Armchair GM

The Steelers’ Best Trade Partners for Le’Veon Bell

July 17, 2018
5 minutes read
The Steelers’ Best Trade Partners for Le’Veon Bell

The contract deadline has come and gone without the Steelers and Le’Veon Bell coming to an agreement. Now, most of the sports pundits are talking about Bell hitting free agency in 2019 like it’s a foregone conclusion. It’s not. Once Bell signs his franchise tag the Steelers can and SHOULD look for trade partners. I think even Bell might realize his demands are too much once he’s put on the open market. Either way, if a team agrees to a trade they have to pay the remainder of his franchise tag and then deal with him after that contract is up.

The trade deadline is Nov. 1st. This should give the Steelers plenty of time to transition James Conner and Jaylen Samuels into a more prominent role in the running game.

It would be nice to send Bell to the NFC but unfortunately it looks like the best trade partners are in the AFC. All of them are out of the division, though, so that’s a good thing. The asking prices listed are for negotiating purposes. I’m not saying that it’s what the Steelers might ultimately get. I’m saying it’s a place to start talks. I am making sure there’s a swap of Running Backs in each scenario. That way the Steelers fill the roster spot left by Bell’s absence while the team in the trade gets a big upgrade at the position.

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts have $51,372,107 available on their salary cap. I’m sure Andrew Luck would love to be handing off and throwing to Bell. The Steelers should ask for a 1st and 2nd pick and Marlon Mack, the versatile  second year Running Back. Seeing as the Colts have two 2nd Rd picks in 2019 this would be a relatively painless trade for them. Mack was behind future Hall of Famer, Frank Gore on the depth chart last year. He had 93 carries for 358 yards at 3.8 ypc and 3 TDs as well as, 21 receptions for 225 at a very nice 10.7 yard average and 1 TD. Mack also has some kick return experience with 3 returns for 69 yards at a 23.0 yard average with a longest of 34 yards.

Houston Texans: There’s $34,801,772 left on the Texans’ cap. Similar to the Colts, I’m sure Deshaun Watson would be happy to share the backfield with Le’veon. The asking price here should be a 1st Round pick and 2nd Round pick in 2019 (they also have two 2nd Rd picks) plus veteran Running Back, Lamar Miller. Miller rushed 238 times for 888 yards and 3.7 yard per carry and 3 touchdowns last year. He also had 36 rec, for 327 yards at 9.1 and 3 TDs.

New York Jets: The Jets have less cap space at $20,291,02 than the other two teams we’ve mentioned, They do have enough money to get the deal done, however. Again we make a young QB, Sam Darnold, happy, throwing and handing off to Le’Veon. Seeing as the Jets seem to covet Steelers players I think the asking price should be a 1st and 4th Rounder in 2019, a 2nd Rounder in 2020 and RB Bilal Powell, who had 178 carries for 772 yards at 4.3 ypc with 5 touchdowns and 23 receptions for 170 at 7.4 ypr in 2017.

These teams seem like the only viable trade partners I can find. Of course there’s nothing to say some teams wouldn’t mortgage their future to get Bell and, of course, others might be scared off by the price tag.

What do you think?

Do you think the Steelers should try to move Bell while they can or wait to see what kind of Compensatory Pick they might get? The highest they could get would be 3rd Rounder and the NFL has been notoriously stingy when giving comp picks to the Steelers. Last year the Steelers lost a starter in Lawrence Timmons and the Steelers got nothing while the Bengals were awarded four picks.

Go Steelers!!!

Jeffrey Burton

122 posts


  1. Kelly Anozie

    Here’s the reality that perhaps much of the fanbase needs to realize. No matter what you get in a trade, you’ll never get full value for Bell; especially when reviewing the landscape of running backs available. They need to keep him and continue working until they get come to an agreement; after which if nothing happens, then so be it.

    There are a lot of running backs the Steelers can use, but not all of them compliment Antonio Brown the way Le’veon Bell does which is something that many people are not quite getting. His presence also, draws attention away from Brown which is going to be important this coming season. So in summary, it’s not as easy as trading him, especially if the mistake is made trading him within the conference and the Steelers end up playing against him. I can guarantee that the defense at this point is not good enough to play against him; thus they’re better playing with him than against him.

  2. Mr. McBlitzface

    TRADE HIM. Colbert is wasting time with this idiot. All Bell cares about is the money. Once he get’s his guaranteed cash he’ll probably quit so the can smoke pot and make crappy rap music with 50 Cent.