New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell took to social media to claim his absence in May will pay dividends in January.
New York Jets fans can sleep easy. They will indeed see Le’Veon Bell on the field this season. It’s only a matter of when.
After Bell skipped last month’s voluntary minicamp proceedings, some critics questioned the optics after last season’s controversy. Bell infamously sat out the entirety of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2018 season over a contract dispute. He signed with the Jets in March, inking a four-year, $52.5 million contract.
Bell was one of the two Jets who did not attend the voluntary workouts (linebacker Darron Lee was the other). A little less than two weeks after the skip, Bell has taken to social media to explain it. His original post was made in reply to a fan questioning when Bell would join practice proceedings on Instagram. A screenshot of the comment was later shared by Bell on Twitter.
Public Service Announcement 🚨 pic.twitter.com/pX7jB1w8Ft
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 7, 2019
“When it’s time to play football…I got to stick to the formula that I know works for me to be the best player I can be,” Bell says in the comment. “I’m not tryna [sic] win football games, I want a ring! I want to desperately show everybody what I can REALLY do…I’ll take the heat right now, everybody will forget about that once January comes around.”
January, of course, features the annual NFL postseason tournament. The Jets have not partaken in the playoffs since the 2011 edition. Ironically enough, they lost to the Steelers in their last playoff game, though Bell’s NFL debut was two years away.
New York postseason football is a legitimate prospect after an eventful offseason from the Jets. Bell joins an explosive list of newcomers that also includes linebacker C.J. Mosley and rookie defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. They join a returning group led by young veterans Sam Darnold at quarterback and safety Jamal Adams.
Jets head coach Adam Gase wasn’t concerned about the lack of Bell at the time.
“It’s voluntary,” Gase said after practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, per Andy Vazquez of the North Jersey Media Group. “It’s not one of those things where we’re going to spend a ton of time asking questions. When the guys show up, we’re going to try to help them get better.”
“He has a pretty good training regimen that he goes through. I don’t even remember the last time he had an offseason, it’s been a few years to where he was going through this kind of stuff. So he knows how to get his body ready for going through training camp and the regular season. So he’s been doing this for a minute.”
Under the NFL’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, no offseason workouts are mandatory, save for a mandatory minicamp in June.