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For those of us who believe Mehta is the "useful idiot" employed by Macc and/or CJ to grease the skids with the fans via strategic leaks and slanted articles, to me this one is telling us all that unless Bell gets no serious interest from other teams and comes to the Jets to make a deal, we're signing Tevin Coleman...

Is Tevin Coleman a better fit than Le’Veon Bell for the Jets?

By Manish Mehta

Mar 07, 2019 | 12:25 PM

Le’Veon Bell’s greatness is undeniable, but the Jets are confronted with a question that cannot be ignored: Does he make the most sense for them?

There’s a school of thought that Falcons free agent running back Tevin Coleman would actually be a better fit for Gang Green for a myriad reasons. Although it’s difficult to imagine that any skill-position player on the market would be more appealing than arguably the best dual-threat running back on the planet, Coleman would be a smart addition for the Jets.

Sure, Bell is a dynamic, game-controlling presence that would help elevate Sam Darnold’s play, but can he be trusted? I think so, but the Jets have some reservations.

Le'Veon Bell was an All-Pro in 2017 before sitting out last season.

Know this: Gang Green wants Bell, but they aren’t going to break the bank for him. Their love for him is hardly unanimous, either.

There are fair and real concerns on One Jets Drive about 1) Bell’s motivation after he lands a big payday, 2) how many years of elite play he actually has left in his 27-year-old body given all the previous pounding and injury history 3) the fact that he’s already been suspended twice by the NFL stemming from marijuana possession/DUI and violation of the league’s substance abuse policy (reportedly missing drug tests).

It’s hard to definitively know what version of Bell we’ll see upon his return, but there are some folks who’ve been around him that have little doubt that he’ll pick up right where he left off.

“When he steps foot in this building, you’re going to get 100 percent from the guy,” defensive lineman Steve McLendon, who was teammates with Bell for three seasons, told me in December. “If anybody gets them on their team, they’re going to get a hell of a player. Just know that he’s going to bring the best out of so many people. Just imagine: He’d be the Jamal Adams on offense. Loud. Energetic. Confident… And he’s going to make plays…. I expect him to come back and light this league up.”

That being said, there’s a valid case to be made for the 25-year-old Coleman, who is 14 months younger with considerably less wear and tear on his body. He has 951 fewer career touches than Bell even though he’s only about one year younger.

 

Tevin Coleman has spent the last five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

Coleman, coming off a career-best 4.8 yards-per-carry season, is a three-down back with the versatility to thrive in Adam Gase’s offense. Oh, and he would be significantly cheaper for a team that has a litany of roster holes that must be upgraded.

Is Coleman the better player in a vacuum? Of course not. Bell is a terror between the lines.

“Whenever you have a running back that can also come out of the backfield and be your No. 2 receiver, that changes the dynamic,” left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who spent three seasons in Pittsburgh with Bell, told me in December. “If he splits out, who are you going to put on him? A safety that he’s probably faster than? A big guy who tries to be physical with him that he can out-wiggle? Or a nickel back that he can body up because he’s bigger than him? It’s a matchup problem for people.”

However, the Jets must consider all factors before making such a big investment.

“Whenever you have a running back that can also come out of the backfield and be your No. 2 receiver, that changes the dynamic.”

My understanding is that Steelers coaches and teammates believed that one of the reasons that Bell didn’t show up at all last season was that he was out of shape during his hiatus. Bell’s camp predictably denied rumblings that he gained 30 or so pounds at one point during his break, but three teams – including the Jets – told me that they were indeed concerned about it.

Those teams also said that they tend to believe that Bell has gotten himself back into shape with free agency around the corner, but they have little doubt that the player let himself go last spring/summer.

Bell doesn’t come without risk, but the Jets absolutely should make an aggressive play for him. They have a nice window to pay key pieces while their quarterback is still on his relatively modest rookie contract.

It doesn’t make sense to go crazy and dole out $48 million in the first three years of a deal for Bell (like he wants), but there should be a happy medium. If another suitor wants to dole out “stupid money” (to borrow a phrase from the Philadelphia Phillies), then so be it. Plan B (aka – Coleman) is still pretty solid.

I’ve been adamant that the Jets should make a real run at Bell, but there is a fine line between aggressiveness and recklessness. Look no further than last offseason: The Jets had real interest in free-agent running back Jerick McKinnon before they bailed early when it became obvious that the bidding was spiraling out of control. The 49ers ultimately gave him a four-year, $30 million deal, including a $12.5 million payout in 2018. The Jets were smart to steer clear of that.

