Le’Veon Bell suddenly becoming a free agent has been one of the most intriguing storylines to crop up this season. For Bears fans, it was even more intriguing since Tarik Cohen went down with a torn ACL in Week 3 and could use another back to compliment David Montgomery in the backfield.
So a talented runner like Bell would help the Bears, right? Pro Football Talk’s Chris Simms agrees, but says that alone isn’t enough to get Bell in Chicago.
“He definitely would help, it is logical, yes,” Simms said. “He can run the ball out of the shotgun, which the Bears are in so much… He’s almost a bonafide slot receiver too. He’s a special route runner. His ability to shake people at the line of scrimmage, to stick his foot in the ground and come out of breaks, and everything like that.”
So what’s the hang up? Why were the Bears left off Bell’s reported short list, even with a 4-1 record and legit playoff aspirations.
“If I’m Le’Veon Bell, it’s Chiefs or Bills, end of conversation. That’s no disrespect to the Bears or Dolphins or anything like this, but you have to take it from Le’Veon Bell’s aspect. Le’Veon Bell is in a critical part of his career right here. If the rest of this year doesn’t go well, he’s going to get signed by someone next year for like the league minimum. And if that doesn’t go well he’s going to be out of the league.”
That might be a problem as the Bears have fielded one of the worst rushing attacks this season. The Bears have only scored one rushing touchdown (last in the NFL), and are averaging 95.4 rushing yards per game (sixth-worst in NFL). The Bears have actually been worse running the ball this season than the Jets-- the team Bell just left. With reliable guard James Daniels likely done for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, things could get worse before they get better.
“I don’t know if we got Barry Sanders back if it would be that much greater in the run game, because the run game, the offensive line are just not that good,” Simms said.
So for now, it looks like the Bears will have to wait until the offseason, when Bell is likely to be a free agent again, before pursuing him further.