After being released by the New York Jets late Monday evening, Le’Veon Bell is suddenly the hottest free agent running back on the market.
Currently, the three-time Pro Bowler is choosing between five teams.
The teams in question: the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.
Bell is expected to prioritize ending up with a winning organization above all else, which presumably makes Miami a longshot.
“Le’Veon Bell prioritizing role in offense and chances to win among part of his free agency evaluation,” ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler reported this week.
After the prospect of him joining the Super Bowl champion Chiefs began to go viral on social media, Bell endorsed the idea.
— NFL Beat Writers (@32BeatWriters) October 15, 2020
When pressed by reporters on the likelihood of his squad signing Bell, Bears head coach Matt Nagy played coy.
“I think he’s a good RB,” he said, before adding, “we absolutely love our RBs here and our situation, and I’ll leave the stuff up to Ryan (Pace).”
Bell’s former teammate on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Wallace, offered his opinion on what a good landing spot would be in a recent Twitter post.
“@LeVeonBell Bears, Rams, Patriots, and Steelers go to anyone of those teams if possible and your back to your old form my g,” he wrote.
@LeVeonBell Bears, Rams, Patriots, and Steelers go to anyone of those teams if possible and your back to your old form my g
— Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid) October 14, 2020
Bell was released by the Jets after an egregiously unsuccessful 19-month relationship. The team signed him to a four-year, $52.5 million contract in hopes that he would be able to return to his old Pittsburgh form, but he never did.
Over the course of his 17 total games with the organization, he rushed for 863 yards and three touchdowns, good for 3.3 yards per carry.
Bell amassed a mere 1,250 yards from scrimmage last season.
“After having conversations with Le’Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le’Veon,” the Jets said in a statement on Monday.
“The Jets organization appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”
Thoughts and prayers. https://t.co/g5eEp1ddyk
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 14, 2020
One team that definitely won’t add Bell? The San Francisco 49ers.
“I’m good with all our guys,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday.
“So, even if Raheem wasn’t back, I don’t think that would change much. I think we’ve got pretty good depth, and I know we’re going to get Tevin back soon, too, hopefully.
“Raheem played (on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins). I thought Raheem played great. I thought he was probably the best football player on the field on Sunday and wish we could have got the ball to him more, but you could tell he was ready to go.”
Where will Bell ultimately end up? A decision is expected to come within the next 24 hours.