Can the Bucs Land Bell?
Last season expectations for the Bucs running game were high. With rookie RB Ronald Jones, who the Bucs grabbed in the second round and newly appointed starting RB Peyton Barber, they looked poised to take the league by storm. Those expectations fell flat.
Barber averaged a mediocre 3.7 YPC with 871 yards on 234 carries, which isn’t terrible. Jones’ season, on the other hand, was just downright awful. With just 44 yards on 23 carries and a 1.9 YPC average, it is evident that going into the 2019 season the Bucs running game lacks star power.
Enter RB Le’Veon Bell.
Bell, who is considered to be the most complete RB in the league, rushed for 1,291 yards on 321 carries and caught a stunning 85 receptions for 655 yards in 2017. Bell then sat out the entire 2018 season as part of a holdout due to the Steelers franchise tagging him.
The Steelers once again entertained the idea of placing a tag on the RB, but the team decided against doing so, and now Bell will test the waters of the free agency pool.
Bell has been linked to several teams as a landing spot, and one of those is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the Buccaneers current cap situation, can the Buccaneers land Le’Veon Bell?
Well, in order to afford Bell who is rumored to want a long term deal worth upwards of $50 million for the first two years the Buccaneers would have to free up a lot of money.
So essentially, if the Bucs do go after Bell and give him anywhere near his asking price, you would have to wave goodbye to some players. There would be no re-signing of Kwon Alexander, Donovan Smith, and Adam Humphries, also there could be quite a few cap casualties. Guys like Jason Pierre-Paul [2019 potential out clause], Beau Allen [2019 potential out clause], Cameron Brate, Demar Dotson, DeSean Jackson [2019 potential out clause] Lavonte David, Bryan Anger, Mitch Unrein [2019 potential out clause] any number of them could end up cap casualties if the Bucs decide to give Bell his asking price as none of them pose a hit to the cap if released or traded. However, it is thought that Bell will receive nowhere near his asking price and if that’s the case, either Bell will sit the 2019 season, or he will have to give in to the fact that teams are not likely to pay his bank-breaking money.
Bell is Seeking a deal worth 50 million dollars in the first two years of the deal. Plenty of skepticism he will approach that number. Jets, Eagles, Bucs could be among the teams involved
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 20, 2019