ravens-sign-bell;-saints-release-murray

Ravens sign Bell; Saints release Murray

Baltimore Ravens sign longtime Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell to practice squad; Ravens lost J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill to season-ending injuries; New Orleans Saints release Latavius Murray after he declined pay cut

Last Updated: 08/09/21 7:35am

    Le'Veon Bell was with the Kansas City Chiefs last season but has now signed with Baltimore

    Le’Veon Bell was with the Kansas City Chiefs last season but has now signed with Baltimore

    In a pair of intriguing running back moves on Tuesday, the Baltimore Ravens signed Le’Veon Bell to their practice squad, while the New Orleans Saints released Latavius Murray.

    Longtime Pittsburgh Steeler Bell joins one of his old team’s biggest rivals, with Baltimore planning to eventually add him to their 53-man roster.

    Bell worked out for Baltimore on Monday, along with free-agent running back Devonta Freeman.

    The Ravens recently lost running backs J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill to season-ending injuries – Dobbins tore his ACL in Baltimore’s preseason finale in August, while Hill suffered a torn Achilles tendon during a recent practice.

    That left Baltimore with only two healthy running backs ahead of Week One in fourth-year pro Gus Edwards and 2020 undrafted free agent Ty’Son Williams.

    Bell, 29, was a two-time All-Pro with the Steelers before he forced his way out of Pittsburgh by holding out for the entire 2018 season. He was considered the best running back in the NFL at his peak, but had unsuccessful stints with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs before being released this summer.

    Saints release Murray, sign Trufant

    Latavius Murray has been the change-of-pace back to starter Alvin Kamara in recent seasons

    Latavius Murray has been the change-of-pace back to starter Alvin Kamara in recent seasons

    The Saints released running back Murray and signed cornerback Desmond Trufant.

    ESPN reported that the Saints asked Murray to take a pay cut, and he declined. Murray, 31, signed a four-year, $14.4m contract with the Saints in 2019.

    As the Saints’ change-of-pace back behind Alvin Kamara, Murray rushed for 656 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games in 2020, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt.

    He has been a solid backfield option throughout his NFL career with the Saints, Minnesota Vikings, and Oakland Raiders, totalling 4,991 rushing yards and 43 rushing TDs since 2014.

    Trufant, who turns 31 on Friday, was a free agent after being recently released by the Chicago Bears. He spent the 2020 season with the Detroit Lions after an excellent seven-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons to begin his career.