Le’Veon Bell joins third post-New York Jets team
Just over a month after being released by the Baltimore Ravens, former New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell has signed with his third franchise since his tumultuous tenure as a Jet ended in October 2020.
Bell has agreed to sign with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The #Bucs officially signed RB Le’Veon Bell, while making no corresponding moves. They had four available spots on the 53-man roster.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 22, 2021
Tampa Bay’s addition of Bell is a response to the hamstring injury suffered by starting running back Leonard Fournette in the team’s recent loss to New Orleans. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Buccaneers are “likely” to place Fournette on injured reserve, which would end his regular season but leave him eligible for a playoff return.
Buccaneers now are “likely” to place RB Leonard Fournette on injured reserve with the hamstring injury that left him on crutches Sunday night, per a league source. He then would miss rest of regular season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 21, 2021
This move sets Bell up for a potential rematch with the Jets in Week 17. New York is scheduled to host Tampa Bay at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 2.
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Bell faced the Jets as a member of the Chiefs in Week 8 of the 2020 season, just three weeks after his last game in green. He rushed six times for seven yards and caught all three of his targets for 31 yards.
That game was at Arrowhead Stadium, so if Bell does suit up for the Buccaneers in Week 17, it will mark his first return to MetLife Stadium since his Jets career was cut short midway through the second season of the four-year, $54.5 million contract ($27 million guaranteed) he signed with New York in March 2019. The Jets were led by general manager Mike Maccagnan at the time of Bell’s signing.
Bell signed with the Ravens’ practice squad on Sept. 7 of this year and ended up playing five games with the team. He rushed 31 times for 83 yards and two touchdowns while catching one pass for a loss of one yard. His average of 2.7 yards per carry currently stands as a career-low.
Tampa Bay will be in Charlotte this Sunday to take on the Panthers.
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