NFL insider John Clayton speculates that the New York Jets may look to move running back Le’Veon Bell prior to the 2019 season.
Appearing on 93.7 The Fan, a Pittsburgh-based radio station, NFL insider John Clayton told host Andrew Fillipponi that, if the Jets can find a match, Bell could be traded before he plays a single down in green.
.@JohnClaytonNFL on Le'Veon Bell: "If there's a suitor, I could absolutely see the Jets trading him before the start of the season."
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) May 17, 2019
The Jets signed Bell to a four-year contract worth $52.5 million this offseason. That deal was facilitated by Mike Maccagnan, the general manager fired by the Jets on Wednesday. Head coach Adam Gase has taken over the spot in the interim.
Rumors have since emerged that Gase did not want Bell, especially at such a high price. At just over $13 million, Bell has the second-highest yearly salary amongst NFL running backs, trailing only Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Gase’s Bell veto was overruled by Jets CEO/Chairman Christopher Johnson. That apparently wasn’t enough to save Maccagnan, the Jets’ general manager for the past five years.
For his part, Bell responded to rumors of a rift between him and Gase with social media posts reiterating his sole desire is to “win football games”. He had a similar post after he missed on optional minicamp last month.
Even if reports are true, that won’t stop me from doing what I came here to do…everyone has a job to do, and I’m gonna do mine whether peopIe “like” me or not. I’m here to win football games.
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 16, 2019
Control what you can control, & tune out the noise…
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 17, 2019
Bell missed out on the entire 2018 season with his original squad, the Pittsburgh Steelers, after a franchise tag dispute. Gase was not publicly concerned about his running back’s absence last month, reiterating that activities were optional.
“It’s voluntary,” Gase said, per Mehta. “Everybody can get upset about it. There’s no point. We know where he is. He’s working out. He’s always been ready. Every year that he’s played, he’s been ready to go. So, that’s just what it is. If somebody doesn’t like it, then talk to the NFLPA.”