Did Le'Veon Bell get signed?
The Ravens are signing former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell to their practice squad, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. ... After sitting out the 2018 season amid a contract dispute with Pittsburgh, Bell signed a multi-year deal with the New York Jets. USA TODAYReport: Ravens signing former Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell to practice squad
Who will the Ravens sign at running back?
The Baltimore Ravens are reportedly signing a former rival to help out at running back. On Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Ravens are signing Le'Veon Bell to their practice squad, and he will likely be added to the active 53-man roster when he's "ready." CBSSports.comRavens to sign running back Le'Veon Bell to their practice squad, per report
08 September, 2021 - 07:40am
In need of depth at running back, the Baltimore Ravens are rolling the dice on an old foe.
Le'Veon Bell is heading back to the AFC North and signing with the Ravens practice squad, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday.
An apparently motivated and ready Bell weighed in on social media not too long after the news broke with a highlight package of him working out.
When Bell, 29, was with the Pittsburgh Steelers and facing the Ravens twice a year, he was considered one of the premier backs in the NFL.
Bell has certainly fallen from that elite level, however.
After sitting out the 2018 season with the Steelers, Bell signed a long-term deal with the Jets. Just like his time in Pittsburgh, Bell's stay in New York ended badly and he was released. Bell split 2020 with the Jets and Chiefs, but was sparingly used with the latter and let his frustrations be known in the offseason.
Regardless of being more than three years removed from when he was the Steelers' bell cow back and often dominated defenses, Bell will always bring about a certain excitement because of what was.
Only time will tell how the Ravens and Bell fit and if he'll get off the practice squad and into some opportunities. For now, it's most certainly an interesting development in Baltimore.
08 September, 2021 - 07:40am
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You Pod to Win the Game
The team is signing former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell to its practice squad with a plan to add him to the 53-man roster when he's ready, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Having lost RBs J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hall to season-ending injuries, the Ravens are signing veteran RB Le’Veon Bell to their practice squad, per source. He soon is likely to be added to the 53-man roster when ready.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 7, 2021
The Ravens probably won't stop at Bell to address their running back needs, as USA Today's Josina Anderson reports the team is also likely to add former New York Jets and Carolina Panthers running back Trenton Cannon, mostly as a special teams contributor. Anderson also reports Latavius Murray, released Tuesday by the New Orleans Saints, is willing to speak with the team.
Before the Bell signing, Baltimore was down to just two running backs on its entire active roster after starter J.K. Dobbins tore his ACL in last week's preseason game and back-up Justice Hill tore his Achilles in practice this week.
The Ravens also worked out former Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman and former Philadelphia Eagles back-up Elijah Holyfield, but apparently landed on Bell as the best answer for the team's woes.
Bell enters the Ravens as the most famous running back in the organization, but that won't make him the starter.
Gus Edwards, who started at running back as a rookie and stayed productive while splitting time with Mark Ingram over the last two seasons, is the clear starter for the Ravens now. He has posted at least 700 rushing yards and 5.0 yards per rush in all three seasons of his NFL career and clearly knows how to run next to Lamar Jackson.
The only other running back in the Ravens organization is Ty'Son Williams, who went undrafted in the 2020 NFL draft but impressed in this year's preseason.
The biggest reason to be optimistic the 29-year-old Bell can carve out a role with the Ravens is his experience catching passes, as Edwards has only 18 receptions in his entire career and Williams caught only seven passes in his senior year at BYU. Contrast that to Bell, who was posting more than 600 receiving yards a season when he was an All-Pro with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It's obviously been a while since those days in Pittsburgh for Bell, though. He left the team in 2019 after an extended contract holdout and signed a four-year deal with the New York Jets, which ended up being a disaster for all involved. Bell landed with the Kansas City Chiefs after the Jets released him, but saw only two carries in the entire 2020-21 postseason.
Now, the opportunity is clearly there for Bell to meaningfully contribute to a contender again. We'll see if he can do anything with it.
