigued in acquiring a dynamic back like Bell.
- San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers literally have over $100 million in cap space to work with, so fitting a contract in for Bell wouldn’t be any concern to this team. I’m sure Kyle Shanahan would spend hours coming up with ways he could use a back like Bell in his offense. Again their 1st round pick is a little high here, but even a early second rounder from them could be a good haul for Bell.
- Indianapolis Colts – Another team with an ex New England assistant for a head coach, and a quarterback in dire need of a running game. The Colts have an aging Frank Gore as their primary running back so the need is definitely there. Oh by the way the Colts also have over $100 million in cap space to play with. New head coach Josh McDaniels would certainly enjoy the combination of Andrew Luck and Le’veon Bell. Indianapolis owns the 3rd pick in the draft, so that’s pretty much out of the question. Their second rounder would do just fine though as compensation.
- Green Bay Packers – The Packers have a new front office which has promised to be more aggressive in acquiring talent. Is there a quarterback in the league who does more with less talent than Aaron Rogers? Put those two factors together, and Green Bay becomes a likely suitor for Le’Veon Bell. The 14th overall pick is probably still a little steep a price to pay, but anything’s possible.
Honorable Mention – We all know teams like the Dolphins and Redskins love to collect star players. I wouldn’t count either of those teams out of the mix. The Seattle Seahawks haven’t had a decent running game in years, and their not afraid of blockbuster trades either. Philadelphia will have both their backs become free agents after the season. Unfortunately the Eagles are projected to be way over the salary cap to start the 2018 of-season. Pat Shurmur always had a good running game in Minnesota, now he’s walking into a Giants team that has none. Count New York in as one of the team’s that would be interested. Obviously the Cleveland Browns have the cap space, the picks, and the need for Le’veon Bell. Trading within the division seems like a bad idea, but what if the Browns dangled the number one pick? In that case it would be pretty hard to say no, or would it?