Reunion between the Steelers and Le’Veon Bell makes a ton of sense

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 03: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets looks on during the game against the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on November 03, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 03: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets looks on during the game against the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on November 03, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

A bitter end to what once was a great relationship between Bell and the Steelers should have deterred any chance at a future reunion. However, after a disappointing first season away from Heinz field, a reunion is not so far fetched.

Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers know each other better than most. Throughout his 5 years with the team, Bell became one of the best running backs in the NFL. Bell finished with over 1200 yards rushing on 3 separate occasions and unfortunately had one of those years taken away by injury. While Bell’s rushing prowess put him above many other running backs and his ability to receive out of the backfield made him a truly special player.

Bell became the blueprint for how teams evaluate the running back position. Out of his 4 full seasons with the Steelers, Bell had 3 seasons with above 70 catches and 600 yards making the Steelers offense one of the most prolific in the National Football League. He added an element to the offense that many defenses were not prepared for.

At the time, it was uncommon for running backs to be able to change the game through the air the way he did. Defenses had to worry about him in two facets of the game. Bell became a major part of the Steelers famed Killer B’s that unfortunately, were never able to win a Super Bowl.

Although the relationship ended poorly, a reunion is not completely out of the question. Bell’s first season playing for another organization did not go so well. With the Jets this past season, Bell finished with under 1,000 rush yards in a full season for the first time since his rookie year.

He was drastically misused and it is clear that he is not wanted by Jets Head Coach Adam Gase. On numerous occasions, Gase has stated his displeasure with having Bell on the roster and his desire to get rid of him. It seems likely Bell will not be a Jet moving forward. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Steelers were one of the teams to inquire about the possibility of acquiring Le’Veon Bell at the trade deadline this year.

If this reunion does take place, there are many reasons it could work. While the original relationship between Bell and the Steelers ended on a sour note, there was never any bad blood between the players. Bell and current running back James Conner have a great relationship and are consistently showing their respect for one another through social media. If Bell was brought back, it would be a welcome addition to the locker room. Also from a football standpoint, the move would make sense.

If acquired, the Steelers will have a very deep running back rotation. The NFL is moving towards a day and age where the running back position is not valued as highly. Most teams use the “running back’s by committee” approach meaning there is no true lead back. Pretty much all the teams in the playoffs this year outside of the Tennessee Titans used this approach. The facts show that this system works.

Adding Bell to a rotation with James Conner, and Benny Snell will be a good boost for the offense that desperately needs it. They would all add a different element to the game and keep defenses on their toes at all times. Bell and Conner both have a history of injuries. By adding Bell to this rotation, it would spare the other carries and keep them fresh throughout the season.

Many people sour at the fact that his contract is very large. However, there is a lot of dead weight on the Steeler’s current roster. If those players are cut, the team would save millions in cap space.

Secondly, after a disappointing season with the Jets, Bell’s value is at its lowest. Therefore, it would not take much to get him. It would likely cost the Steelers a late-round pick to pry Bell away, which would be more than worthwhile. If this year’s Super Bowl showed anything, running backs can be had for cheap. Adding a talented running back who is on the right side of 30 for a late-round pick sounds like a good idea to me.

Next. Average players are eating up too much salary cap space for the Steelers. dark

The past is the past, what happened can not be undone. Getting Bell back to where he belongs is the right move for both the Steelers and Bell. It would correct a past mistake and would pay dividends for both parties.