The Philadelphia Eagles are among the teams with interest in Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, league sources said, and while no trades are close or imminent, and there would be obstacles to overcome, Howie Roseman is among the more aggressive and creative general managers in the NFL.
Earlier this week, La Canfora mentioned the Eagles as a “sleeper team” when it comes to a potential Bell trade.
As noted, the logistics of this trade situation are not simple. Bell is currently holding out from the Steelers, who have placed the franchise tag on him. Bell needs to sign that one-year, $14.5 million tender before he can be dealt. The Eagles, who have around $4.58 million in cap space according to Over The Cap, would need to clear up some room before being able to bring him on. (La Canfora keeps mentioning trading Nick Foles as a means of freeing up money.) Philadelphia would also not be permitted to negotiate a new contract with Bell until the season is over, so he could very well end up being a rental.
Perhaps there’s a price where acquiring Bell as a short-term player makes sense. Jay Ajayi is dealing with a fracture in his back so it remains to be seen just how effective he’ll be. Darren Sproles is set to miss his third game with a hamstring injury. Bell could be a boost to a recently sluggish Eagles offense.
NFL insider Adam Schefter says the Steelers’ price for Bell is a second-round pick AND a good player, which is obviously just way too high. And with the Steelers being the ones actively shopping Bell, it’s not like they have all the leverage here.
Maybe Howie Roseman can work his magic and get Bell at a surprisingly reasonable price. That’d be fun.
But I just don’t see it happening. We just watched the Eagles rush for 142 combined yards with the likes of Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, and Josh Adams last week. Philadelphia obviously won’t be able to do that with those guys in every game. But there’s something to be said for nothing having to interest a lot of resources in the running back position to get good production there.
Another consideration is that paying Bell this year limits the amount of cap space the Eagles can roll over to 2018 to help pay for Carson Wentz’s mega extension. Not to mention potentially re-signing the likes of Brandon Graham, Ronald Darby, Jordan Hicks, Jay Ajayi, etc.
Eagles fans are clearly split down the middle when it comes to the idea of trading for Bell. Check out these Bleeding Green Nation poll results:
Count me among those who don’t think the Eagles should make the move.