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NFL Draft

3 Best Le’Veon Bell Free Agent Landing Spots

  • The Draft Network
  • May 31, 2021
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The running back position isn’t what it once was, and most teams no longer look to just one rusher to carry the load. Running backs have been devalued and replaced easily by teams’ brass, which can make it hard for a free-agent rusher looking for a new organization, even a player of Le’Veon Bell’s caliber. 

As we approach June with teams’ rosters taking shape, Bell—once one of the best, most dominant running backs in the league—is still on the market. Bell most notably sat out of the 2018 season due to a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers after leading the league in rushing attempts (321) in 2017. Bell also led the league in total touches (406) in 2017 and had three consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus total yards from scrimmage.

Bell’s production from 2019 to now has been less than ideal. After a season and change with the New York Jets, which Bell is understandably unhappy with, he spent the second half of 2020 with the Kansas City Chiefs. In nine games there, he rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

Now, with Bell removed from his prime, finding a landing spot has been challenging. Bell recently said he’ll sign somewhere when he’s ready, part of a string of commentary addressing his lack of production in New York. Where can Bell return to form and have the opportunity for more touches and a bigger role in an offense? Here are three teams that could use a talent like Bell’s.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons will have a new look on offense after an offseason full of change. They’re still in need of a running back to pair with Mike Davis. Newly minted head coach Arthur Smith said Atlanta would consider veteran rushers still available in free agency to add support and depth to its running back room, according to ESPN. Davis, who bounced around in 2019 before spending all of 2020 in Carolina, has yet to play a full season and only recently had the opportunity for more touches. Bell would be a welcome veteran presence Smith could use as RB1 to help restore the Falcons’ run game. Atlanta had the sixth-fewest yards per game (95.8) last season.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are becoming a dangerous contender. The success of quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills’ passing offense can develop further with a veteran back to open up their attack while being used as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Buffalo could infuse its backfield that now has Devin Singletary and Zack Moss as its RB1 and RB2, respectively, with a dynamic veteran. It would also pair Bell with a current contender; Bell is only 29 years old with plenty left in the tank, but after spending time with Adam Gase in New York, it seems unlikely Bell will want to go to an unestablished offense.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins didn’t draft a top running back, like some expected, which would mean the starter’s workload falls on Myles Gaskin. He’ll have help from second-year rusher (and fellow University of Washington product) Salvon Ahmed and free-agent addition Malcolm Brown. Miami’s brass is seemingly happy with their running back room but the addition of another veteran back could bolster the budding unit. The Dolphins have expressed interest in Bell before and could again if head coach Brian Flores and offensive coordinators George Godsey and Eric Studesville decide to add more talent.

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