SportsPulse: While one superstar is leaving the Big Apple another is on their way to joining it. Le’Veon Bell is expected to be a New York Jet on a four-year deal worth $52.5 million.
NFL free agency officially kicks off on Wednesday, but a good portion of the top players available already have deals lined up.
With the opening of the tampering window on Monday, dozens of highly sought-after free agents are already spoken for (though they’re free to back out until the deals become official, as was the case with Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr and his decision to back out on the Jets). Several standouts, however, have yet to decide on a landing spot.
Stay with USA TODAY Sports throughout the day for updates and analysis on all of the biggest moves.
Signing: Former Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell agreed to a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets, according to ESPN.
Analysis: The long wait is over, as Bell is set to hit the field again after sitting out the 2018 season. Even with $35 million guaranteed, this deal seemingly falls short of the mega payout he sought during his standoff with the Steelers, as he still trails the Rams’ Todd Gurley in average annual salary ($14.37 million to $13.125 million). Expectations for his immediate impact on the offense will be high, as no player since the merger has had more yards from scrimmage per game than Bell (128.9). New York will be counting on him to work himself back into top form quickly, as Sam Darnold will need heavy assistance from him both in the ground game and as a target. – Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz