The former Pittsburgh Steelers running back has some better blockers in front of him for 2020.
It’s unfortunate that Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers couldn’t figure out a way to keep the talented running back with the franchise for longer than six years. But sometimes that’s just how things happen in the NFL and both Bell and the Steelers are now trying to achieve success without each other.
In 2019, the veteran running back played in his first season outside of Pittsburgh as a member of the New York Jets. Bell was given a fat, $52 million contract from New York and his first chance to prove his worth resulted in him finishing with his fewest total yards since 2015 when he only appeared in six games.
At 28-years-old, the former Steelers running back doesn’t have much time to show that he is still one of the best in the NFL when it comes to rushing and catching the ball out of the backfield.
Will the former Pittsburgh Steelers rusher bounce back from a forgettable 2019 campaign?
The upcoming 2020 season is a very important one for Bell’s future in the league. If he fails to produce at a high level once again, it’s very possible that the Jets could decide to part ways with him in 2021 since cutting or trading Bell after the upcoming season would result in New York freeing up almost $10 million cap space.
In an effort to help their top running back’s chances for a rebound campaign next season, the Jets put a lot of their focus during the last few months into improving their offensive line.
During free agency, New York spent a total of $83.4 million to add George Fant, Alex Lewis, Connor McGovern, and Greg Van Roten to their offensive line. Then during this year’s NFL Draft, the Jets used their top pick in the first round on former Louisville tackle Mekhi Becton.
While a lot of these moves were made to help protect Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold, these new additions should also make life easier for Bell next season.
When recently asked about the newest members of New York’s offensive line, Bell couldn’t contain his excitement and said that he, “can’t wait,” to run behind the team’s new and improved group of blockers.
If the former Pittsburgh running back still can’t improve his numbers next season after the offensive line upgrades the Jets made this year, then that’s on him.
Bell really has no more excuses to not produce at the level he was able to during the early part of his career. If he is unable to bounce back in 2020, then New York will likely say, “thanks for trying,” and send him out the door in 2021.