The New York Jets took out running back Le’Veon Bell, the team announced Tuesday night.
New York Jets @nyjets
Statement by GM Joe Douglas https://t.co/By9XevVXVv
The move comes in less than half of a four-year, $ 52.5 million deal the Jets gave the 27-year-old in 2019 and included $ 27 million guaranteed.
Bell ran for 863 yards and three touchdowns while catching 69 passes for 500 yards and a point over 17 games with New York.
Le’Veon Bell @LeVeonBell
The team were unable to make it to training camp last season before questions arose about Bell’s long-term future in the Big Apple.
New York ad On May 15, he sacked general manager Mike Maccagnan and appointed Adam Gase as interim general manager until he found a permanent replacement.
Bell was already under contract at that time, and the New York Daily NewsNFL Network’s Manish Mehta and Ian Rapoport reported that the Jets had an internal disagreement over whether to sign Bell in the first place:
Manish Mehta @MMehtaNYDN
A disagreement between Adam Gase and Mike Maccagnan / Christopher Johnson… Gase absolutely did not want to sign Le’Veon Bell, according to the sources. In fact, he’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a running back.
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
I liked the player, I didn’t like the money, that’s how I heard it on Le’Veon Bell. Adam Gase also didn’t like the price on CJ Mosley. Everything added. https://t.co/BOZw4b5GwX
Few believed that New York would actually make the extreme decision to trade the Michigan state product before ending the 2019 season.
There’s no way for the team to positively say the fact that they spent millions to sign the triple Pro Bowler and ultimately received such a small return on their investment.
One could also argue that Bell provided obvious value to the Jets’ offense, so Gase – regardless of what he thought of his contract – could have made things work better rather than dumped him. With no dynamic receiver available, getting the best running back was a good way to find support for Sam Darnold.
Bell was also a significant upgrade from Isaiah Crowell and Elijah McGuire, the Jets’ two top pilots in 2018.
Now New York is relying on Frank Gore, who has 204 rushing yards and an average of 3.2 yards per carry in 2020.
Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny
When Sam Darnold was diagnosed with mono the first thing I said was that the #Jets would trade Le’Veon Bell. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did today. The coach obviously has no idea how to use it. Let him play for an offensive genius who really has a clue.
Between the offer of huge contracts to Bell and CJ Mosley, the dismissal of the general manager who finalized those contracts and the exit of Bell, the 2019 offseason could not have been worse for the Jets. The fanbase was cautiously optimistic with Darnold leading the rebuild, but now much of that positivity is gone.