According to Mehta, the Jets have not made a concrete offer for Bell yet, but the team believes the Steelers are serious about trading Bell.
Mehta points out that the Jets do not have a 2018 second-round pick to trade, but they do own an additional third-round pick from the Teddy Bridgewater trade to offer Pittsburgh.
If the Steelers allow Bell to walk next year, they could collect a third-round compensation pick, which likely sets the asking price.
Anyone interested in trading for Bell and willing to part with draft compensation to get him would have to be willing to sign him to a big-money extension next year. However, they can’t negotiate with Bell until after the season.
Field Yates points out that Bell is due $11.98 million for the rest of this season and as of now, the only teams with $12 million in cap space are the Browns, Colts, Texans, Titans, Cowboys, 49ers, Jets and Jaguars.
Bell is currently holding out and there have been no updates regarding when he’ll report to the team. He has not been in communication with coaches or team officials and the Steelers are reportedly anticipating him having a lengthy absence.
Bell will have to report to the team by mid-November to gain an accrued year of service time towards free agency.
Bell, 26, is a former second-round pick of the Steelers back in 2013. He played out the final year of his four-year, $4,120,600 rookie contract that included a $1,376,800 signing bonus and was in position to be one of the best players in the free agent market when he was franchised.
The Steelers used the franchise tag on Bell again this offseason, which means he stands to make $14.5 million fully guaranteed for the 2018 season before testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent next year.
In 2017, Bell has appeared in 15 games for the Steelers and rushed for 1, 291yards on 321 carries (4 YPC) to go along with 85 receptions for 655 yards receiving and 11 total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 9 running back out of 58 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Bell as the news is available.