Breaking news from the blogosphere: pending Pittsburgh Steelers free agent running back Le’Veon Bell has his preference for his next destination set. He wants to take his talents to South Beach to join the Miami Dolphins.
You know, unless he doesn’t. That report comes from some website called FanSided, which claims to have been given this knowledge by a source. How much value does this hold? Not a whole lot, even if we could confirm it. We have already seen a number of reports naming different desired targets, such as the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets.
But none of that matters if those teams can’t or don’t want to sign him, and frankly we still don’t know what his market is going to be, especially after he sat out the entire 2018 season. This is not a situation that comes up all that often, so there is not a lot of precedent to go on in terms of predicting how this might affect his market value.
The bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter a whole lot what team he wants to sign with, or what team he ends up signing with, presuming that neither of those are actually the Steelers. The only thing left for Pittsburgh to do as it concerns Bell is to collect a future compensatory draft pick, but even that may turn out to be a disappointment.
That will depend upon how they approach free agency. This year, they figure to actually have the funds to be able to go after a high-priced free agent if they so choose, and that is more realistic this year than it was in 2017 when they also had some cap space to work with (which they eventually spent on Joe Haden and trading for Vance McDonald and J.J. Wilcox).
So will Bell be in a Dolphins uniform next year? Or will he be with the Jets, or Colts, or X team? Honestly, I don’t care. I don’t think many people here care. But that isn’t going to stop the reports from coming in about where he wants to play, regardless of whether or not those teams will actually want him to play there or could afford for him to do so.
Bell was a world-class player through the bulk of his five-year run in Pittsburgh. He literally averaged more yard per game than anybody else in their first five seasons, or for their entire careers, in NFL history. He was a multiple-time first-team All-Pro and rightly viewed as one of the top players in the entire league at one point.
What will he be in 2019, and for whom? We’ll keep guessing until mid-March, I’m sure.