The Bucs And Le’Veon Bell

February 12th, 2020

Who would you rather have catching passes out of the backfield on third down next season for the Bucs, Dare Ogunbowale or Le’Veon Bell?

Or perhaps the better question is who would Bucco Bruce Arians prefer? That’s a tougher question.

The Jets want to unload Bell after his bizarre signing last year, highlighted by a massive contract and his head coach not wanting to sign him. He turns 28 next week.

Bell handled a huge workload for a messy Jets team that literally had no viable quarterback for three of the 15 games in which Bell appeared. He finished the season with 66 catches and 245 carries with subpar numbers certainly far below his former All-Pro self.

A New York Daily News report noted Bell’s 1,946 career touches nearly double that of struggling Cardinals veteran running back David Johnson’s 28-year-old body. Johnson is a guy Joe expects the Bucs are interested in.

Bell is due a fortune next season and the newspaper speculated Tampa could be a destination with the Jets agreeing to pay a hearty chunk of Bell’s salary.

This is where the quality of your pro personnel department comes in. Those are the guys, along with coaches, who need to figure you if Bell was healthy but misused and unwanted, or whether he’s headed toward Doug Martin country. The Bucs, of course, stuck with 28-year-old Martin when he was washed up (less productive than Bell last year) and battling a drug problem.

44 Responses to “The Bucs And Le’Veon Bell”

  1. Pewter power Says:

    Doug Martin was washed up at 28 not because of age but drugs. Only way to trade for bell would be yes if they paid some of that salary but the contract has to be easy to move on from. Still even if bell is at probowl form winston will still throw double digit picks like he has done every year of his career

  2. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    I have never been much of a Le’Veon Bell fan, as I don’t think he is too much of a team player.

    His price tag will probably never be lower than it would be now, though.

  3. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Adam Gase is desperate to get rid of him, which should kind of probably tell us something.

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If the Chargers keep Gordon they will get rid of Austin Eckler, use him as your change of pace/3rd down back.

  5. zzbuc Says:

    I love Bell, but it makes no sense to bring it in because of his contract.
    If we want to be a good team nexy year we much keep our defense together, and seems to me it willt ake a lot of money if that happens….

    Not sure Arians will spend that money on a RB.

  6. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    I have definitely not given up on Ronald Jones II.

    Year 1 – We so no flash and he seemed disheartened after going to the doghouse with Dirk.

    Year 2 – We saw some definite flashes, and a kid who runs with passion, who continuously shows that he wants to work to get better.

    The Pass Protect could still use some work. But maybe just maybe…

    Year 3 – Could be the breakout.

  7. footballjunkie Says:

    Hmmm. Wonder where this idea, came from.

    Did..the New York Daily News think about Bell’s year off from football to rest and freshen up?

    Did the News think about Bell’s intelligence, wisdom, playoff experience, at the RB position?? His ability to avoid hits, superior pass-catching prowess even over DJ or anyone??

    “Touches”…is myopic. It’s the quality of player value currently and over the next 3 years at the position. Period.

    Jets kick in $4 mill of Bell’s 2020 salary in exchange for us sending a 5th round pick this year. ZERO guaranteed cash from there on out for Bell. THAT makes a h3ll of a lot more sense, than DJ. We are NOT trading for that contract! Period. They will not cut him, cap implications.

    Bell is the far superior RB…to Gordon, to any other above-average immediate options.

    $9.5 million…for 2020 for all his worth…is NOT anywhere near a “fortune”. Too hyperbolic around here.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    No….just, no. No. You draft a running back, use him up for 4 or 5 years and then draft another one. In the mean time you bring in the role players at the position around the guy you drafted and let the cycle continue.

    Quit insisting on bringing in cancerous veterans on bloated contracts.

    The two starting running backs in the Super Bowl were cast offs from multiple teams that didn’t cost a dime. How freaking long is it going to take some people to figure this out? It isn’t 1980 anymore, feature running backs don’t matter and QB’s shouldn’t be allowed to throw 30 interceptions and keep their job.

  9. SB Says:

    No, No, No, No and NO!
    We have too many guys we need to keep.

