UPDATE: Bell has signed with the Chiefs, per NFL Network.
The New York Jets unexpectedly cut Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday and teams are sure to swarm the versatile running back in hopes of signing him for the remainder of the 2020 season. Bell hasn’t been a quality back since 2017, but his unique skill set help him elevate most NFL squads. DraftKings Sportsbook oddsmaker Johnny Avello has provided us with some hypothetical odds for the teams most likely to sign him. Let’s go over the top contenders.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4-1
The Buccaneers have the best odds of any team, according to Avello. While Tampa Bay has a solid one-two punch with Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette manning the backfield, Bell has a higher ceiling than both. Bell hasn’t played behind a competent offensive line in three years. The Buccaneers’ running backs rank seventh in yards per carry (4.7) and have a 100 percent power run success rate this year, according to Football Outsiders. Bell could have a bounce back year with better protection. Bell wants touches, so I don’t think he’ll join a team that will likely use two other backs consistently.
Chicago Bears: 5-1
Chicago lost Tarik Cohen for the year because on an ACL tear earlier this year and David Montgomery has had very little success on the ground as the Bears’ feature back. Bell could be a change-of-pace back capable of assuming Cohen’s receiving duties. The Bears have sixth-fewest rushing attempts (115) in the NFL, but maybe Bell could persuade them to pound the ground more. The Bears might be the worst 4-win team in the NFL and will have to tango against the Green Bay Packers in their division. I think Bell will look for more competitive options.
San Francisco 49ers: 6-1
The 49ers are loaded with running backs. Raheem Mostert and Jerick McKinnon sit atop the depth chart while Tevin Coleman is on the IR, but Jeff Wilson has also proved that he can be an impact player. While a run-powered team like San Francisco loves to get creative is suited for Bell, the availability of other playmakers could limit his role. The 49ers are on the decline and have a crowded backfield, so I don’t think Bell will have much interest.
Buffalo Bills: 7-1
The Bills have two versatile running backs in Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, but neither has lived up to expectations this season. Moss being injured has helped Devin Singletary amass 17 receptions on 22 targets through five games. Bell thrives in a receiving role and Buffalo has enough threats out wide to give him plenty of space to make plays after the catch. This bet makes the most sense to me. Buffalo appears to hav an easy road to the playoffs and needs a dynamic feature back with game changing abilities.
Here are the odds of a few other teams that could make a run at bell.
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