Don't expect 49ers to sign Bell after being released by Jets


Le'Veon Bell is set to become a free agent on Wednesday. And before you even get started, let me just stop you right there.

No, the 49ers should not sign the running back.

Bell was released by the Jets on Tuesday after a turbulent tenure in New York since the start of last season. He continuously butted heads with Jets coach Adam Gase, and his actions following New York's Week 5 loss -- in which he "liked" reporters' comments on Twitter that suggested he should be traded -- apparently were the final nail in the coffin.

Since he's a vested veteran, Bell is not subject to waivers and will become a free agent at 1 p.m. (Pacific) on Wednesday. That doesn't mean the 49ers will attempt to sign him, nor should you expect them to.

There are many reasons why such a pairing is unlikely, but generally speaking, it takes two to tango, and it's unclear why either side would want to dance.

From the 49ers' perspective, there simply isn't much reason to be interested in Bell -- unless they think he is still the player he was in 2017 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nearly two-and-a-half seasons have passed since then, and his production with the Jets suggests that is not the case.

On top of that, it's not as if the 49ers have a glaring need at running back. Though Tevin Coleman remains on injured reserve, they have Raheem Mostert, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson, not to mention JaMychal Hasty. In terms of a greater need, there are several other positions San Francisco should address first, and every penny adds up.


Now, it's certainly possible -- perhaps quite likely -- that Bell will sign for cheap. But even if that's the case, the 49ers probably don't present the situation that he is looking for, or at least not right now. After being stuck on the lowly Jets, it seems like a good bet that Bell will be looking to join a team that offers an opportunity to both reestablish his reputation and compete for a playoff spot. Given the 49ers' depth at running back and current 2-3 record, they don't seem like a good fit.

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Bell is a big name and once was a tremendous player. He wants a chance to prove that he's still one, and he'll likely get it.

But don't expect it to come with the 49ers.

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