  10. Marine Buc Says:

    Plenty of solid RBs to be found in rounds 2-4 this draft. I like JK Dobbins. We should grab a RT in round 1 and take Dobbins if available in round 2. Re-sign Barber to a cheaper more cap friendly deal and hopefully Jones keeps improving.

  11. footballjunkie Says:

    Ahhh…its Manish Mehta over there on this. That explains it.

  12. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    gotbbucs Says:
    “It isn’t 1980 anymore………… QB’s shouldn’t be allowed to throw 30 interceptions and keep their job.”


    The irony of that is that it wasn’t that big of a deal in the 80s for a starting QB (or even star QB) to throw picks at that rate. Dan Fouts threw 24 one year, and in the 20s for three other years. Kenny Stabler threw 28 one year. They were not only starters, but stars. — It was thought that the 1 or 2 picks a game did not outweigh the movement of the team and overall production.

    Not saying that thinking was right or wrong. It is just an observation after going back many years of watching NFL football.

  13. ManzielMadness Says:

    I think most Dolphins players regressed under Gase. Look at D. Parker, Tannehill, Kenyan Drake etc. Gase got lucky and road Manning to a HC position.. don’t know how he still has a job. With that being said, rather draft a RB then sign one but if Bell can come cheap On a 1-2 year deal then go for it.

  14. Robert Says:

    I don’t get all the hate for Ogunbowale. I think he’s shifty as hell, has the combo to be special. The bucs running and screen game is too predictable.

    JW looked better with the pass option early in his career. He does not hide the play well anymore…’s just drop back and throw deep…and a slight fake to the RB……..

    a strong run up the middle game would help the screen game. but everyone blames the oline. I put some blame on jw’s mechanics.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    And didn’t he cause strife with his team last off season? Or am I thinking of someone else?

  16. Sport Says:

    It’s good to see sanity from my JBF Poster Brethren. Shill Joe at it again.

    Johnny M is available too….

    In BA I Trust!

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Another shiny object trotted out for us…..

  18. pick6 Says:

    stop it. all these guys are broken down by the time they get to their second or third contract. none of them were celebrated as potential all pros when going through the draft process. the bucs need to find, use up, and throw away the next David Johnson or Lev Bell, not take the old one off of some team desperate to be rid of them.

  19. Buczilla Says:

    Bell was a very good player and might still be with a better team around him. That said, the nonsense he brings with him is not worth putting up with unless the Jets are giving us at least a second rounder to take on part of his contract (not happening). Good running backs are just too easy to for teams to find (unless you’re in the Bucs front office of course) and I’m only putting up with bs if it’s the second coming of Barry Sanders or some other all time great. Pass on this dude and ask for advice on how to draft/sign good running backs Arians/Licht.

  20. Pittbucfan Says:

    Tampa Bay Demon: not only star qbs of their time, HOF qbs.

  21. Tampabuscsbro Says:


    Overpaying for a running back is the worst thing an NFL team can do. Find a cheap one of one in later rounds this isn’t that hard you guys are talking about running backs like it’s 1998. Those vaunted 9er rushers we’re rejects by so many NFL teams.

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    …and my point is that it isn’t the same game today. Turnovers are more paramount than ever given the restrictions on defensive players. Unless they want to go back to the black and blue way of playing football before anybody knew anything about concussions and receivers literally got clotheslined when they went across the middle of the field, it will never be that game again.
    This isnt the gladiator game of your yesterday anymore, this is a risk mitigation game now. The opportunity to go out there and stomp your will on other teams is pretty much gone, sadly.

  23. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    ^^ I have to admit, gotbbucs, that I initially misread what you said. You were actually making the same point that I was about 70s and 80s QB’s being allowed a lot more turnovers than they are today.

    Sorry for the misread, and you are definitely correct that that landscape has obviously changed a great deal in the NFL.

  24. firethecannons Says:

    many other options

  25. Sleepy903 Says:

    I believe Bell’s contract isnt guaranteed anymore. I think its a low risk high reward trade. You know what youre going to get from him and he can single handily take over a game. He would have iced the Atlanta game, Maybe even the Giants game and probably a few more. I think its worth looking into.

