Will Eagles make a creative offer to Le’Veon Bell?

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Sure, the Eagles reportedly aren’t interested in trading for Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell. But how much leverage would they have to get a deal done on favorable terms if they were come right out and say, “Yeah, we want him”?

Here’s a wild guess: Whoever from the Eagles leaked to ESPN the news of the Fletcher Cox contract restructuring made the “we’re not interested in trading for Bell” part and parcel of the one-two scoop punch in order to establish a position of strength, in the event that trade talks for Bell occur after he returns to the Steelers next week. If trade talks occur between the two Pennsylvania teams (the Steelers reportedly want a second-round pick, and the Eagles have two of them in 2019), the Cox restructuring contains a potential clue as to how the Eagles would persuade Bell to want to go all-in when it comes to playing for the Eagles for the balance of 2018.

Bell has concerns about his compensation for 2018 in relation to his workload. By using so-called Not Likely to Be Earned Incentives, the Eagles could dangle significant extra compensation to Bell for 2018 based on workload and performance, which then would hit the cap in 2019. Which would bring into play the eight figures in extra 2019 cap space that the Eagles created in the Cox restructuring, with the extra $6.5 million in extra 2018 cap space being used to cover Bell’s base salary for the balance of the current season.

One key benefit of the 2019 cap space: The Eagles could tie incentive payments to Bell playing in various levels of postseason games, ensuring that Bell would receive much more than the peanuts-level (in relation to his franchise tender) playoff share if/when the Eagles qualify for postseason games that would put a healthy Bell’s March 2019 open-market payday in jeopardy. Bell may need that extra incentive in order to be willing to subject himself to extra reps (with enhanced intensity) at a time when he’s so close to his long-coveted free-agency prize.

The extra cap space for next year also could be devoted to an effort to sign Bell in 2019, either on the open market or via the transition tender, if the Steelers choose to use the right-of-first-refusal option — and if the Eagles hope to fashion a front-loaded offer sheet that the Steelers can’t match.

If it’s true that they aren’t, and won’t be, interested in Bell, the 2019 cap space from the Cox restructuring would give them extra cap dollars in the event they decide to extend quarterback Carson Wentz promptly upon the completion of his third NFL season.

Either way, the Eagles have used the easily-available cap-shuffling device of the simple restructuring not only to create a nice chunk of cap space in 2018, but to carve out even more for 2019. Which means that they likely intend to use it.

24 responses to “Will Eagles make a creative offer to Le’Veon Bell?

  1. Cap hell getting closer and closer for the boys in green.

    Too late, they are already there. If I were the Eagles I’d see if Carlos Hyde could be made available. Browns drafted Chubb and Hyde may end up being cut next offseason anyway. He’s cheaper than Bell (or McCoy) and is younger. Not as talented, of course, but it isn’t like Barry Sanders is readily available on the trade market.

  2. The Eagles are not in cap hell. They are not paying Cox anymore money sumply shifted when he gets it. Next year there are a bunch of salaries that can/will come off if they so choose.

    PSU: I thought the same thing about Hyde.

  3. The Eagles aren’t the team to afford Bells VERY REASONABLE FOR THE MOST DYNAMIC PLAYER IN the NFL demands given what else they’ve currently got and what’s coming up. Bell’s a fantasy kind of guy, the team he’s going to be going to is one that only has one high paid player. Those with multiple high paid guys can’t afford him without making extreme sacrifices to other parts of the team.

  4. Their Cap situation is well under control haters. GM of the year Roseman is a master of trades and cap management and brilliant teams like the Eagles unlike your team’s know how to win titles with the space that a franchise QB like Wentz gives them for the next two years while still under contract. The reality is that Howie runs circles around other GMs like Pederson ran circles around at her coaches on his way to the SB. The team has had a ton of injuries to start the year which is what’s got them to a slow start but they’ll stay around .500 till November when true title contenders like them get rolling for the playoff stretch. How about you guys just shut it and let’s wait and see. I don’t want Bell because I don’t want them to sign him long term this off season, but if he wants to come help this season and we guarantee him that he can go to true FA and the price isn’t too high then I would be fine. But there are plenty of guys out there that the Eagles can get for much less and can do just as good as Bell with all world QB Wentz.

