The Pittsburgh Steelers may be ready to cut bait with Le’Veon Bell, a new report claims.
As the NFL All Pro running back’s holdout stretches into the third week of the NFL season, the Steelers are reportedly starting to consider trade offers that would take him off of their hands for good. As Adam Schefter of ESPN reported, league sources say that the Steelers are actively listening to offers from other teams.
There are already rumors about which NFL team could land Le’Veon Bell. As CBS Sports noted, there are a few strong potential destinations — with the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, or San Francisco 49ers looking most likely.
As the report detailed, the 49ers are shorthanded in the backfield after losing their starting tailback to injury.
“San Francisco has been replacement-level in the run game (16th overall) but it lost Jerick McKinnon before the season,” the report noted. “McKinnon signed a four-year, $30 million deal before the season but the 49ers can get out from under it for only $2 million in dead cap space next offseason. Put another way: They can easily afford to add Bell.”
Which team should pick up Le'Veon Bell? pic.twitter.com/zNWFXOnVR5— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 23, 2018
The 49ers could be in even bigger need of help after a serious injury to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday, according to the Inquisitr. Reports indicate that the team fears it could be an ACL tear, which would likely mean that he is out for the remainder of the season.
It is not clear what the Pittsburgh Steelers may be asking for Le’Veon Bell, who is due $11.9 million for the rest of the season. That would severely limit the market for the running back, Field Yates of ESPN reported.
Le’Veon Bell is due $11.98M for the rest of this season. As things currently stand: these teams have $12M+ in cap space: Browns, Colts, Texans, Titans, Cowboys, 49ers, Jets and Jaguars. https://t.co/aw5YOhIzO5— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 23, 2018
As SB Nation relayed, the Steelers would likely need a strong return to even consider trading Le’Veon Bell. He is set to hit free agency in March, and the Steelers would likely receive a third-round draft pick as compensation if he were to sign with another team, the report noted.
Given that Bell is seeking a big contract extension, it would also be a risky proposition for any team looking to trade for him, the report noted.
“Any team trading for Bell will want to be 100 percent confident they aren’t giving up a high draft pick for a short-term rental,” the report noted. “Considering how appealing the prospect of hitting the open market will be for Bell, that’s a tall ask.”
While the NFL rumors indicate that the Pittsburgh Steelers are listening to trade offers for Le’Veon Bell, it was not clear if the team has received any concrete offers yet.