The Le’Veon Bell saga has ended, with Bell failing to show up in Pittsburgh before Tuesday’s deadline. The Pittsburgh Steelers offered him the franchise tag earlier this year, with Bell ultimately deciding to pass on it.
By not signing the franchise tender, he essentially loses out on $14.5 million and cannot play the rest of this season. It also likely spells the end of his tenure with the Steelers, making him a free agent come next off-season.
There’s no doubt that Bell will be a hot commodity, still being one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL. Plus, he’ll likely be fresh for his new team by sitting out this season.
You can’t deny the fact he is still one of the best running backs in the league, despite your opinion of this situation.
There will be plenty of teams scrambling, trying to make moves to be able to fit someone like Bell on their roster. One dark-horse team to try to acquire the talents of Bell, are the Houston Texans.
The Texans going into next off-season, have an estimated $68 million in cap space. For a team who has their sights on becoming a contender, there’s plenty that can be done with that amount of money.
The lingering free agency of Jadeveon Clowney could become tricky, but the Texans could make it work. Next year, the Texans only have 3 players who will exceed $10 million against their cap.
Of course that isn’t counting Clowney, if the Texans do choose to re-sign the dynamic pass-rusher.
I understand the Texans have Lamar Miller, but he hasn’t been exactly what they were hoping for. Since signing with the Texans in 2016, Miller has rushed for 1,000 yards just once.
He also holds a less than stellar 3.9 yards per carry since 2016. Signing Bell would benefit a young Texans team who are looking for more weapons on offense.
Bell could be exactly what this Texans squad is missing. I believe Bell and Miller could co-exist, as most teams utilize two running backs now.
Since 2016, Bell had two 1,000 yard seasons, while also eclipsing 600 receiving yards in both seasons. That is something that Miller has failed to do in his entire career.
Here are the type of plays the Texans could receive from Bell.
— Sports Degens (@TheSportsDegens) January 14, 2018
If the Texans decide that isn’t the case, then they could trade Miller. I imagine it wouldn’t be an issue with both guys staying, as Miller becomes a free agent in 2020.
Miller also isn’t too expensive in today’s running back climate, costing the Texans just $7.25 million next season. We know Bell will be a bit pricier, but his production will exceed Miller’s.
We also know Bell was offered a 5-year, $70 million by the Steelers this past off-season. He likely turned it down due to the lack of guaranteed money in the deal.
Reportedly, all the guaranteed money came in the first two years of the deal.
Bell turned down the offer in hopes to reach a common ground with the Steelers at some point. Of course, now we know neither side budged, leaving Bell the option to sit out the entire year.
If we are keeping it real, if Bell turned down an offer to the tune of $14 million a year, the Texans will need to up the ante.
I expect Bell’s next deal to come in the ballpark of $15-$18 million a year, with about half of it being guaranteed. That’s something the Texans can afford, even though they need to start thinking about a Deshaun Watson extension soon.
With everyone talking about which team could acquire Bell’s services, don’t rule out the Texans to sign the all-pro running back.