  5. Roseman has not put thiz team in cap hell. Hes arguably the best in the biz. I can see salary dumps next year with jason peters and even brandon graham. Them alone would free up plenty more money. Even rodney mcleod too.

  6. Roseman has not put thiz team in cap hell. Hes arguably the best in the biz. I can see salary dumps next year with jason peters and even brandon graham. Them alone would free up plenty more money. Even rodney mcleod too.

    That’s all well and good, if you have young players to replace those guys. Then you can take that money and invest it in other areas of need. The problem is they don’t have young, cheap players waiting in the wings. You’re cutting players you would have to go into free agency to replace anyway, so you aren’t saving that much money in the long run. Howie is a good GM, but even he can’t fix everything with his “cap magic”.

  7. I am not an Eagles fan but it isn’t crazy for the Eagles to go all in on trading for Bell and keeping him even just for 2018 alone IF (that’s a big IF) they feel they can get to 10-6 or better and make the playoffs with Bell.

    The Eagles are in tough cap shape in 2018 and 2019, but they have just enough room to fit in Bell for 2018 (I’m not even dealing with whether the Eagles would try to sign him to a long-term deal).

    Since Wentz is on his (relatively) cheap rookie deal, this is the time when a team should go all out in spending on other positions to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. Same logic applies to the Rams with Jared Goff. In 2020, the cost to keep Wentz will go up $14 million or so, and if Wentz stays healthy and plays at a top level, to keep him in 2021 and beyond will require another $8-$10 beyond that. That would make signing Bell through 2021 or 2022 very difficult.

  8. At this point Bell’s motivation is utterly and totally suspect. I don’t see how any team, including the Steelers, could count on him to perform at a high level this season.

    What I can easily see is once Bell has a few carries and or targets in a given game that he backs off. His only concern at this point is money, not winning, that’s very clear.

  9. jucam1 says:
    October 9, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Their Cap situation is well under control haters. GM of the year Roseman is a master of trades and cap management and brilliant teams like the Eagles unlike your team’s know how to win titles
    _____________________________________________________________________________________
    had to stop you right there. The Iggles have only won 1 super bowl. Yes, that’s right. 1 super bowl in their existence.

  10. If/when the Eagles qualify for post season games. Florio you are a word master, Eagles are having problems getting airborne, nor less soaring.
    They also have the added problem of Wentz having ordinary speed and the fear of being tackled wrong.
    One SB is better than none, right Eagles?

  11. illgivemyopinion says:

    October 9, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    If/when the Eagles qualify for post season games. Florio you are a word master, Eagles are having problems getting airborne, nor less soaring.
    They also have the added problem of Wentz having ordinary speed and the fear of being tackled wrong.
    One SB is better than none, right Eagles

    ——‘

    You’ve obviously not watched him play since he’s been back. He’s still doing the same stuff he did with his legs last year. He’s only allowed eight more by getting used to game speed. Once he’s caught up he’ll be good. He hadn’t had the benefit of a full preseason with snaps.

  12. For all you Eagle homers, watch your quarterback, he has lost some running speed. I know you don’t want to admit it, but the truth at times hurts.

  13. If the Eagles should trade that 2nd round pick to the Steelers for Bell, and he does leave via Free Agency. Do they then get the 3rd round compensatory pick that has been mentioned? If yes, seems like a no-brainer to me.

  14. jucam1 says:
    October 9, 2018 at 4:54 pmBut there are plenty of guys out there that the Eagles can get for much less and can do just as good as Bell with all world QB Wentz.

    Name 1? There isn’t one RB that the Eagles could get now that could carry Bell’s jock strap!

  15. tazman1996 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 1:46 am
    If the Eagles should trade that 2nd round pick to the Steelers for Bell, and he does leave via Free Agency. Do they then get the 3rd round compensatory pick that has been mentioned? If yes, seems like a no-brainer to me.
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    Yes, the Eagles would be eligible for the compensatory pick. However, remember that the comp pick is conditional on who is lost in free agency and who is gained. So there is no guarantee that it would be a third rounder.

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