From time to time we ask our writers for a quick take on a subject of the editor's choice. This week's question:
With the news of the Steelers seeking to trade Bell and his potential reporting after the Week 7 bye, which trade fit would be the best for his on-field production?
Editor's note: writers were limited to teams with $7 million or more in 2018 cap space, as the lower current cap space gets, the more difficult it is to trade for and then sign Bell.
Cleveland is the obvious choice and at the same time the least likely option. There is a very slim chance the Steelers trade Bell to the team within their division, let alone a team that seems to be finally getting the pieces it needs. However, if they somehow pulled off a trade for Bell that could be huge for Cleveland but more importantly you the fantasy owner. The Browns have his longtime offensive coordinator in Todd Haley who will use Bell to the fullest. Bell paired back up with the maestro who capitalized on his unique skill set best would be a storybook ending to the saga which has engulfed his season to this point. Cleveland has been and will continue to be the best situation for him to go to. With a young core on offense led by a great leader at quarterback who is the ultimate team player and will make sure Bell never has to starve again. As for all the hurt he has caused those who took him in the top part of drafts? Well, he would produce on a level for the Browns that would make them forget all about the first half of this season. Andrew Harbaugh (@DHH_Mandrew)
The Indianapolis Colts could easily fit Le’Veon Bell under the cap with over $52 million in total cap space. The move would immediately make Bell the number one option on an offense in desperate need of playmakers. An improved quarterback situation and a new Frank Reich offense would both be a positive change. A strong negative does exist in this situation with the holes on the offensive line. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo remains sidelined with a nagging hamstring injury while the right tackle spot is still entirely up in the air without a real answer even on the roster. The interior of the offensive line is talented but remain very green with Ryan Kelly coming off a foot injury that cost him most of last year and Quenton Nelson having played three games at the NFL level. This could present a problem for Bell, but Reich understands these issues with Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines in the backfield. He could find a way to use Bell with his eyes closed and his hands tied behind his back. Bell would not only be the three-down back in Indianapolis, but he could also be the number two wide receiver and could set a 400 touch pace on this offense. If that isn’t peak fantasy value, please enlighten me as to what is. - Josh Padgett (@jpadgett94)
San Francisco 49ers
An interesting spot for Le’Veon Bell to land this year (and possibly going forward) would be San Francisco. He would immediately get the Shanny Bump and the depth chart is really easy for him to navigate. Bell could break the Kyle Shanahan mold of using a committee approach in the backfield, and we wouldn’t have to worry about Bell’s targets. Last year, the combination of Carlos Hyde, Matt Breida, and Kyle Juszczyk saw 166 targets. The 49ers currently have over $32 million in cap space (per Spotrac), so they could entice him with a nice chunk of change and some of his favorite recreational activities. - Cody Kutzer (@CKutzer)
Imagine your team’s most significant offseason move was to sign a TV personality to a ten year, $100 million contract to be your head coach. This head coach then trades away one of the top NFL defensive players and rolls out to an unimpressive 0-3 record. What would you do? The answer is simple, trade for one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league. Yes, the Raiders have a decent starting running back on Marshawn Lynch, but Lynch is no Le'Veon Bell. Bell, immediately would take pressure off your overpaid and underwhelming quarterback, Derek Carr. He would give the Oakland faithful a franchise player to be proud of, and the new Las Vegas faithful a marquee name to love. And maybe, just maybe, the fans would forget Gruden traded away Khalil Mack. Yes, the Raiders current cap space is just over $7 million, so it would take some maneuvering on the Raiders part. They could easily restructure Carr and a few other veteran’s contracts to make this work.
A trade to the Raiders also makes sense for the Steelers. If the Raiders trade draft picks for Bell, the Raiders picks are sure to be at the top of any round that seems suitable for compensation. While not ideal to trade Bell within the conference, the Raiders play far away on the left coast and don’t seem to be trending towards a spot in the playoffs where the Steelers could be potentially be harmed by playing against Bell. - Philip Murray (@PhilipRMurray)
New York Jets
One of the rumors that surfaced over the weekend was the Jets were interested in Le’Veon Bell. The Jets are intriguing although the team seems far from Super Bowl contention, they do possess talent and cap space to make it an interesting thought. Bell loves the spotlight, NYC would love him as well. They possess $16 million cap space now but over $100 million in 2019. They have some young talent on defense with Leonard Williams, Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, and Marcus Maye, and have a potential franchise quarterback cheap for the next five seasons. Finally, they have the money to add pieces next offseason to make the team much better alongside Bell. That cap space along with draft picks - they are only missing their second-round pick in 2019 - would allow the Jets to sign Bell and still add enough talent to make the Jets possible contenders. - Dwight Peebles (@FFPeeblesChamp)