The Philadelphia Eagles need to steer clear of a Le’Veon Bell trade.
Now officially on the trade block, Le’Veon Bell‘s divorce with the New York Jets appears to finally be coming to a conclusion. It seemed inevitable, especially when it was revealed that head coach Adam Gase never wanted him in the first place. With a move potentially coming as soon as the trade deadline, the Philadelphia Eagles were floated around as a possible suitor.
This isn’t new to Eagles fans, as for whatever reason the team is constantly linked to any and all trade targets. However, this is a rumor that simply has zero substance to it.
While Miles Sanders hasn’t exactly looked like the second coming of CMC (like we all initially hoped), he’s still an above average running back on a super affordable contract. Even with shaky games against the 49ers and the Steelers, the former Penn State running back is on track for an 1,000+ yard season on the ground.
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The Eagles have gotten some pretty miserable production out of their backup RBs, with Corey Clement and Boston Scott proving to be fairly useless the they rotate in, but that still doesn’t justify making a move for one of the highest paid backs in all of football.
Now for what it’s worth, Bell is still an insanely talented running back, one of the best in the league if you ask me. His numbers in 2019 didn’t necessarily reflect that, but the Jets are also debatably the worst team in all of football. Their play-calling has been atrocious since hiring Gase, and their offensive line consistently ranks towards the bottom of the league. I’m not sure if even Barry Sanders would put up good numbers in that system.
The huge drawback to Bell currently is his contract situation, as he’s still owed $40+ million over the next three seasons, with a cap hit of $15.5 here in 2020. However, Bell does have an opt-out clause in his contract, allowing him to be cut after this season for a meager dead cap hit of $4 million.
The Jets will likely activate said clause after this season regardless, but they would obviously prefer to gain some sort of value back on him via the trade market. One could make an argument that the Eagles would benefit from bringing Bell in to create an elite rotation with Sanders, and then get out of his contract after 2020, but even that argument fails to create much traction.
Philadelphia would still have pay his salary in 2020, and then eat the $4 million dead cap hit in the offseason. The Eagles have one of the worst cap situations in all of football at the moment, the last thing they need to be doing is bringing in more expensive talent. A hypothetical Alshon-Jeffery-for-Le’Veon-Bell swap kinda makes sense on paper (as it effectively clears money for Philly), but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. If anything, Howie Roseman needs to start looking at “selling” leading into this year’s deadline.
UPDATE: Le’Veon Bell got cut like two hours after this got published… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