NFL Offseason

The Most Impactful Free Agent Signing of 2019

After a wild free agency period that saw some of the games top players change squads, many teams in the NFL now look very different heading into the 2019 season. We saw impactful trades, huge signings, and top-notch players getting cut from their respective teams for one reason or another.
One of the most intriguing storylines over the course of the 2018 season was if star running back Le’veon Bell would play after threatening to sit out the entire year after multiple contract disputes. He stuck to his word and sat out all season, allowing him to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent just as he wished.
The New York Jets struck a four year, $52.5 million deal with Bell with a guaranteed $27 million, making him one of the top paid running backs in the league. The Jets were ranked as the 29th best offense and had the 26th ranked rushing attack in the league, according to ESPN. With a young quarterback at the helm and the lack of true star talent on offense until now, Le’veon Bell will be the most impactful free agent signing of the 2019 offseason.
Having Le’veon Bell takes a lot of weight off of quarterback Sam Darnold. The Jets lacked a true running game last season. Their lead rusher in 2018, Isaiah Crowell, finished the season with 685 yards and six touchdowns before ending up on the injured reserve with a toe injury. Their other backs, Bilal Powell and Elijah Mcguire, combined to rush for 619 yards and three touchdowns in 2018.
If he stays healthy many expect Bell to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark once again next season, which would be his fourth time achieving that goal in his prolific career. Bell will pick up the needed yards on earlier downs to set up easier third-down situations for Darnold as well as slow the pace of the game down with an effective running attack.
Bell is also well-known for his effectiveness in the passing game. He has caught 75 or more passes in three of his five seasons as a pro. Bell is extremely elusive is the open field and is exceptional at making plays with the ball in his hands. He will provide Darnold with a great check-down option and creates a massive mismatch against any linebacker that tries to cover him.
Bell was targeted in the passing game 94 times in 2016 and 106 times in 2017, which shows how key it is to get him the ball as much as possible. Number one wide receiver Robby Anderson finished last season with 50 receptions for 752 yards and six touchdowns, a very respectable stat line for a team with a rookie quarterback. However, Bell finished his 2017 season with 35 more receptions than Anderson. If Bell can play at the same level he has throughout his career than he will make everyone on the Jets offense better.
The three-time Pro-Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro back is widely known as one of the best players in the league. His average of 128.5 yards per game from scrimmage is the most in NFL histroy with atleast 4o career games played. It’s easy to forget that when he played in 2017 he was considered a top-3 back in the NFL and in some eyes the clear cut best running back in the game. Bell is a workhorse who can carry the load game-in and game-out with consistency. The Jets have had a need for a player to revamp their offense and Le’veon Bell is the perfect player to do so.

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