Bell would be a terrific addition, but Coleman isn’t a shabby consolation prize.

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I think you are correct and we will be signing Tevin Coleman our GM is afraid of his own shadow. 

The odds are against you on this.  @joewiliy12 is on to something.  Macc doesn't want to make another mistake.  So-so FA RB's don't get you fired.  $15+ million/yr RB's who are out of shape and still

You think a great runner who is an absolute mismatch in the receiving game grows on a tree somewhere, I imagine.  Jet fans: josh mccown worth every penny of 10 mil. Hes great for Darnold! Al

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There are fair and real concerns on One Jets Drive about Bell’s motivation after he lands a big payday

What about Coleman? How do they know how he'll respond to a big pay day? If you are going to speculate about one free agent, you have to do the same for all the others.

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2 minutes ago, bla bla bla said:

I think Bell is out of the drug program, no? The penalties reset after a certain amount of time. I think this is another article to try and drop Bell's price.

The odds are against you on this.  @joewiliy12 is on to something.  Macc doesn't want to make another mistake.  So-so FA RB's don't get you fired.  $15+ million/yr RB's who are out of shape and still smoking weed do...

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1 minute ago, jamesr said:

There are fair and real concerns on One Jets Drive about Bell’s motivation after he lands a big payday

What about Coleman? How do they know how he'll respond to a big pay day? If you are going to speculate about one free agent, you have to do the same for all the others.

Absolutely correct, but it doesn't remove my suspicion that this article was written to start cushioning the fans for the likely outcome that we're not signing Bell...

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The stance the Jets are putting out in the media kind of seems to be that they are not going to overpay for Bell. I could kind of see a scenario where his market is cold and they can bring him in on a reasonable deal.

I don't think anything good for his value has happened this season. Will be interesting if he has to settle for less than the Steelers offered. Wonder if he takes it.

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6 minutes ago, peekskill68 said:

Absolutely correct, but it doesn't remove my suspicion that this article was written to start cushioning the fans for the likely outcome that we're not signing Bell...

A lot of us won’t need a cushion and would be happier. 

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11 minutes ago, peekskill68 said:

The odds are against you on this.  @joewiliy12 is on to something.  Macc doesn't want to make another mistake.  So-so FA RB's don't get you fired.  $15+ million/yr RB's who are out of shape and still smoking weed do...

Mac is gone after this year if he doesn't produce. If anything I'd imagine he wants to go big and sell more of those new Jets Jerseys

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I wouldn't touch Bell with a 100 foot pole for a myriad of reasons. You know how they say the game passes guys by, well he sat out an entire season, who is to say he will EVER again be close to what he was? I would say 60% chance he won't. Couple that with his diva'ness, big payday and lack of motivation and it spells no to me.

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Coleman is a good player. A good outside runner and an effective pass catcher.

He's not the RB that Bell is, but he would be very good in a Bilal Powell type role, paired with a big thumper from the draft.

Bell is the superior player, but Coleman is no slouch.

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Bell and Coleman are both really great players who would serve the same purpose.  One would just cost a ton of money, is older with more wear on his legs, and will have a larger market, possibly creating a bidding war (granted Bell is special)

No problems with signing either one and I can tell you that they're very interested in both.

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I would rather draft a RB in round 3 and work him into a starting role in 2019.  Coleman would be a terrible mistake.  Go big or go home.  Mac's job is on the line so he should swing for the fences, not sacrifice bunt. 

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3 minutes ago, ChuckkieB said:

I would rather draft a RB in round 3 and work him into a starting role in 2019.  Coleman would be a terrible mistake.  Go big or go home.  Mac's job is on the line so he should swing for the fences, not sacrifice bunt. 

↑ this. If jets don't land bell they should just draft a rb. Coleman is nothing special

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4 minutes ago, ChuckkieB said:

I would rather draft a RB in round 3 and work him into a starting role in 2019.  Coleman would be a terrible mistake.  Go big or go home.  Mac's job is on the line so he should swing for the fences, not sacrifice bunt. 

Aside from the LaMont Jordan era, the Jets have been leaning on veteran RBs since Parcells and Martin. Without a second round pick to grab one of the top backs this year, I don't see that trend changing this year. They like McGuire and Crowell is still under contract. A guy like Coleman would be a strong and safe improvement to their RBBC. 

