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Report: Le'Veon Bell to sign with New York Jets

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Report: Le'Veon Bell to sign with New York Jets

Le'Veon Bell has made his decision on where he will play in 2019.

The running back is expected to sign with the New York Jets, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Bell tweeted this out shortly after news broke.

Despite sitting out the entire 2018 season, Bell became one of the hottest free agents on the market in what's been a wild 2019 offseason. Among those interested were the Ravens and Raiders, but the Jets ultimately landed the three-time Pro Bowler.  

Bell will earn approximately $13 million per year of this contract, totally $52.2 million over four years. The deal has a max value of $61 million and includes $35 million guaranteed, according to Schefter.

Bell dropped a mixtape at midnight, which many awaited with bated breath, hoping he would hide the announcement in the lyrics. One conspiracy theory proved true:

Drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Bell became the fastest player in NFL history to hit 5,000 rushing yards and 2,500 receiving yards in his career. He also became the first player in NFL history with at least 4,000 rushing yards and 2,000 receiving yards in his first 20 games.

NBC Sports Washington's Lisa Redmond contributed to this story.

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2019 NFL Draft: Big Board 1.0, pre-Combine edition

2019 NFL Draft: Big Board 1.0, pre-Combine edition

INDIANAPOLIS -- NFL Draft coverage consists of many elements including mocks and big board rankings. Like the Washington Redskins at left guard, NBC Sports Washington had a hole in one of those areas -- until now.

Here is our first crack at assessing the 2019 pool regardless of draft order or team needs. Perhaps most notably, these evaluations come just as the annual NFL Combine kicks off. Expect a new round of assessments after all the drills, measurements and interviews change projections or reinforce beliefs.

Before diving in, some quick notes:

  • Even if the next mock draft from NBC Sports Washington’s Ben Standig includes 3-4 quarterbacks in the first round, consider that a factor of need and positional importance. Initial conversations and public comments from head coaches and general managers at the Combine paint a picture of uncertainty with the passing prospects. The top four – Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, Drew Lock, Daniel Jones – have their backers, but the passion pre-Combine lacks in comparison to 2018’s group.
     
  • Defenders dominate this year, particularly on the line and with the edge pass rushers. One former front executive told NBC Sports Washington he would have 26-28 defenders among the top 32 players on his big board.
     
  • The receiver class lacks high-end talent yet offers a deep crop of candidates from the second to the later rounds. Rankings for two players we see moving up during the evaluation process – D.K. Metcalf and Preston Williams – reflect such anticipation.
     
  • Murray isn’t the only player teams are anxiously awaiting to hear about measurables. Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the 2017 Outland Trophy winner, receives comparisons to All-Pro Aaron Donald. That’s a combination of production, but also initial fears of size limitations on the pro level. Donald, of course, turned into one of the league’s most dominant defenders. Oliver’s draft projection may rise or fall depending on his official height and weight. His official college bio lists him at 6-foot-2, 293 pounds. “Oliver is a tough conversation because most of us can’t wait to see what his height and weight is this week because we don’t even know,” Raiders general manager and former draft analyst Mike Mayock said Wednesday during his official podium session. “If you look at historic data, at analytics, it tells you that [his] height and weight probably shouldn’t work in the NFL, but when a
    guy like that runs 4.5 something at the Combine that changes the analytics a little bit. … I think he’s one of the guys this week that most the teams are really intrigued, not just with his height and weight, but how the kid works out and how he handles himself. He is really an interesting case because he’s a little different than the other potential first-round lineman out there."


1 Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

2 Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

3 Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

4 Devin White, LB, LSU

5 Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

6 Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

7 Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

8 Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

9 Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

10 D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

11 Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

12 Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

13 Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

14 Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

15 Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida

16 DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

17 Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

18 Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

19 Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan

20 Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

21 Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

22 T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

23 Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

24 Cody Ford, G/T, Oklahoma

25 Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

26 Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

27 Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

28 Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

29 Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

30 Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State

31 Dre'Mont Jones, DE/DT, Ohio State

32 Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

33 Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

34 N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

35 A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi

36 Irv Smith, TE, Alabama

37 Jaylon Ferguson, DE, La. Tech

38 Zach Allen, DE, Boston College

39 Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

40 Nassir Adderley, FS, Delaware

41 Greg Little, OT, Mississippi

42 Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

43 Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

44 Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

45 Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

46 Oshane Ximines, DE, Old Dominion

47 Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

48 Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

49 Chase Winovich, LB, Michigan 

50 Damien Harris, RB, Alabama. 

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How Marquise Brown, Cody Ford, and other prospects shape the Redskins' debate of supply vs. demand

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How Marquise Brown, Cody Ford, and other prospects shape the Redskins' debate of supply vs. demand

Let’s put down the Kyler Murray/Dwayne Haskins/general quarterback talk for a moment – and just a moment – to focus on other needs for the Redskins. 

