Andrew Luck needs more weapons to utilize in the Colts offense. Oddsmakers believe Le’Veon Bell may help him fix that problem in 2019.
This year will almost certainly be Le’Veon Bell’s last season with the Steelers. The team’s inability to sign him to a long-term deal this offseason makes it highly unlikely he’ll return in 2019. That begs the obvious question of where the talented running back might go.
Initial oddsmakers have named a surprising favorite to land him in the offseason. The Indianapolis Colts are slight favorites to land Bell, according to Bovada. The Colts open at +375 to bring in the Pro Bowl running back. Those aren’t overwhelming odds, but it does raise up an interesting possibility of pairing Bell with Andrew Luck in the Colts’ backfield.
With all due respect to Marlon Mack, adding Bell would be a game changer for Indianapolis. The organization is adamant that Luck is healthy again this year, but they haven’t done much to provide him with quality weapons to work with. Mack has the potential to be an above average back, but he isn’t the dynamic weapon that Bell is when he’s at his best.
Remember, Bell isn’t just a threat to post 1,000 yards on the ground. He’s the type of back who can gain that many yards through the air as well. Letting him run routes for a quarterback with Luck’s accuracy would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. It’s possible Bell could become an even more dangerous receiver in the Colts scheme than he has been for the Steelers.
If Indianapolis is going to win the race for Bell, they will need a couple of things to go in their favor. First, Luck has to enjoy a healthy 2018 season. Bell isn’t going to sign for any team that he doesn’t think can score a lot of points. A healthy Luck behind the Colts’ offensive line would be intriguing. If you subtract Luck from the equation the Colts won’t be willing or able to lock up Bell with a big money deal.
Signing Bell will also require Indianapolis to make a significant, long-term commitment to a running back with a lot of miles on him. Bell’s production hasn’t slipped yet, but his age and career use make him a good bet to experience a sharp decline soon. Handing him a big-money deal with a lot of years on it is going to be risky. The Colts will have to make that gamble to sign him.
It’s still an intriguing idea for everyone involved. If Luck and Bell can stay healthy together, the Colts offense could turn into something special. Expect Bell to be linked with a lot of teams this season, but the Colts make a lot of sense as his next franchise.