(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Most NFL talent evaluators within the last calendar year have prepared the NFL fans around the world for the inevitable free agency of now former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. The embattled Bell has positioned himself in his eyes as the top back of the 2019 NFL free agency class. Little did he know that amidst his season long holdout another back in the league would take that spot. Well at least on my list. During the 2018 season there was one player that truly jumped out at me. His skill level was shown when given the unforeseen opportunity. Tevin Coleman. Coleman filled in for the injured RB1 of the Atlanta Falcons Devonta Freeman and did he ever fill in nicely. In 14 games Coleman reached 800 rushing  yards. He didn’t reach the heralded 1,000 but in total yards he did and in total touchdowns he reached nine (four rushing and five receiving). Standing at 6’1 210 lbs Coleman has the size along with the speed a combination that shows in the elite of the elite in the NFL and at age 25, Coleman is just reaching the prime of his career. While Le’Veon Bell might command upwards of $15 million plus per season after sitting out a year, I would elect to go with Coleman who is younger and coming into his own at 25 much like Bell did a few years ago. Le’Veon Bell also has massive question marks associated with his game.

Ask yourselves this would you rather pay more to sign a player that just took a year off  but is also is closer to the doomsday age of 30 than Coleman is, or would you rather pay Coleman who will be cheaper and is younger? I know what you are thinking “wow this guy thinks Tevin Coleman is better than Le’Veon Bell.” No I don’t and that’s a question that I won’t know the answer to for the next two years. What I do know is that Le’Veon Bell is commanding far too much money for a player that took a season off during his prime. That worries me. Who is to say with the utmost certainty that Le’Veon Bell will be the same player that he was prior to this season long holdout? Let’s just assume that Bell does return full steam ahead and continues to dazzle us. Coleman simply has more years ahead of him than Bell. If you are going to dabble some big cap space into a Free Agent RB which is a risk itself, wouldn’t you want to create a deal with a player with less question marks.

The Atlanta Falcons will severely miss Tevin Coleman especially if Devonta Freeman were to go down with an injury again which is likely given the small frame he carries and his “don’t go down” style of play. Will the Pittsburgh Steelers miss Le’Veon Bell?

So far they have not.

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