The New York Jets tried as hard as they could to trade former star running back Le’Veon Bell after a brutal stint in the big apple. On Tuesday, the Jets finally gave up on finding a trade partner and opted to release Bell, still owing him $6 million.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers star will become a free agent if he clears waivers on Wednesday, which is almost certain to happen since no team is willing to trade a seventh-round pick for him. There was speculation after Bell was let go by the Jets that the Chicago Bears were a potential fit and destination for him. Bell would act as a replacement for injured running back Tarik Cohen, catching passes out of the backfield and adding a dynamic piece to their offense.
The latest odds now are pointing in the Bears’ favor as well.
BetOnline.ag, a respected sportsbook, released its latest odds on where Bell will end up this season. At the very top of the list? The Bears…
From @betonline_ag, here are their top odds for Le’Veon Bell’s next team:#Bears – 3/1#Chiefs – 5/1#Buccaneers – 15/2#Browns – 8/1#Steelers, #Titans – 9/1#Cardinals, #Dolphins, #Eagles, #Patriots, #49ers, #Seahawks – 10/1#Giants – 12/1
Where do you think he ends up?
— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) October 14, 2020
Bears Could Use Bell Against Tough Run D’s
It’s always interesting to see where the money is going and to get a betting perspective when top players become available on the open market. This doesn’t mean the Bears are going to actually sign Bell, but their run game has been atrocious to start the season. Current Bears running back David Montgomery hasn’t been able to get it going, but much of the blame belongs on the offensive line. They have played poorly over the last two weeks against two of the best front sevens in football.
Over the first three games of the season, the Bears were averaging 130 yards per game rushing the football against below-average defenses. Signing Bell would give them another weapon to take on top defenses in the running game. The real question here is if Head Coach Matt Nagy would actually use him. Nagy preaches running the football but hasn’t shown any commitment to it over the course of his tenure in Chicago.
The Kansas City Chiefs have the second-best odds to sign Bell at 5/1. They have rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire headlining the backfield, but after him, there are real questions. Edwards-Helaire has been awful at the goal-line, which Bell could help with immediately. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are third at 15/2. They recently signed Leonard Fournette to accompany Ronald Jones, but they could use a better pass-catching back to support Tom Brady. LeSean McCoy, who projects as a receiving back, has been completely ineffective and oft-injured. The Cleveland Browns are fourth at 8/1 odds to land Bell. They recently lost star Nick Chubb to injury and could look to sign Bell as a replacement. But Chubb should return at some point and Kareem Hunt is more than capable of carrying the load until his return.
The rest of the teams are longshots, but with 9/1 odds, the Steelers offer up an interesting plot. Could Bell be interested in returning to the team that originally drafted him? Probably not, but don’t be surprised if rumors of a possible homecoming start to spread.