New York Jets Monday Mailbag: Le’Veon Bell, free agency, & more

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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 In the New York Jets Monday Mailbag, we answer all your Jets Twitter questions weekly. In this edition, we discuss Le’Veon Bell, free agency, and more.

Welcome to this week’s edition of the New York Jets Monday Mailbag here on The Jet Press! This is a new series that will look to answer any and all questions you may have about anything and everything pertaining to the Jets.

To have your question included in future editions make sure to follow us on Twitter at @TheJetPress and be on the lookout for a tweet every weekend asking for your questions.

In this edition of the series, we discuss a potential Le’Veon Bell signing, free agency implications, and much more.  With that, let’s get on with our questions.

Will signing bell have any long term effect on the jets?

— Jets Fan (@jets_number1) March 10, 2019

The short answer to this is, absolutely.

If the Jets do, in fact, land Le’Veon Bell in free agency, you could bet on it having major effects in one way or another for the team for years to come. Let’s first start with an optimistic scenario.

Assuming the deal was to work out, Bell would immediately become the team’s best skill position player on offense since the days of Curtis Martin. Not only would he immensely improve the running game, but Bell would instantly make quarterback Sam Darnold‘s job easier.

Bell is an excellent pass catcher as well as a very efficient pass blocker. Essentially, he’s the complete package.

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Long-term, this would hopefully give the Jets an area of strength and a true centerpiece to build around on offense. The hope would be that it would also aid in the development of Darnold who would benefit from the safety blanket of having Bell.

From a pessimistic standpoint, it is very possible that a potential Bell signing could blow up in the Jets faces. There is no guarantee that he will be able to return to form after taking a year off from football. Plus, Bell’s work ethic has been called into question in the past and if the Jets continue to struggles, things could go south real quick.

The Jets would be stuck with Bell’s contract and, depending on the number of guarantees, could be on the hook for quite a bit of money.

In essence, signing Bell wouldn’t necessarily make or break the franchise, but the effects would undoubtedly be felt for years to come. Whether they are positive or negative.

If Jets don’t sign Bell, what free agent or prospect makes the most sense for the jets?

— Spencer Sticek (@SpencerSticek) March 10, 2019

This perfectly segues into our next question, what if the Jets fail to sign Bell in free agency? My colleague Jake Spriggs broke this down a couple of days ago but I’ll give my take as well.

If the Jets don’t sign Bell, the immediate fallback option becomes Tevin Coleman. While Coleman isn’t on the level of the former Pittsburgh Steeler, he represents the best alternative given his skill set and age.

Coleman will likely demand a sizable contract in free agency, similar to what San Francisco’s Jerick McKinnon received last year. Despite this, the Jets would be wise to pair him up with another running back that compliments his skills and abilities.

The Indiana product is an excellent one-cut outside runner who is also a very reliable pass-catcher. But it would be smart to sign/draft a back who has better balance and could run in between the tackles.

Free agency isn’t the most appealing market for that type of player but the likes of C.J. Anderson and Jay Ajayi spring to mind, although the latter’s prior issues with new head coach Adam Gase likely prevent that signing from happening.

The Jets best bet would be to look to the draft to acquire Coleman’s complementary piece. Iowa State’s David Montgomery would be an ideal fit but there’s no guarantee he’s there at the top of the third round. The same goes for Alabama’s Damien Harris as both are currently considered Round 2 or 3 prospects.

That could make players like Kentucky’s Benny Snell or Michigan’s Karan Higdon more reasonable options although they’re obviously considered lesser prospects. Of course, Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon will still be around but I’d expect both to have to earn their snaps in 2019 with a new coaching staff in town.

The Jets wouldn’t be lost if they didn’t sign Bell, but the running back position would definitely become much more of a question mark.

If the Jets sign Trey Flowers in free agency, would Josh Allen or Quinnen Williams be a better fit?

— Jake Spriggs (@SpriggsyFresh) March 10, 2019

The debate between Josh Allen and Quinnen Williams will be a hot debate for months to come, but the decision could be made easier depending on what the Jets do in free agency.

I have been adamant in the past about my position on Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen. Allen is an excellent prospect and is a top-5 overall player on my big board, but I feel that he has been a bit overrated by some in the scouting community.

The Kentucky product has the skills and potential to be a premier pass rusher in the NFL, but he isn’t the home-run safe pick that people have made him out to be. He tends to rely too much on his athleticism and could use some increased development with his actual pass rush moves.

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As a prospect, Williams is a step above Allen.

That being said, edge rusher is the bigger need for the team and if the Jets were put on the clock at the time of writing, I’d still lobby to draft the latter. But that decision becomes cloudier if the Jets are able to sign Trey Flowers in free agency.

Flowers, along with Minnesota’s Anthony Barr, is one of the most appealing edge rusher options in free agency and if the Jets could beat out a plethora of other teams and land him, their edge rusher spot becomes less of an issue.

A tandem of Flowers and the returning Jordan Jenkins is actually pretty enticing as the duo combined for 14.5 sacks in 2018.

In a nutshell, if this scenario were to happen I would take Williams. Allen is a great prospect but I still consider him a step below Williams and a front-seven featuring the likes of Quinnen Williams, Leonard Williams and Trey Flowers could give the Jets a true position of strength up front.

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My opinion on this could very well change over the next month or so and the margin isn’t by a lot, but I opt to draft Williams over Allen, even if it’s only marginally.