Per sources, the New York Jets are looking to trade running back Le’Veon Bell. The Jets are 0-4, and Bell is reportedly unhappy with his usage in New York.
Bell and the Jets have not experienced the kind of success they envisioned when Bell joined Gang Green in 2019. Now, it appears him and the Jets are heading for a divorce.
Bell was seen liking tweets about his poor utilization in the Jets’ 30-10 loss against the Cardinals. Head coach Adam Gase did not appreciate this gesture.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 13, 2020
“I hate that’s the route that we go with all this,” Gase said. “Instead of just talking to me about it but seems the way that guys want to do it nowadays.”
Le’Veon Bell’s Tenure in New York
Bell has had a largely disappointing track record in New York. Last season, he rushed for a career low 52.6 yards per game on a career low 3.2 yards per carry. His production has been equally as bad this year.
Currently, Bell has started only two games (missed first three with hamstring injury) with an average of 37 yards per game. If this trend continues, this season will be the least productive season of his career.
Bell signed a pretty extravagant, four-year $52.5 million deal with a guaranteed $8.5 million base salary for 2020. However, due to his below average production, the Jets are looking to move on.
They reportedly tried to ship Bell away last year, but Bell was unwilling to restructure his contract and take a pay cut to make a trade possible. Apparently, Adam Gase never even wanted to sign Bell in the first according to reports, and the Bell and Gase clashed with each other during practice.
its tough to stay loose when you do a bunch of standing around……& I’m used to GOINGGG 🏃🏾💨💨
— Le’Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) August 26, 2020
Albert Breer of The MMQB reported that he Jets have are in talks with teams about Bell, and they could be “willing to settle for a late pick and/or back-end player in return.”
Sources: The Jets have been in touch with other teams in an effort to trade RB Le’Veon Bell (as @MMehtaNYDN reported). Sounds like they’re willing to settle for a late pick and/or back-end player in return.
Bell is due $6M (plus per-game roster bonuses) for the rest of ’20.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 13, 2020
Where Could Bell Go & Is He Worth It?
Currently, Bell is signed for two more years with a combined $17.5 million base salary. The Jets can get off his deal with a $4 million dead hit in 2021 and a $2 dead hit in 2022.
There is no doubt that in Bell’s first four seasons he was one of the most productive running backs in the league. He had a career year in 2013 when he ran for a career high 1,361 yards and also added 854 receiving yards, another career high.
Bell was consistently a threat in both the running and passing game, making the Steelers offense one of the deadliest in the league along with Antonio Brown. However, a contract dispute in 2018 that led to Bell not playing the entire season resulted in an ugly breakup.
Now, Bell’s production has fallen off a cliff. However, that doesn’t mean that several teams wouldn’t be interested in trading for him. As the Jets and Bell have made it clear that a trade is inevitable, the asking price could be low. Here are three possible destinations for Bell.
1. Chicago Bears
The Bears could use a boost to their running attack at this point. They rank 26th in yards per play and 25th in total rushing yards. Further, they just lost Tarik Cohen to a season ending injury and David Montgomery has been slow to start the season.
The Bears are 4-1 and to remain competitive they need any help they can get on the offensive end. Bell would do just that for them.
2. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have similar rushing issues as the Bears. Kenyan Drake is averaging a mere 3.7 yards per carry and has only two touchdowns on the season.
The rest of the Cardinals offense has been a machine through week 5 and adding Bell would give them the additional boost they need in the running attack.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers wanted Le’Veon back? 👁
Bell says the Texans, Packers, Chiefs and even his former squad all tried to trade for him at the deadline
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 1, 2019
I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way the Steelers trade for Bell especially after how bad the circumstances were surrounding his departure. However, this makes too much sense for both sides.
For Bell, he goes back to a scheme he was comfortable and dominant with and is reunited with a hall-of-fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger.
Further, the Steelers are undefeated currently and look like legitimate contenders. That would be a remarkable change of scenery for Bell, going from a losing team to a team with real playoff hopes.
For the Steelers, while James Conner has been maginificent for the Steelers, injuries have derailed him at times. Pairing him up with Le’Veon Bell would create a nightmare tandem out of the backfield for the Steelers. There’s a lot to gain here for Pittsburgh.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 8, 2019