Jets have enough cap room to pursue Le'Veon Bell, but ...

Welcome to the championship-week edition of the New York Jets' mailbag, which focuses on one of the top players who could be available in free agency -- running back Le'Veon Bell.

@RichCimini: You're right, the Jets have enough cap room to sign Kirk Cousins and Bell, but I don't see them making a run at the Pittsburgh Steelers star. A few reasons:

First of all, the Steelers probably will use the franchise tag again if they can't sign him to a long-term contract, which will really upset him. A year ago, Bell reportedly rejected a contract that included $30 million in the first two years, which gives you an idea of how much he wants to get paid. He's looking for quarterback money, and I can't see Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan investing that much in a position that has lost value in recent years.

Bell will only be 26 next season, and he'd be a major upgrade for the Jets because he can run, catch and dominate a game, but it simply doesn't make sense to pay that much for a running back. A good scouting department can find them in the draft. To wit: Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara were both picked last year in the third round. Not by the Jets, mind you, but you get the point.

They definitely need to upgrade the position. Matt Forte will be released by March and Bilal Powell, a complementary back, will be 30 next season, if you can believe that. Elijah McGuire, entering his second year, is a No. 2 or a No. 3, but not a No. 1 back.

It's funny how times change. In 1998, the Jets signed Curtis Martin as a restricted free agent, giving him a top-of-the-market contract and sending first- and third-round picks to the New England Patriots. Martin was only 25 and had no off-the-field issues (unlike Bell), so the Jets felt it was a good investment. Also, Bill Parcells had a previous relationship with Martin, so he knew exactly what he was getting.

Obviously, it worked out brilliantly. But the game has changed, and running backs aren't as valued as they used to be. Maccagnan would be better served spending his money elsewhere. And he will.

As for Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Jets would sign up in a heartbeat for a Jalen Ramsey-like corner. Fitzpatrick is a terrific football player, but he's a corner/safety 'tweener.