- The odds of Le’Veon Bell signing with New York Jets are best according to BetOnline
- NFL Free Agency is exactly one week away
- What bet will pay out on March 13?
Today, we’re officially one week away from the beginning of NFL Free Agency.
And even though clubs can’t start contract negotiations with pending UFAs until March 11, that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning out “likely” destinations for some of the league’s biggest stars.
Among them, former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who is apparently bound for the Big Apple.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 4, 2019
Odds Where Le’Veon Bell Signs in 2019
|Team||Odds to sign Bell at BetOnline|
|New York Jets||+500|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+550|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1200|
|Green Bay Packers||+1200|
|New England Patriots||+2500|
*Odds taken 3/6
As I mentioned last time, the New York Jets were always going to be big players in the Bell market. The only thing they love as much as whiffing on highly drafted QBs, and finishing last in the AFC East, is bringing in veteran running backs.
So instead of making more of a case for the Jets to land him, let’s examine why some of these other teams won’t get him.
The Buccaneers Are Sinking… Cap Space Into Bad Players
Over the last few days, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles have both emerged as teams that are also after Bell, despite neither one having much cap space to work with.
— John Sabol (@John_Sabol) March 4, 2019
The Eagles have around $12 million in space, but Howie Roseman has demonstrated an ability to make shrewd cap clearing moves and continue to field a contender. The Buccaneers only have $14 million in space despite fielding one of the league’s worst teams over the past decade.
Because GM Jason Licht made the indefensible move up picking up Jameis Winston’s $20 million fifth-year option, the team would now have to get rid of Gerald McCoy, DeSean Jackson, or a host of other players just to clear the space to meet Bell’s demands.
The #Bucs have finished 5-11 in back-to-back seasons and in last place in seven of the past eight. They don't have much salary cap space. But let's bring everyone back to do it all over again. Because intangibles. pic.twitter.com/akqnyuMG93
— Thomas Bassinger (@tometrics) March 1, 2019
I know Bell wants that money, and Florida has no personal income tax, but with the Bucs, he’ll be stuck playing in a bad offense that won’t have the means to get any better. Plus, he’ll have to live in Tampa.
The “Why Are They On This List?” Teams
Just because a franchise could use a running back, doesn’t mean they have a chance at Bell.
The Texans have around $68 million in cap space to work with, but after doing whatever it takes to bring Tyrann Mathieu back, this team needs to put some money in its offensive line. Also, when was the last time Houston actually landed a prized free agent?
Is it never? I feel like its never.
— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) October 25, 2018
Okay, maybe once.
As for teams like the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins, I feel like a simple “no” will suffice.
And while we always can count on Dan Snyder to spend stupid money after stupid money, the Alex Smith injury has the Skins in cap hell right now. They’re out.
Another Sneaky Good Play
Outside of the Jets, another team whose odds should get shorter by next week is the Baltimore Ravens. They just cut Eric Weddle yesterday, Michael Crabtree last week, and unloaded most of Joe Flacco’s contract on the Broncos.
— Team #KeepItClean® (@IngravenVids) March 6, 2019
They’re clearing space for something.
After the way things ended with Bell and the Steelers, money is definitely his biggest motivator heading into free agency. But I’m guessing “spite” would rank up their too, and the chance to stick it to Pittsburgh twice a year has to be enticing. Plus, the Ravens are actually a contender.
Getting Baltimore at +800 is pretty nice at this point.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.