- Will Jay Ajayi’s injury force Philadelphia to make a trade?
- Can the Eagles fit Bell’s contract under the salary cap?
- See the odds below
The 2018 NFL Trade deadline is looming and a new favorite has emerged in the Le’Veon Bell sweepstakes.
The defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles now have the best odds of acquiring Bell at MyBookie, after losing leading rusher Jay Ajayi for the season to a torn ACL.
Odds on Which Team Le’Veon Bell Will Play for October 31
|What team will Le’Veon Bell play for after the Trade Deadline||Odds at MyBookie|
|TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS||+500|
Just ten days ago we were looking at the Patriots as the lead candidate for Bell, but the emergence of rookie Sony Michel has removed them from the entire board.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) October 10, 2018
If the Eagles are serious about defending their title, landing Bell could be the remedy for their struggling offense. They’re averaging eight fewer points per game this season compared to last and have just two wins through five weeks.
The Eagles Rushing Attack Needs a Bell-Cow
A big reason for Philly’s offensive woes has been their lackluster rushing attack.
They’re averaging 21.4 fewer yards on the ground this season compared to 2017, and have not had a single running back eclipse 70 yards rushing in a game.
Le’Veon Bell forced 61 missed tackles last season, third-most among RBs! pic.twitter.com/IEAg4XyERg
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 1, 2018
With Ajayi out and Darren Sproles dealing with a hamstring injury, the Eagles are left with Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams to carry the rock. None of those backs has a 100-yard rushing game on their resume, while Bell has 20.
The Eagles have the Ammunition to get a Deal done
If the Eagles do make a play for Bell, they have more than enough assets to grab the Steelers attention.
Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman has stockpiled selections in next April’s Draft, including two coveted second-round picks. Roseman has a history of making aggressive moves to bolster his roster and made a splash prior to last year’s deadline by acquiring Ajayi from the Dolphins.
The Eagles have the Cap Space
In addition to the surplus of draft capital, the Eagles now have the cap flexibility to accommodate Bell’s salary after re-structuring Fletcher Cox’s contract.
Cox’s new deal gives Philadelphia over $10 million in cap space, which is enough to cover Bell’s pro-rated franchise tag of $9.4 million, if he reports during Week 7 as planned.
The 2018 and 2019 cap space arising from the Fletcher Cox restructuring invites speculation on whether the Eagles have an idea to get @LeveonBell to go all in, if a trade to Philly happens https://t.co/rnk6rgIJtr
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 9, 2018
Everything points to the Eagles being the rightful favorites to land Bell.
They have a glaring need, the resources to get a deal done, and the flexibility to fit Bell’s contract under the cap. +150 is a steep price, but a trade with Philadelphia represents Pittsburgh’s best chance of acquiring something valuable for their disgruntled star.