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Where Le’Veon Bell Could Be Playing In 2018

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Even the most devout Pittsburgh Steelers fan knows that it isn’t a “slam dunk” that All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell will be carrying the rock for the team in 2018.

In their heart-of-heart they probably know that it is a possibility that Bell lines up in the backfield for a different team.

It’s hard to see a Bell-return. Bell wants his money and the Steelers aren’t exactly in a rush to pay Bell what he is looking for, and it’s hard to argue Pittsburgh’s position.

Bell has a lot of mileage and the Steelers just added on another 400+ touches this past season. Considering the shelf-life of today’s NFL running back one can understand, with emotions taken out, why it may be considered a difficult but smart decision for the team to make.

Surely, most headlines you read about any stances taken in contract negotiations between Bell and the Steelers are likely “posturing”, but, let’s assume that Bell is on his way out of Pittsburgh, and not via the retirement route.

If not donning the black and yellow of the Steelers, where could Bell land in 2018?

Indianapolis Colts

Armed with a ton of free agent money to spend and a need to bolster the backfield the Colts are a team to watch.

Indy has to face it, despite Frank Gore falling just 39 yards shy of 1,000 on the season, the idea of a 35 (when the season starts) year old feature back doesn’t give anyone the warm and fuzzies.

Sure, Indy could look to the draft and make a splash by drafting Saquon Barkley, but with so many more pressing needs, such as the need for an edge rusher, it’s smarter to go this route.

With a hopefully healthy Andrew Luck back under center, the Colts could take a lot of pressure off their franchise quarterback by adding Bell to the mix.

That would allow Indy to address offensive live and their defense in the draft and free agency

Green Bay Packers

The Packers don’t typically make the biggest splashes in free agency, but they have in the past and with a Aaron Rodgers’ window inching shorter, Green Bay could turn to Bell.

The thoughts of Rodgers-to-Bell and even seeing the Packers’ offense operate with an explosive player as Bell in the fold will melt Fantasy Owners’ hearts.

Sure, it’s not the most likely scenario, but Green Bay may be feeling the pressure to make a big free agent splash and Bell would certainly do that.

San Francisco 49ers

Projected to have the most cap space when free agency opens the Niners will surely look to lock up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, first and foremost, but after they check that box off of their list they could turn to Bell in free agency.

It makes sense. Carlos Hyde doesn’t look like he’s going to return next season and may find a better opportunity on the free agent market.

Kyle Shanahan will want to add an electric piece to the offensive unit and also give Garoppolo a weapon to work with, allowing San Francisco to focus on other areas in the draft, and maybe make a run at Jarvis Landry should he hit free agency.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle will have to do a lot of work to create some additional cap space, but with the team possibly looking for a change that could see departures of veterans Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, it’s likely that the Seahawks won’t be looking to just dump, they will want to reload.

Adding Bell to a running game that has struggled in recent years would be an instant boost, especially for quarterback Russell Wilson who has struggled to stay upright.

With a new offensive coordinator and a series of changes potentially in the works, Seattle could make one heck of a transition with Bell added to the fold.

Oakland Raiders

The favorites, in my opinion. Sure, the Marshawn Lynch experiment is a failure and is hard for the Raiders to admit that it is, but adding Bell makes things all right.

Jon Gruden likes to be aggressive and the Raiders often are in free agency, so the link to Bell isn’t a hard one to make.

Bell will like the Raiders potential, despite a down year, and see a team on the verge of a Super Bowl run. He may also like the idea of facing his former team in Oakland during the regular season and potentially again in the playoffs.

The Raiders already made one big splash this offseason.

 

Where do you see Bell landing? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

AFC

Chris Johnson Retires as Titan

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Former NFL running back Chris Johnson signed a one-day contract with the Tennessee Titans so that he can retire with the team he has spent the best years, and the majority of his NFL career with.

Johnson also believes that if he was a feature back, he could still surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a complete NFL season

“Shoot, that’s not even a question” Johnson said, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessee Titans’ official team website . You put me in an offense where I’m the starting back, there’s no way I wouldn’t get 1,000 yards,” said Johnson. “I could still do it, but it’s time to move onto the next situation.”

“Tennessee, that’s the first organization that gave me a chance to make my dreams come true,” Johnson said. “I have so many great memories in Tennessee and was able to do so many things with the Titans. It’s an organization I always want to be considered a part of.

“I grew up in Tennessee. I went from being a kid to a grown man here. I might have grown up as a kid in (my hometown of) Orlando, but I was still a kid in Nashville when I got there. The team and the city, they’ve always shown me so much love. I have great memories from my days with the Titans, so many on the field and in the city. I’ve always loved Tennessee, and I always will because I’ve always felt so much love.”

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Bengals Pick Up Option on William Jackson

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The Cincinnati Bengals have picked up the fifth-year option on cornerback William Jackson, according to an official team announcement.

A former 2016 first round pick, Jackson missed his rookie season due to injury, and played in a reserve role when he returned the following season.

Jackson became a starter in 2018, starting all 16 games for the Bengals and although he did not record a single interception, he was graded highly by Pro Football Focus for his coverage.

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Ravens, Justin Tucker Agree to Contract Extension

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The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms with veteran kicker Justin Tucker on a four-year, $23.05 million contract extension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Tucker’s new deal will include an $8 million signing bonus and $12.5 million fully guaranteed during the first two seasons of the new deal, a record for kickers.

Tucker’s new deal will keep him Baltimore through the 2023 season.

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