Go ahead and cross Le'Veon Bell off your wish list, Eagles fans.
He's heading to the Jets.
Bell has reached an agreement with the Jets worth $52.5 million over four years, including $35 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.
Over the past few months, I've been asked more questions by Eagles fans about Bell than any other potential free agent target. And I understand why. The last time we saw Bell, he was an All-Pro player in 2017 and arguably the best running back and football. And he would have been a perfect fit with the Eagles and Doug Pederson's offense.
Bell, 27, rushed for over 1,200 yards in 2016 and 2017 and was a dynamic receiver out of the backfield. Everything about him was a fit for the Eagles.
But it was never likely that Bell was going to join the Eagles. His new $13.125 million average yearly salary was likely too rich for the Eagles, even if it is considerably lower than what Bell wanted.
Bell sat out the entire 2018 season, but based on his new contract, that decision might have backfired. He would have made $14.5 million on a franchise tag last season.
The type of market he seemed to expect this offseason never developed. But it also obviously didn't dip to the point where the Eagles felt comfortable hopping in at the last second. I'm sure the Eagles did their due diligence, but it wouldn't be their style to break the bank like this for a free agent running back.
Even though Bell is going to the Jets, the Eagles still have plenty of options. There are several free agent running back candidates and possible trade targets. And even if they don't get a running back in free agency, there's the draft in April.
As I re-ranked the Eagles' needs today (see story), I put running back at the top of the list. I think they need a feature back to take their offense to the next level. Bell would have been that type of player, but now that he's heading to the Jets, the Eagles and the rest of us can focus on the other options.
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