Head coach Adam Gase spent his first OTA availability to dispel further notions of Le’Veon Bell trouble within the New York Jets organization.
Speaking at the Jets’ first open organized team activity, Gase addressed his relationship with new running back Le’Veon Bell. The signing of the former Pittsburgh Steeler was reportedly a source of conflict between Gase and Maccagnan. Rumors surfaced that Gase didn’t want Bell, or any running back, at such a high price. Bell signed a four-year deal worth $52.5 million this offseason.
While Bell indirectly brushed off the notion of a Gase rejection on social media, NFL insider John Clayton later reported the Jets could trade Bell if they could find a suitor.
Gase, the team’s head coach and acting general manager, silenced the notions in his first public appearance since the rumors emerged.
“That’s ridiculous. That’s the first I’ve heard of that,” Gase said, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “Everybody can criticize contracts all you want, but he’s here. I’m excited he’s here. I think the players are excited he’s here. I think the coaches are.”
“When you get a chance to coach a great player, a guy who has done things nobody else has done in the league, we’re excited for that opportunity. I’m excited to get him in the offense so I can start figuring out what else can we do with him, and what he hasn’t done.”
Bell once again took to Twitter in response.
Yup ✊? Let’s get it Coach ✈️ https://t.co/1lZHScntjz
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 23, 2019
Despite missing the entire 2018 season voluntarily with a dispute over a franchise tag, Bell was one of the most coveted free agents on the market. He has tallied 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns over five prior seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.