Here’s what free agent RB Le’Veon Bell could have brought to the Colts’ offense.
The New York Jets confirmed on Tuesday night why they are the laughingstock of the NFL when they released running back Le’Veon Bell, hilariously agreeing to eat the rest of his bloated salary in the process after failing to find a trade partner for him.
Per the latest reports, Bell is choosing between a handful of teams (the Chiefs, Bills and Dolphins) and his decision is expected to come before the end of the week. Fans in Indianapolis might think that the Colts’ backfield is too crowded to sign an RB of his caliber, but with the rushing attack struggling the way it is — it ranks 31st in the league with 3.6 yards per attempt — general manager Chris Ballard should have at least been in the mix to ink his signature, as he was rumored to be according to Maurice Jones-Drew.
With Bell’s mind seemingly made up, let’s take a closer look at what he could have brought to the Colts’ struggling offense.
For starters, Bell would provide a needed pass-catching dimension to Indianapolis’ backfield. As much as that aspect of rookie Jonathan Taylor’s game gets overlooked, it obviously isn’t his strong suit and still needs to be polished.
Furthermore, after looking like a stud in Week 1 after starter Marlon Mack exited with an Achilles injury, Nyheim Hines has bizarrely struggled to carve out a consistent role, receiving less than 10 touches on two separate occasions (one in Week 2 and seven in Week 5). We really have zero idea why his snaps have been limited, especially when you consider how much quarterback Philip Rivers leans on his running backs in the passing game.
As a runner, we all know that Bell exercises patience before hitting his holes. Couldn’t that be what the Colts’ rushing attack is missing right now? With the offensive line evidently struggling to impede opposing front sevens, the three-time Pro Bowler’s composure behind the line of scrimmage would have served as a needed change of pace next to Taylor’s powerful rushing style.
We’re not implying that Indianapolis’ offense needs Bell to reach that next level, but his versatility as a pass catcher and patience as a runner might have gone a long way in making Rivers’ life easier. With the 38-year-old quarterback struggling as much as he is, that undoubtedly would have been a welcomed sight for Colts fans.
Unfortunately, however, we’ll never know how big of an impact Bell could have made.