One of the big storylines in the NFL this year has been Le’Veon Bell’s holdout from the Steelers. So far, the three-time Pro Bowl running back has declined to sign Pittsburgh’s one-year franchise tag offer sheet worth $14.5 million. It doesn’t seem like Bell plans to return soon and now there is talk the Steelers are willing to listen to trade offers.
The Eagles don’t immediately jump to mind as logical suitors in a Bell trade, but one NFL insider isn’t ruling it out. Jason La Canfora recently called the Eagles a “sleeper team” to acquire Bell. Via CBS:
“[This would be] the ultimate Howie Roseman move. Trade Nick Foles, get something back for him and then blammo, create cap space and money. Go to your owner and say ‘I’m going to turn Nick Foles into Le’Veon Bell, all you gotta do is pay him.’ Jay Ajayi is up at the end of the year anyway. They have no commitment to him. Sproles is banged up again. Do they really want to be going into games with Corey Clement and whatever else? That’s my sleeper team.
”With Carson, there’s going to be a lot of three-step drops. Who better to go out there and save the day? They’re obviously trying to win right now. They’ve already made a financial commitment so that’s not an owner who is going to let $8 million scuttle the chance to get an All-Pro, every down running back.”
“What’s imperative right now more than anything else in Philadelphia? Pass protection. Who’s a better pass protecting running back than Le’Veon Bell? Think about it.”
Adding Bell to the Eagles’ offense is certainly fun to think about. Philadelphia could use some help in the backfield with Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles both banged up.
But I hardly think this described scenario is likely to happen.
First, this assumes there’s a trade market for Nick Foles. I mean, maybe the 49ers would like to acquire him given that Jimmy G is done for the year, but there’s been no indication of that so far.
Then there’s the fact the Eagles have never really invested significant resources into the running back position during the Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas era. Philadelphia is already tight on cap space moving forward (and that’s before factoring into a Carson Wentz mega contract) so they have to be smart about how they spend their money. I think they think running back isn’t a position where they need to spend big in order to get good production.
So, again, it’s something fun to think about. I just don’t think it’s likely at all. It seems like Ajayi and Sproles will be back at some point within the coming weeks. In the meantime, Wendell Smallwood is coming off the best game of his career. The Eagles are high on Corey Clement’s potential and they also liked Josh Adams enough to promote him from the practice squad last year. Smallwood, Clement, and Adams combined for one touchdown and 142 rushing yards on 32 carries (4.44 average) in Philadelphia’s Week 3 win over the Colts.
In other words, I think the Eagles are content with what they’ve got.
Should the Eagles trade for Le’Veon Bell?
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