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08 September, 2021 - 02:30am
Ravens, Le'Veon Bell (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
In a move that few would have ever seen coming just a few short years ago, Bell will be joining the Ravens practice squad and is expected to provide some much-needed depth to the team’s backfield.
Bell spent five years playing with the Ravens’ bitter enemies, the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he established himself as one of the best running backs in football.
After sitting out of the 2018 season, the Ravens were reportedly one of the teams in on Bell in the 2019 offseason. He ultimately decided to sign with the NY Jets instead, and his career hasn’t been the same since.
But two-and-a-half years later, Bell is finally on his way to Baltimore. Albeit under very different circumstances.
Bell was brought in on Monday alongside Devonta Freeman and Elijah Holyfield with the Ravens looking to add another running back following the losses of Dobbins and Hill.
But where exactly does Bell fit in? What role might he play in 2021? And when could we expect to see him on the active roster?
Bell isn’t exactly the direct replacement for Hill. That player might be Trenton Cannon who the Ravens are reportedly close to signing as well.
Cannon is a special teams ace with excellent speed, albeit not someone you want carrying the football too much. He’s virtually a Justice Hill clone.
If the Ravens do sign Cannon, it’s likely he’ll take Hill’s place on the active roster. Why Cannon over Bell? Really, the only answer is special teams.
Bell isn’t going to be someone who’s asked to play on special teams. He’s played just 11 special-teams snaps in his entire eight-year NFL career. It’s just never something he’s done.
Instead, Bell could be elevated on game days or eventually signed to the active roster to serve as the team’s de facto third-down back.
Bell may be a shell of his former self, but he’s still a more-than-capable receiving back who doubles as an excellent pass protector. And that’s exactly what the Ravens were looking for.
The addition of Bell doesn’t necessarily affect the share of touches that Gus Edwards and Ty’Son Williams will receive. He merely supplements the backfield by giving the team a veteran who can catch out of the backfield.
The days of Le’Veon Bell carrying the ball 15+ times a game are over. He’s little more than a role player at this point.
But that’s perfectly fine. Both player and team understand his assignment.
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08 September, 2021 - 02:10am
The Baltimore Ravens signed running back Le’Veon Bell to their practice squad on Tuesday evening. It was a move that surprised some, but many were expecting Baltimore to add a running back in the wake of the season-ending injuries to both J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill.
Bell was one of the most proven options still available on the free agent market. In his seven seasons of playing at the NFL level since being drafted in 2013 (he sat out 2018 due to a contract dispute), the veteran has put up 6,453 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns go to along with 3,259 receiving yards and eight more scores. He is an all-around player who could provide a spark to the Ravens’ offense.
When looking at which running backs are available in free agency at the beginning of September, Baltimore was never going to get a player that was on the level of Dobbins. However, they didn’t need that type of player. They needed someone who could fill a role, and Bell can do just that. He can catch passes out of the backfield, pass block, and can provide a bit of solid running as well.
Bell is not the player he once was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he enjoyed his best years to date. He struggled mightily in two years with the New York Jets from 2019-2020, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. New York parted ways with Bell midway through the 2020 season, and he latched on with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he fared a tiny bit better, averaging 4.0 yards per carry. He also can come with a few off-field issues, but if there’s any place that can work with Bell to get the most out of him on and off of the field, it’s with the Ravens.
The veteran lands in a great situation in Baltimore, even though for now it’s on their practice squad. He will get a chance to prove that he deserves a permanent spot on the active roster, and will be able to learn the Ravens’ system at least a little bit before being thrust into game action. He also will be making $14,000 per week while on the practice squad, so if the move doesn’t work out for any reason, Baltimore can cut ties with minimal financial loss.
Overall, the signing of Bell was a very solid move for the Ravens. He won’t be asked to do too much, which at this stage of his career is a good thing for the veteran. Baltimore wasn’t finding a current All-Pro running back talent on the free agent market this close to the regular season, but they could have done much worse than adding a former All-Pro to the mix. If Bell proves to be a fit for the organization both on and off the field, this move has the potential to pay massive dividends for both parties.
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The Ravens signed RB Le'Veon Bell to their practice squad
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