McClain: Jets Will Be "All Over Le'Veon Bell"

Longtime NFL columnist John McClain shared his thoughts on Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, among other topics

Zach Gelb
February 21, 2019 - 9:39 am

USA Today Images

Categories: 

For years, the Pittsburgh Steelers boasted arguably the best running back and best wide receiver in the NFL. Both, however, have likely played their last game for the Steelers.

Pittsburgh announced that it will not tag Le’Veon Bell, while Antonio Brown announced via social media that he and the team have agreed to go their separate ways.

Houston Chronicle NFL columnist John McClain dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss the latest drama in Pittsburgh, among other topics. While a number of teams will make a play for Bell, McClain believes Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan could make the biggest play of all.

“This could be Mike’s make-or-break year as a general manger,” McClain told Zach Gelb, who was filling in as host of Ferrall on the Bench. “He made a great move getting Sam Darnold. He need weapons. They’ve got plenty of money to overpay if they have to. But I would do everything I could to get Sam Darnold a wide receiver, I’d do everything I could to get him a running back, and then I’d work on the offensive line. Because if you have him and you don’t have the parts around him, that’s like having a Mercedes with a Volkswagen engine. So I would think the Jets would be all over Le’Veon Bell before everybody else.”

The Texans have emerged as a possible contender for Bell, but McClain doesn’t see that happening. In fact, he refuted it.

“The Texans are not interested,” McClain said. “They’ll check him out, but he’s going to get a lot of money and the Texans have to re-sign their players. Plus they need help desperately at offensive tackle and at cornerback. They’ll sign  some free agents, but I don’t see them paying the kind of money to get Bell because you know he’s going to try to make up what he lost last year.”

Bell will reportedly seek $50 million in the first two years of his contract.

“I’ve never had an issue with him,” McClain said. “The guy just wanted more money. There was nothing wrong with that. If you can get it, great.”

Brown, meanwhile, has less control over his destination – but could still cause drama wherever he lands.

“I’ve been covering the NFL since 1977, and I have never seen a player do a worse job at maximizing his trade possibilities than Brown has,” McClain said. “He’s proved he'll go after his quarterback, he’ll go after his head coach, he’ll go after his organization – I think it’s been well-documented. The big contract went to his head when he became AB. If you make a trade for Antonio Brown, besides taking on the diva – he’s a headache – you’ve got to worry about him saying, ‘I’m not reporting unless I get a new contract with guaranteed money.’ Everybody is going to low-ball (the Steelers).”