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Mehta has been Mac’s way of trying to get ahead of stories to control the narrative. He’s already putting it out there as to wh Bell won’t be a Jet so it doesn’t look like Mac can’t close a deal. *Spoiler Alert* he can’t.

I wouldn’t hate getting Bell, but would rather allocate our resources elsewhere. Mac would obviously want Bell, because Mac needs a big splash + wins to keep his job. He probably already knows that Bell has no interest in the Jets unless its a lot more than the next highest bidder (Kirk Cousins all over again). 

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23 minutes ago, slats said:

Aside from the LaMont Jordan era, the Jets have been leaning on veteran RBs since Parcells and Martin. Without a second round pick to grab one of the top backs this year, I don't see that trend changing this year. They like McGuire and Crowell is still under contract. A guy like Coleman would be a strong and safe improvement to their RBBC. 

When was the LaMont Jordan era?

 

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38 minutes ago, mrcoops said:

Coleman is a good player. A good outside runner and an effective pass catcher.

He's not the RB that Bell is, but he would be very good in a Bilal Powell type role, paired with a big thumper from the draft.

Bell is the superior player, but Coleman is no slouch.

This.

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35 minutes ago, ChuckkieB said:

I would rather draft a RB in round 3 and work him into a starting role in 2019.  Coleman would be a terrible mistake.  Go big or go home.  Mac's job is on the line so he should swing for the fences, not sacrifice bunt. 

Your guy?

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1 hour ago, jamesr said:

There are fair and real concerns on One Jets Drive about Bell’s motivation after he lands a big payday

What about Coleman? How do they know how he'll respond to a big pay day? If you are going to speculate about one free agent, you have to do the same for all the others.

Lol ok. One guy played last year, the other sat on the couch. How are they in any way the same situation? 

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25 minutes ago, Adoni Beast said:

Mehta has been Mac’s way of trying to get ahead of stories to control the narrative. He’s already putting it out there as to wh Bell won’t be a Jet so it doesn’t look like Mac can’t close a deal. *Spoiler Alert* he can’t.

I wouldn’t hate getting Bell, but would rather allocate our resources elsewhere. Mac would obviously want Bell, because Mac needs a big splash + wins to keep his job. He probably already knows that Bell has no interest in the Jets unless its a lot more than the next highest bidder (Kirk Cousins all over again). 

bingo.  this is mccagnan telling fans that we're not getting bell.  expectation revised (as if it were optimistic anyway).

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6 minutes ago, nico002 said:

Coleman is a very good player 

Is he? He has 2300 career rushing yards.... I think at best he is bilal Powell. Not that there is anything wrong with Powell but he is JAG. Definition of average. Not even sure if he is an upgrade over Crowell or McGuire.

 And here's PFF analysis...

After a strong 2016 season, Atlanta Falcons’ Tevin Coleman has dropped in overall grade every subsequent year down to 66.0 in 2018. He offers value in the passing game in bursts but rarely has any level of game-to-game consistency both as a pass-catcher and runner.

Coleman offers value as a complementary piece in an offense’s backfield, but he shouldn’t get treated like a feature back nor should he get paid like one.

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I'm preparing myself for a very underwhelming Free Agency. They'll make 1 big signing on offense (Saffold) and defense (Callahan) and the rest will be 2nd tier guys. Besides the trade up for Darnold Macc has a history of not being aggressive in bringing in guys. He tends to make one splash and then look for value in average players. It's going to be terrible watching teams with half the money we have signing the players this team desperately needs. Hey but at least next year we'll have another $100 million in cap space in FA.

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In and of itself, this isn't bad news. If they put out a reasonable offer for Bell and he says no, they need a plan B. Coleman plus drafting a back isn't the worst solution. But make no mistake, Bell must be plan A.

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The question really is do you pay Bell what he's worth, which is top RB money based on his history, but comes with question marks due to being out of football for a year OR do you over pay for Coleman who has question marks about being a lead back?

And you will have to overpay for Coleman. Jerick McKinnon got $7.5 million per year off of worse stats than Coleman. You're probably talking a 4 year $34-36 million deal $20 million guaranteed for a guy who hasn't been a lead back.

They both come with significant risk.

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1 hour ago, Joe W. Namath said:

Id prefer to address the position in the 3rd round of the draft.  Coleman woukd be the lesser of 2 evils but i still think its silly to waste money on a free agant rb.

All the good backs usually gone after round 2. We also need to draft a OL first or 3rd round. Unless we trade down with the 3rd overall, pick up a 2

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