Things escalated rather quickly between the New York Jets and former Pro Bowl running back earlier this week.
Bell took to social media on Monday, liking tweets from fan accounts asking that the Jets trade the star running back. One day later, Bell was released by New York. It was a stunning culmination to what ended up being a short marriage between Bell and the Jets after they signed him to a four-year, $52.5 million contract back in March of 2019.
Bell, 28, ended up playing just 17 games with the Jets, recording less than 900 rushing yards. This came after the star back sat out the entire 2018 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers looking for a new contract.
A product of Michigan State, Bell had been among the best all-around backs in the NFL prior to said contract stalemate. That included him tallying an average of 1,600 total yards and eight touchdowns from 2013-17.
Naturally, speculation arose linking Bell to the San Francisco 49ers following his release earlier this week. Prior to Bell signing with the Jets back in 2018, San Francisco offered him a similar contract. In the end, the 49ers finished as the runner-up in the derby for Bell.
Less than two years later, and the 49ers apparently have no interest in bringing Bell into the mix.
49ers Were Not Interested In Signing Le’Veon Bell
“I’m good with all our guys. So, even if Raheem wasn’t back, I don’t think that would change much. I think we’ve got pretty good depth, and I know we’re going to get Tevin (Coleman) back soon, too, hopefully. Raheem played, I thought Raheem played great,” Shanahan told reporters this week. “I thought he was probably the best football player on the field on Sunday and wish we could have got the ball to him more, but you could tell he was ready to go.”
As it turns out, Bell opted to sign with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. That’s a story for another article.
As for the 49ers, Mostert returned last week after missing the past two games with a knee injury. He responded by tallying 119 total yards on 14 touches in a troubling blowout home loss to the Miami Dolphins. All said, the recently-restructured Mostert is averaging a whopping 8.8 yards per touch this season. That comes on the heels of a 2019 campaign in which the former undrafted free agent gained nearly 1,300 yards at a clip of 6.3 yards per touch, playoffs included.
San Francisco also has Jerick McKinnon completely healthy after he missed the past two seasons with a torn ACL. The big-ticket free-agent signing from back in 2018 is on pace for nearly 1,000 total yards while averaging 6.0 yards per touch this season.
While some will find it interesting that the 49ers were not interested in Bell, running back seems to be the least of the team’s worries.
San Francisco is in the midst of a two-game losing streak. It was blown out by a previously one-win Dolphins team by the score of 43-17 in Week 5. The team is now embarking on one of the toughest stretches in recent franchise history.
San Francisco 49ers Upcoming Schedule
VS- Los Angeles Rams (4-1)
AT- New England Patriots (3-2)
AT- Seattle Seahawks (5-0)
VS- Green Bay Packers (4-0)
AT- New Orleans Saints (3-2)
AT- Los Angeles Rams (4-1)
VS- Buffalo Bills (4-0)
At 2-3 on the season, San Francisco will need to come out of this seven-game stretch at 6-6 if the team wants to even think about having a chance to repeat as NFC Champions this season.
49ers Offensive Line Issues
One of the best units in the NFL last season, San Francisco’s offense line has been an unmitigated disaster through five weeks. Over the course of their two-game losing streak, 49ers quarterbacks have been hit a total of 24 times while being sacked 10 times.
Tasked with replacing the legendary Joe Staley at left tackle, future Hall of Famer Trent Williams has struggled big time recently after opening the season strong. He’s also shown visible frustration with the play of the 49ers’ interior line, which is justified given how poorly that area has performed this season.
There’s obviously no quick fixes coming here. The 49ers will have to do with what they have on the roster along the offensive line. Shanahan talked about how continuity is important. It’s going to be a big factor Sunday against NFL Defensive Player of the Year favorite Aaron Donald.
For now, it’s status quo in San Francisco. Whether that changes leading up to the Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline remains to be seen.