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NY Jets Favored in the Odds to Sign Le’Veon Bell for 2019

Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers running through contact.
Le'Veon Bell did not report to the Steelers by Tuesday's deadline and is now ineligible to return this year, setting up an interesting offseason for potential suitors. Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire.
  • Le’Veon Bell did not report to the Steelers by Tuesday’s deadline.
  • The All-Pro RB is now ineligible to play this year.
  • Online betting sites are already looking towards next year with a futures bet on Bell’s 2019 team.

Le’Veon Bell had until 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ facilities. He didn’t. That means Bell is officially ineligible to return during the 2018 NFL season and has forfeited his entire $14.5 million salary.

Odds on Le’Veon Bell’s team in 2019

What team will Le’Veon Bell be on in Week 1 of 2019? Odds
NY Jets +300
Oakland Raiders +500
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +700
Philadelphia Eagles +700
Green Bay Packers +750
San Francisco 49ers +900
Indianapolis Colts +900
Baltimore Ravens +900
Houston Texans +1200
Seattle Seahawks +1600
Pittsburgh Steelers +1600
New England Patriots +3300

The Jets are the early favorites to sign Le’Veon Bell

As you can see, the Jets are the early favorite to land Bell, who will almost certainly become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

New York makes sense as a landing spot for the two-time All Pro for many, many reasons: The Jets will have a ton of cap space. They will want to give then-second-year QB Sam Darnold all the weapons he can get. They currently have arguably the worst group of skill-position players outside of Buffalo. And they will likely have a new, more offensively-minded head coach looking to completely revamp the attack.

Many pundits agree that it would be a perfect marriage, at least on paper.

Without getting into whether the Jets are good value at +300 (which has a 25% implied probability), there’s at least one number up there that is patently ridiculous.

The Steelers are longshots, but not long enough

I usually love betting incumbents in free-agent scenarios, but do not bet on the Steelers at +1600 (5.9% probability).

To start with, the relationship between Bell and every facet of the Pittsburgh franchise has soured like kimchi. He’s already wiped all mention of the Steelers from his Twitter bio.

Second, given the amount of money a desperate team like the Jets, Raiders, or Bucs are going to throw at Bell this offseason, there’s about a 0.1% chance he winds up back in Pittsburgh. The one thing that the Steelers’ brass has learned in his absence is that they don’t need him. James Connor (771 rushing yards, 387 receiving yards, 11 total TDs) is having a Pro Bowl season and is under contract through 2020. As a team, the Steelers are 6-2-1, have a 1.5-game lead in the AFC North, and currently hold the #2-seed in the conference.

There is no way they’ll be clamoring to spend anywhere near $15 million on a disgruntled soon-to-be 27-year-old in the offseason.

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