Earlier this morning, the Chicago Bears restructured Khalil Mack’s contract, opening up an additional (and much-needed) $11M in salary cap space. And with that additional space comes some legitimate – and surprising – free agent flexibility.
Perhaps even enough flexibility to breath new life into those rumors tying the Bears to star running back and free agent Le’Veon Bell. Here’s the latest.
- Yesterday, the Bears jumped out as a team to “closely monitor” in the Bell sweepstakes, as they were reported to have “significant interest” in adding the running back. And although there’s been some twists and turns in the last 24-hours alone, they’re still right there:
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) March 12, 2019
- Sadly, the Jets have long been considered the favorites to land Bell and nothing has changed in that regard. They still have the biggest need and the available cap space to make it work. Not to mention, a big signing like Bell would allow the Jets brass to relieve some of the media-based pressure that comes with that specific market. As for the Ravens and Bears, their interest makes sense on multiple levels. Both teams have working running games, but could use the type of big-play upside that upgrading to Bell would bring.
- Of course, the Bears, Ravens, and Jets aren’t alone in chasing after Bell. The other teams rumored to be in this grouping makes it all the more fun … if you’re into that kind of thing:
I've heard from multiple NFL sources who tell me they believe the Jets are still the favorites to land Le'Veon Bell. The Bears, 49ers, Eagles and Raiders are other teams I've heard mentioned in connection with the Bell sweepstakes.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) March 11, 2019
Josina Anderson of ESPN reports one of the following teams "has a good likelihood" of signing Le'Veon Bell today: Jets, Colts, Ravens, Packers, Texans, Bills.
— Dave Biddle (@davebiddle) March 12, 2019
- Before we dive into some more nitty gritty, this is something worth keeping in mind from a Bears-centric point of view:
#Bears clearly are looking at RBs. That's not a secret. But when it comes to connecting them to free-agent RBs, it's important to know that the same agent represents Jordan Howard, Tevin Coleman and Le'Veon Bell.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) March 11, 2019
- So the teams who are reported as being “in” on Bell are the Jets, Bears, Ravens, Jets, Packers, Texans, 49ers, Eagles, and Bills. Neato. If it’s a bidding war, then I can’t imagine the Bears coming away with Bell. Not when the Jets, Bills, 49ers, Texans, and Raiders rank in the top-10 in most available cap space with the Packers and Ravens checking in among the top half of the league.
- Of course, one of those teams is now reported to be out:
The Colts are reportedly passing on Le'Veon Bell. 👀 pic.twitter.com/aHM4Ei8HOj
— theScore (@theScore) March 12, 2019
- The Colts being out on Bell despite having nearly $100 million worth of cap space to bend is a bit of a surprise to some. HOWEVER, the team has Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines leading the way in the backfield making minimum salaries. If the Colts want to make hay in the free agent market, they could side-step the Bell pursuit and focus their energy (and cash flow) elsewhere. But still … part of me wonders why you wouldn’t want to make a super-backfield with Bell leading the way.
- This is one heck of a tease:
— Akbar Gbajabiamila (@Akbar_Gbaja) March 12, 2019
- Worth noting: Gbaja-Biamila played for the Raiders (2003-04, 2008), Chargers (2006), and Dolphins (2007). Bell to the Raiders? It would be something for two ex-Steelers to land in Oakland.
- Olin Kreutz seems to be in on the Bears landing Bell:
Tarik Cohen , Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel , Trey Burton, Anthony Miller and Leveon Bell . Coach Nagy calling plays. 😂😂😂 Yes Please
— Olin kreutz (@olin_kreutz) March 12, 2019
- Yep. That guy is good:
Le’Veon Bell is a special special RB. The dude can do it all. pic.twitter.com/27dgESkVQB
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) March 11, 2019
Ton of people asking about Le'Veon Bell to the #Bears. Is it possible they have cleared cap space to invest in a wide receiver?
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 12, 2019
- I have ideas, hopes, and dreams on who this receiver investment could be … but I don’t want to get too far down that road only to be reeled back in by the harsh winds of reality. As always, we’ll stay right on top of this story and let you know as soon as there are any updates.
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