Namely, what areas could Washington consider in the first two rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft? 

Actually, we’ve done that exercise. Depending on what transpires in free agency and if any salary cap surprises are forthcoming, the list includes wide receiver, guard, edge rusher, inside linebacker, safety and, yes, a signal caller. 

What becomes interesting is the game of supply vs. demand.

READ THE LATEST 2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT

Take for example the receivers. The need is evident. 

Jamison Crowder enters free agency coming off an injury-plagued 29-catch season. The underwhelming Josh Doctson is somehow heading to a fourth NFL campaign. Speed threat Paul Richardson, last off-season’s significant addition, landed on injured reserve halfway through the year. We can talk ourselves into 2018 rookies Trey Quinn, Cams Sims, and Darvin Kidsy, but they remain unproven options. 

Examining this lot is why some draft analysts send a receiver to Washington in their mock drafts. The logic exists. Not only does the Redskins need help, but the first target likely does not off the board any earlier than the 15th overall selection owned by Washington. 

Want blinding speed and slot replacement for Crowder? Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown is the runaway option -- or at least he was before undergoing foot surgery last month for a LisFranc injury, ESPN reported Monday.

Prefer a power forward type for those plays in traffic? Mississippi’s D.K. Metcalf, a hulking 6-foot-4 target, may emerge as the top-rated receiver if the medical folk are cool with his progress following a neck injury that ended his final season with the Rebels. 

For the highlight tape faction, Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry should be a familiar name after hauling in one absurd catch after another. A.J. Brown, Metcalf’s teammate at Ole Miss, NC State’s Kelvin Harmon, Ohio State’s Parris Campbell, South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel, and Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside also received first-round love early in the mock draft season.

Only Marquise Brown and Metcalf are likely candidates at 15 based on consensus, but injuries cloud their upside. If they suit game-planning desires – and are genuinely among the best-player-available candidates on Washington’s big board, rock on. Otherwise, this is where the idea of quality vs. quantity kicks in.

READ THE LATEST 2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT

ESPN’s current draft prospect rankings include eight receivers among the top 52 overall prospects and 14 receivers within the top 100. CBS offers a similar breakdown: also eight receivers among the top 52 overall prospects and 15 named within the top 103. 

As a reminder, the Redskins currently have picks 15, 46 and 77 plus a compensatory third-round pick from Kirk Cousins signing with the Vikings. Washington shouldn’t wait on receiver just cause, but options exist on Day 2 if it does. 

Also, consider numerous teams have pass-catching concerns. The Browns, Ravens, Raiders, Packers, Bills and Broncos are among the teams with WR needs selecting between Washington's first and second-round picks.

The collection of defensive end/edge rushers is even more robust throughout the top 100, particularly at the top. Based on the latest NBCS Sports Washington mock draft, five options are off the board thru 15 picks. 

Outside linebacker is a potential high need should starter Preston Smith not return – minimal talks have gone created no movement, a source tells NBC Sports Washington. Considering the premium put on getting after the passer, the Redskins should rush to add help even if they believe Ryan Anderson replaces Smith in the starting lineup. Should they wait, options exist in rounds two and three.

Now consider inside linebacker. The Redskins seem likely to jettison Zach Brown this off-season, leaving Mason Foster and a group of young players, all of whom were selected with Day 3 picks. If Washington wants help, it better bounce. ESPN ranks four ILB among the top 100 including LSU’s Devin White (11) and Michigan’s Devin Bush (18).

The Redskins also have a clear need for interior offensive linemen after issues attributed to injuries and a shortage of talent over the last two seasons. 

Similar to receiver waiting works considering an ample supply of Day 2 candidates including Mississippi State’s Elgton Jenkins, Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom, and Texas A&M’s Erik McCoy. 

However, there’s a clear breakout option in Oklahoma’s Cody Ford. The 338-pounder mauler consistently grades out as a Day 1 selection with a draft range starting in the middle of round one. Ford, who played tackle at OU would address the massive hole at left guard and offer protection should injuries befall left tackle Trent Williams.

Guards aren’t typically viewed as must-have players in the first, though Quenton Nelson’s monster rookie season with Indianapolis may change minds. If a team sees the gap between Ford and the rest greater than Brown and Metcalf versus the other receiver options, invoking a quality over quantity argument works.

Mock drafts often include just one round. Those picks are the sexy selections. Alone they do not tell the whole story when it comes to adding immediate help and supply vs. demand.

READ THE LATEST 2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT

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