Ron Rivera explained that he made the decision to cut future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson because he didn’t fit with the offense that the burgundy & gold want to run. Peterson is an old-school power back not known for his receiving ability.
Instead, Rivera wanted to focus on the young players, in particular, Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, who can both run between the tackles, have the burst of speed to run outside, and receiving skills that make them multi-dimensional threats that can stress defenses.
When I look at that blend of power, speed and receiving ability, it puts me in mind of an older but talented running back who just became available — Le’Veon Bell.
As a star of the Pittsburgh Steelers teams from 2013 to 2017, Bell routinely averaged around 80 rushing yards per game and 40 receiving. He could line up as a power back and run up the middle with a unique “slow” style in which he watched the play develop then burst through whatever crack opened in the defense. He could run stretch zone to the outside and beat defenses with his speed. He often lined up as a wide receiver, demonstrating both route running skills and good hands.
He famously sat out the 2018 season rather than play on the franchise tag, then inexplicably signed with the Jets in 2019. Last year, he rushed for 789 yards and added 461 receiving yards.
The Jets were unable to trade him away this week before making the decision to release him, so he is not likely to have a strong market as teams enter Week 6, but he seems to offer the skills that Scott Turner values, and I have to think the 28-year-old would be an upgrade to Peyton Barber at the very least.
Whichever team signs Bell is likely to pick him up on a cheap 10-game contract for 2020 with non-guaranteed money for 2021.
Should the WFT be the team that aggressively pursues Le’veon Bell?
Should Washington try to sign Le’veon Bell?
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