  26. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    By the way, gotbbucs, you have a flair for your writing and creating imagery of the NFL we grew up with.

    gotbbucs wrote:
    “This isnt the gladiator game of your yesterday anymore. The opportunity to go out there and stomp your will on other teams is pretty much gone, sadly.”

    Ah man, I miss those days.
    Don’t get me wrong. I want players to be more safe.
    But what you wrote of…. is the stuff of NFL Films, Steve Sabol and John Facenda. —- Beautiful.

  27. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  28. footballjunkie Says:


    Bell’s contract does have remaining guarantees in 2020. Just not beyond this year. Hence my post above. Showing the Jets kicking in this year, then we have complete control beyond this year.

    Yep, he most certainly can ice games all by himself. And 4th down and 2’s. Plus no kicker crap late in games or halftime. All Bell.

  29. Bird Says:

    He is not Arians kind of guy

    But if jets pay most of salary …why not.

  30. Billy_45 Says:

    Please don’t tie that kinda money to a guy who only cares about #1.

    I can see the argument with BA now over not getting the ball.

    And then there is blocking.

    Just pay Rojo his 2nd round money, draft Deejay Dallas in the 4th and move on.

  31. Billy_45 Says:

    Our very own A Train comes to mind.

    Loved Warrick Dun with Allstot running over fools.

  32. miken Says:

    no thanks

  33. Tampa Bay Demon Says:


    No doubt, brother. — Man the good ole days of watching #40 just trample over guys – Haha, NICE.

  34. WestChap Says:

    Hard to get excited about a guy who loves football so much he took a year off. I think I’d rather have Melvin Gordon if we’re picking over holdouts.

  35. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    ^^ No doubt, WestChap. — And then after all of that which you just referenced,, when the Jets sign him to a big deal for a new start…. he doesn’t even bother to show up for voluntary. He is not a team guy. Never has been.

  36. JimmyJack Says:

    We would get the better end of this deal if the Jets traded him to us. His contract is too dumb based on his production so they would have to give us some draft capitol or pay a hefy chunk of his CAP hit.

    It would be a good deal for us. Count me all in on Bell. Especially since it’s a huge need.

  37. Isaac haggins Says:

    Sign hunt , he’s a bit of a mess but not the loud mouth Bell is

  38. footballjunkie Says:

    ^^^ @JimmyJack….why is it so FEW of us are sensible. So many sound like such whiny, jaded Steelers fans. Like little skirts.

    The man has been “paid” now. Manageable 2020 salary with NYJ kicking in. Would relish reuniting with BA, and his prowess. We have total control aftet this season also. Not too mention Bell’s appeal coming here to upgraded QB, our WR weapons, and out from under NYJ fiasco there.

    Bell’s talent far exceeds Gordon, DJ or any other available RB, and his multifaceted skill set helps us at WR also (i.e. Ekeler and James White usage), etc, etc, etc…

    Jimmy…we straight, just looking at the facts. Buncha stooges floatin around out there.

  39. BucEmUp Says:

    Why? Leftwich tells the other team when its a run, doesnt know how to scheme rbs open and would end up giving dare enumbawablawa the same number of touches as a multi million dollar running back.I dont like bells attitude but even if I did LEFTWICH would make it all pointless

  40. catcard202 Says:

    No thank you! Plenty of young cheap options in this draft.

  41. footballjunkie Says:

    🙂 ^^^^^^^ Using this logic…ROJO would have become the next David Johnson or Zeke. Darrell Henderson would have become Todd Gurley 2.0.

    You simple folk. The fact is …that the McCaffrey’s of the world, the Zeke Elliotts, the LeVeon Bells, …are who they are. RARE. And not just…young, cheap, and what’s next. Ohhh so many of THEM.


  42. Clw JB Says:

    drama follows him everywhere he goes, not the type BA likes at all

    He wants vets that eat,breathe, and sleep football and of good character to lead

    Bell checks none of those boxes, is near the end for RB1 and is far too expensive with all of our own FA’s we need to sign

  43. footballjunkie Says:

    You can lead a horse to water….but…

  44. Swampbuc Says:

    Not a chance in anyone’s idea of hell that d-bag is a Buc.