Is Le’Veon Bell The Next To Get Fournette’d?
So much chaos in camp reporting going on among certain RBs, I wanted to put some Lev Bell thoughts on paper to consider/speak out/search for answers on. It’s a stream of conscious piece that I wanted to get out and see if I could express my Bell take/confusion/projections right now. See if this makes any sense...
The New York media is semi-assassinating Le’Veon Bell now, and maybe he deserves it.
The summer story-line goes like this…
Adam Gase supposedly wants to split Le’Veon with another back, to keep Le’Veon ‘fresh’. Gore is signed. Perine is drafted (not a hot draft pick/legit to start in 2020…or ever). Not a real ‘winning’ group of Plan B’s…if you’re bent on replacing Bell.
Le’Veon has looked like the 3rd-best back in camp, behind Gore/Perine…according to A beat writer (just ‘A’ beat writer that I can tell…and then that report gets copied/co-opted by others).
(forgotten are all the glowing ‘Le’Veon is in the best shape ever’ stories written by beat writers…so, how is he now worse than Gore/Perine all the sudden?)
Le’Veon was mad about being pulled for reps in practice, apparently. Le’Veon tweeted something about it…kinda.
It became a big issue Gase had to address with Le’Veon.
Strife in Gotham (for the sake of strife).
Fantasy owners all ‘hear’ that Bell looks terrible in camp…so the ADP plummets – one writer wrote it, 50 million fantasy players ‘heard it’, a herd mentality hits, and panic ensues.
For fantasy, everyone is focused on the ‘Bell looks worse than Gore/Perine’ part…and then when the Jets ‘traded’ for Kalen Ballage, that confirmed the Jets’ woes for nervous fantasy owners.
Bell may fall out of favor because of his mouth/actions/tweets, but I’m not 100% buying beat writer notes that Bell looks slow and indecisive and Gore/Perine look so much better. You’re trying to tell me 37-year old Frank Gore is the physically better looking, faster back than 28-year old Le’Veon Bell? If this is true, after watching Gore last year, then Bell must really suck now.
I was watching some Jets’ training camp tape the past 72 hours. I saw Le’Veon Bell in a half shirt with more ‘packs’ in his midsection than any human I’ve ever seen. Bell is in supreme shape. Are his knees shot? Is his mind warped? I don’t know…I don’t know why they would be. But I guess they could be? I don’t see visual evidence that he's ‘shot’ at this moment, but it’s not impossible...I guess.
Perine is now hurt. Ballage failed his physical. The Jets are down to Bell and Gore. I’m taking Bell in that race…Bell to matter more and take a majority of the touches for a beleaguered Jets’ staff that needs to win. Like it or not for the Jets…or anyone else.
So, the Rams pay a ton of money to make Todd Gurley go away…and his knees are a major issue/worry (and maybe overblown)…but we are all kinda good with him for fantasy football today with the Falcons because he has no great threat underneath him, and we figure ‘he’ll get the touches’ – but we don’t give that same ‘he’ll get the touches’ energy to Bell?
At a certain point, for FF, Bell is set to be the #1 RB with a better O-Line than last season and only Frank Gore as the main risk to those touches -- why do we scoff at that, but then more embrace shaky situations with dinged up ‘veteran’ backs like Gurley and Melvin Gordon and James Conner and Chris Carson? Bell scares us now because of the drama/the NY coverage…but you don’t hear a peep from Atlanta or Denver or Seattle or Pittsburgh, so we’re not fretting about such things. Pittsburgh and Seattle coaches/writers rally to their perpetually dinged up backs while New York writers try to assassinate incumbents – Bell and Singletary.
Maybe Bell is shot, in a sense, not as good as he used to be…but aren’t there several guys we should worry about for fantasy like Bell (the middle-aged RBs with ‘concerns’)…but don’t? We don’t because there is not a beat writer hammering of the situation like there is with the Jets. And ‘New York things’ tend to get attention. We should be scared to death of Gurley for 2020, by comparison…yet, we’re all actually attracted to Gurley now looking for RB-comfort. Why?
Where the beat writer heat is…so goes our hearts/fears…especially this blind preseason.
Are we turning on Bell because one beat writer is?
Up until last night, all I read was GLOWING reports on good Leonard Fournette looked in practice. And then he just got cut. Where was the drum beat by writers for his dismissal the past four weeks? They were calling for his head the first 7 months of the year…but then stopped…so we all stopped worrying about it. None of the beat writers were right Jan.-July about Fournette. Then when Fournette was about to be gone…and none of them saw it coming. Media camp stories, the crowd of coverage on certain teams (and ignoring of others), sways a lot of fantasy minds right now. Be careful worrying what ‘THEY’ are writing about…you have to blindly trust they see the same thing you or I would in practices, etc. We don’t know who to trust.
Might Le’Veon get cut this week? Well, if Leonard Fournette can get ditched with no Plan B visible…and Todd Gurley can get expensively kicked out of LA…maybe the Jets take the Bell hit and move on?
The Jets will pay Le’Veon $15M to play…or they could cut him for a $17M hit. Either way, money is going down the drain.
The Jets think they have a chance this year. They did finish 6-2 in the second half of 2019…best in the division. Adam Gase is under fire. The franchise is under fire. They have no Plan B running back…I mean, Frank Gore for the win? It’s like they are all giving up if they cut Bell this second.
Perhaps, the Jets claim Fournette and dump Bell…and upgrade their 2020 situation with fiscal freedom in 2021 then? Not sure Fournette would even report to the Jets.
For better or for worse, pre-Fournette signing here or elsewhere, Bell is the main RB for the Jets. Frank Gore can take some touches but Bell either leads the way or the Jets are toast. Bell may not be an RB1 anymore…but he can be an RB2, if Gurley-Gordon-Carson, Conner, etc., can.
If Bell is just dropped/cut…where is he going? Pittsburgh or non-Fournette Tampa Bay to reunite with Bruce Arians (which is what I think Bell is hoping for).
Like Fournette, if Bell is released/off the Jets…he’s going to some place to be a heavy touch option in his new place.
I'm willing to take a risk on Bell for the ever lowering ADP price (starting to fall to the #40-50+ redraft player overall)...the RB market is shook right now. I'm not in hot pursuit of Bell, but I'll take a bargain in this RB market if I can get it. Whether he plays for the Jets or Bucs or Steelers or whomever -- as long as he gets good PPR work, I'm happy.