The Jets might not have much choice in the matter, but GM Joe Douglas sounds like he expects Le’Veon Bell to return in 2020. In an interview with ESPN Radio, Douglas was complimentary of the temperamental star.
“[Bell is a] very good player…We value Le’Veon,” Douglas said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini). “We value the competitor, we value the teammate. We’re excited (for him) being in our program another year, going through our offseason again.”
Drama aside, Bell remains one of the most talented running backs in the NFL. He also has the Jets on the hook for oodles of money. Thanks to the four-year, $52.5MM contract handed to him by former GM Mike Maccagnan, Bell is slated to count for a $15.5MM cap figure in 2020 with similar numbers in 2021 and 2022. Shedding Bell this offseason would leave the Jets with $19MM in dead money and zero cap savings.
In theory, the Jets’ first real opportunity to dump Bell would come before the 2021 season, when they could save $9.5MM against $4MM in dead money. The Jets hope that won’t be necessary. Bell, who turns 28 in February, averaged just 3.2 yards per carry last year, though he still managed 66 catches for 461 yards out of the backfield.
Douglas was also asked about a potential extension for safety Jamal Adams, but he sidestepped the question. The GM only said that he’s “so happy” Adams is on the team and that the trade deadline tension “is in the rear-view mirror.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.