Despite repeated protests from NFL pundits, Le’Veon Bell is kind of a free agent. The once great running back should have found a home by now, emphasis on the “should”. The Falcons could be a perfect place for Bell for a number of reasons. Unless the Hawks are doing everything they can to lose, here are three reasons why signing Bell would be a massive upgrade.
Why Le’Veon Bell should end up with the Atlanta Falcons
# 1 – Massive upgrade over Mike Davis
It appears that the Falcons are planning to use Journeyman Mike Davis as a return runner. That decision is startling for Le’Veon Bell in the market this late in the year. While Mike Davis has had the best season of his career with eight touchdowns and about 1,000 all-purpose yards, every other season has been pretty lackluster for Davis. The Falcons are Davis’ fifth team in seven seasons.
Le’Veon Bell, on the other hand, has a cap that is effectively double Davis’ best year. In his senior year with the Steelers, Bell earned nearly 2,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.
# 2 – playoff experience
While Davis has been part of playoff teams in the past, Le’Veon Bell has been a much larger part of playoff runs. Bell’s playoff experience dwarfs Davis’ experience. If the Falcons make the playoffs this year, they’ll have more to worry about Davis’s mental strength than Le’Veon Bell’s.
While Davis is almost guaranteed to stay under pressure, Bell has a proven ability to focus under the intense pressures of the playoffs. Where Davis was likely to crack, Bell would be an example for other players.
# 3 – Still in his 20s
At 29, Bell could be a multi-year solution for running back. Additionally, since Bell has been away from the field for so long, he should be fresher than other 29-year-old backs. In essence, Bell could play well into his early 30s. This would give the Atlanta Falcons plenty of time to find a long-term replacement.
For comparison: Mike Davis is 28 years old. By signing Le’Veon Bell, the Falcons would only be a year older in this position. While a year in the NFL should be considered, it seems like a small price to pay to get a running back of Bell’s caliber.