The Le'Veon Bell experience in New York was a disaster. Now, it's finally come to an end.
The 28-year-old running back was released on Tuesday after the Jets were unable to trade him and his expensive contract. The move came just 18 games into Bell's tenure with the Jets after signing a four-year, $52 million deal with New York in 2019.
With Bell no longer in the Big Apple, it begs the question: where will he end up next?
Well, there's one team that should consider trading for the running back, and it's a team both Bell and the Baltimore Ravens are familiar with.
That would be the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team Bell spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with.
During his time with the Steelers, Bell ascended from a second-round pick to arguably the NFL's best running back. Yes, he did run behind an incredible offensive line and play in an offense with multiple other stars that helped ease the load on him. But make no mistake about it, Bell was a star in the Steel City.
It wasn't all roses in Pittsburgh, however, as the breakup was quite messy. Bell infamously sat out the entire 2018 season to preserve his body before hitting free agency, as the running back and Pittsburgh could not agree on a long-term deal.
Bell ultimately got the money he wanted by signing with the Jets, but questions about his fit with the team immediately came to the forefront. Since then, nothing has happened to alleviate those concerns.
Last year -- Bell's first with the Jets -- the running back ran for a career-low 3.2 yards-per-carry. His 52.6 yards-per-game average was by far the lowest of his NFL tenure. His three touchdowns were tied for the worst mark of his career.
Bell's name was a popular one around the trade deadline last season, but the Jets ultimately didn't pull the trigger on a deal. However, multiple teams did inquire about Bell's services, including his old team in Pittsburgh.
Since Bell's departure, James Conner has been the primary back in Pittsburgh. Conner has been solid for the Steelers, but he's also yet to play a full season for the team and missed six games last season due to injury. Pittsburgh has gotten some contribution from rushers Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels, too, but nothing consistent enough to count on a weekly basis.
So, while running back might necessarily be a need for the Black and Gold, the team certainly could benefit from Bell's services.
Pittsburgh has begun the 2020 season 4-0 and has looked as good as any team thus far. And while he's played well, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 38 years old and coming off a major elbow injury. With no QB for the future in place, this year could be one of the last for Pittsburgh to make a Super Bowl run in the near future.
Since arriving in New York, Bell has gone from a top-three running back to a borderline starter. If Bell is still an elite NFL running back -- which he surely believes he is -- he wasn't be able to showcase that with the Jets.
A reunion between Bell and Pittsburgh makes too much sense for both sides. And if it happens, Baltimore and the rest of the AFC better watch out.