The Eagles aren’t quite out of the Le’Veon Bell sweepstakes just yet.
General manager Howie Roseman has helped clear up around $20 million in cap space for Philadelphia this offseason in moves that featured the restructuring of Lane Johnson’s contract along with the decision not to pick up Timmy Jernigan’s option.
With some cash to spend, the idea of getting in on free-agent running back Le’Veon Bell once again re-entered the fray as a possibility for the Eagles.
“There have been rumblings in the background that Philadelphia could have some interest, there’s lurking,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter told 97.5 The Fanatic. “I don’t know how real it is or isn’t. The one thing I know about the Eagles is: they’re always investigating everybody.”
Bell is the biggest name available on the open market this offseason after an unceremonious split with the Pittsburgh Steelers that centered around failed contract negotiations. The 27-year-old is looking for a contract that pays him in the neighborhood of $17 million per season while the Steelers were offering him no more than $14.5 million per year.
As one of the best dual-threat backs in the NFL, he is expected to earn that lucrative kind of payday while immediately bringing star power and a major threat to any team’s backfield. That kind of talent is exactly what the Eagles need considering they have next to nothing when it comes to the ground game.
Jay Ajayi will be a free agent next week with a low stock after tearing his ACL in October. It leaves the Eagles with the underwhelming group of Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, and Darren Sproles. None of those three backs have shown an ability to be a true, No. 1 option for the Eagles.
A dangerous running back is imperative to take the pressure off Carson Wentz, who will return as the franchise quarterback after the Eagles made the understandable, yet unpopular decision of letting Nick Foles go to market.
A running back like Bell ensures that Wentz will have no shortage of options within the Eagles offense as Doug Peterson looks to lead his team to a third-straight postseason appearance in 2019. That’s a streak attained just four times dating back to 1950.
Since 2014, Bell has put up 16-game averages of 1,462 rushing yards, 738 receiving yards, and 11 total touchdowns.