Earlier today, we learned that the Bears have “significant interest” in signing free agent Le’Veon Bell when the time comes. And now, Bears fans who hope to see the star running back trade in his Pittsburgh black-and-yellow for Chicago’s navy-and-orange have an ally in their corner.
Check it out:
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) March 11, 2019
No other NFL insider is as tied-in to Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy as ESPN’s Louis Riddick. Their ties go back to Philadelphia, where Riddick was in the Eagles’ front office and Nagy was an assistant coach. And their sensibilities have always seemed aligned: Riddick raved about Nagy’s attention to detail when the team hired him in January, then explained why it was right to be patient with Mitch Trubisky’s development when the second-year quarterback struggled through inconsistencies early in the season.
So knowing that, you can see how/why these two might see eye-to-eye here, as well. Or at least why we’ll consider his words with a little more weight than most others. Throw in the fact that Ryan Pace he’s been known to make ultra-aggressive moves for players he wants, and you can see why the Bears are considered legitimately involved in the Bell sweepstakes – much like they were in the early going for Khalil Mack.
But even this is nothing more than speculation from Riddick, it is also, at a minimum, an interesting piece of commentary from a highly respected league insider, right?
Perhaps it’s not exactly surprising, as any team would want Bell – he is a two-time first-team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler, after all. But as a dynamic playmaker as both a rusher and receiver, his place on the Bears, as Riddick hints, might be a better fit than most. Indeed, Bell could bring the sort of skillset the Bears offense didn’t really have last year and couldn’t quite create, despite a thunder/lightning combo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
Whether Bell’s price tag falls into the Bears’ spending range remains to be seen, but let’s keep an open mind here at the start of free agency. Riddick certainly is. And there’s certainly enough smoke surrounding the situation to get us to pay attention.