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Should the Jets pay Le’Veon Bell $17 million per year?

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Divisional Round - Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Le’Veon Bell rumor mill will be in overdrive over the next few months so we will do our best to not be overwhelmed by all of the noise. One notable piece of information did emerge over the weekend from Ian Rapoport.

Along with Adam Schefter, Rapoport is one of two insiders whose word you can typically take to the bank.

A lot of the debate around Bell in the months ahead will likely revolve around price. Here is the starting price. Would he be worth it?

Here is a quick rundown of the basic arguments I see.

Pros:

  • The Jets have a bad offense sorely lacking in high end talent. Bell is arguably the top back in the league.
  • A back like Bell could help Sam Darnold a lot.
  • If you factor in Bell’s skill as a receiver and view him as an offensive weapon, that salary is in line with other elite weapons like Odell Beckham, Jr. and Antonio Brown.

Cons:

  • While some running backs age well, others don’t. Bell already has a lot of wear and tear. Big second contracts for backs always entail appreciable risk.
  • Value does matter. It probably is selling Bell short to call him just a running back, but high end runners who add value as receivers can be found in inordinate numbers on day two of the Draft. The Steelers have largely replaced his production with a third round pick, James Conner. (And before anybody says, “The Jets stink at drafting,” that’s a sign the team should find a new general manager, not a value issue.)
  • Bell has a suspension history.

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I’m up in the air myself on this issue. There was no way I felt the Jets could justify depleting their Draft capital to rent Bell in a trade, but in a few months Bell will be a free agent. Acquiring him will require only money, not picks.

I can’t say I agree with the idea that the Jets have a lot of cap space so salary doesn’t matter. Under that logic signing any player to any contract could be rationalized, and we all know it’s possible for a team with a lot of cap space to sign a player to a bad contract.

But Bell does bring a lot to the table if he can sustain his level of play.

With this in mind, I open the floor to you. This is your chance to convince your fellow Jets fans and me whether this would make sense.

Poll

Should the Jets be willing to pay Le’Veon Bell $17 million per year?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Yes
    (453 votes)
  • 56%
    No
    (594 votes)
1047 votes total Vote Now