The Washington Football Team doesn’t need Le’Veon Bell.
On Tuesday night, the New York Jets made a move that wasn’t necessarily a surprise, but it was unexpected. The team released running back Le’Veon Bell just a few days after he was activated from IR and played his second game of the season for the team.
The reasoning for the release was simple. Bell didn’t get along with Jets head coach Adam Gase and wasn’t a fan of the direction the Jets were heading in. He and Gase butted heads and Bell ended up getting sent packing. The team didn’t even wait to see if they could trade him for anything. They just let him go.
The move wasn’t a very good one by the Jets considering that Gase hasn’t proven to be a very good head coach, but it happened nonetheless. Now, Bell will be looking for a new home and a team needing some running back depth could certainly scoop him up quickly.
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That said, the Washington Football Team shouldn’t be in the market for Bell’s services. Could the team use some depth at running back? Sure. But Bell doesn’t fit the team for a few reasons.
First of all, Bell is a 28-year-old running back who is on the decline. He already has 1,874 career touches and has shown signs of slowing down in recent seasons. In 17 games for the Jets the past two years, he totaled 863 yards and two TDs on the ground while averaging a woeful 3.3 yards per carry. He can still get it done through the air (500 yards in those 17 games) but he’s not the same playmaking threat he once was.
Perhaps Bell could be rejuvenated in a better offense. However, that wouldn’t be available to him in Washington. The WFT is a rebuilding team like the Jets, and Terry McLaurin is the only proven piece of offensive weaponry the team has at the moment. They’re best served to develop Antonio Gibson as a potential running complement to McLaurin than they would be bringing in a declining asset to take snaps away from the rookie.
Also, it’s worth noting that Bell probably doesn’t want to play for another losing team, and that could create some locker room friction if Washington can’t win this year. He’s probably missing the days he spent in Pittsburgh when he was the lead back for a winning, playoff-bound squad year in and year out.
Bell is more likely to sign with a team that has a chance of winning their division or a wild-card spot, like the Colts, Chiefs, Seahawks, Bills, Packers, etc. He also could wait to see if a playoff-bound team ends up with a vacancy at RB and then sign there in hopes of being a starter.
Washington would be best to avoid Bell, as he wouldn’t do a lot to upgrade the team long-term. Short-term, he might give the team a nice outlet out of the backfield, but Gibson and J.D. McKissic have done fine in that role so far.
The bigger problems that Washington has at this point are on the offensive line and at the receiver position. If they’re going to add to any groups, those should be the ones. And even if they do consider targeting some extra running back depth, Bell doesn’t seem like a good fit for them.