Le’Veon Bell

No Multi-Year Offers For Le’Veon Bell? 

On Thursday night, Le’Veon Bell agreed to join the Chiefs on a one-year deal. There were other suitors, but none of those teams offered Bell a multi-year pact, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Previously, the Dolphins were believed to have offered a two-year deal to lure Bell to Miami. Apparently, that’s not the case. The Bills were also in the hunt, but Buffalo didn’t offer up a deal to extend into the 2021 season, either.

Ultimately, Bell got what he wanted – an opportunity to reassert himself with a bonafide Super Bowl contender. At minimum, Bell figures to serve as rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s top supporting cast member, slotting him ahead of Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson.

Bell’s production and constant clashing with Adam Gase made his $13.25MM-per-year price untenable for the Jets. The former Steelers dynamo lumbered for a career-low 3.2 yards per carry in 2019 and suited up for just two games in 2020. But, upon return in Week 5, Bell did average 4.62 yards per tote. And, considering his overall track record and reduced price, it was a no-brainer move fr the Chiefs.

With Bell, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Mitchell Schwartz, and Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs’ offense now features five former first-team All-Pros on the active roster. As a Steeler, Bell posted 1,800-plus scrimmage yards three times en route to the 2014 and ’17 All-Pro teams. He added three 75-catch seasons in that span, making him one of the league’s most dynamic offensive weapons.

Jets Release Le’Veon Bell

The Jets announced that they will release Le’Veon Bell from his contract on Tuesday night. The release is now official, and the former All-Pro running back is free to sign with any team. 

After having conversations with Le’Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le’Veon,” the team said in a Tuesday night statement. “The Jets organization appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”

The Jets signed Bell to a four-year, $52.5MM free agent deal in the 2019 offseason. A few months later, they fired GM Mike Maccagnan. Then, before the trade deadline in October, new GM Joe Douglas attempted to trade him. There were no viable deals then, and there were no takers this time around. The Jets were willing to eat some of the $6MM left on this year’s base salary, but teams were warded off by Bell’s $8MM injury guarantee, plus a number of other red flags.

Last year, Bell averaged a career-low 3.2 yards per carry. Gase and Bell butted heads throughout the season, which saw the multiple-time Pro Bowler put up the worst numbers of his career. Bell ran for just 789 yards and three touchdowns on 229 carries – that comes out to just 3.3 yards per tote, a sharp contrast from his best work in Pittsburgh, which included back-to-back 4.9-yard averages. His 66 catches for 461 yards and one score weren’t too shabby, but that’s still a notch or two below expectations. With the Steelers, Bell averaged 8.5 yards per reception and averaged 80 grabs in each of his final two seasons with his former team. Soon, Bell will have an opportunity to start fresh with his third pro team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Looking To Trade Le’Veon Bell

Here we go again. With a couple weeks to go before the trade deadline, the Jets are shopping running back Le’Veon Bell, sources tell Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). 

[RELATED: Could Jets Trade Sam Darnold?]

The Jets signed Bell to a four-year, $52.5MM free agent deal in 2019. Months later, they considered moving him. Bell claims the Packers, Chiefs, Texans, and Steelers (yes, the Steelers) all expressed interest in acquiring him before last year’s deadline but, ultimately, there were no takers.

It’s hard to imagine teams chomping at the bit for Bell. Last year, he averaged a career-low 3.2 yards per carry. So far this year, he’s played in just two of the Jets’ five games. For what it’s worth, he managed 4.62 yards per carry this past Sunday, but he’s come nowhere near matching his performance in Pittsburgh since joining Gang Green.

Between his two disappointing Jets campaigns and his 2018 holdout, Bell is three seasons removed from his best work. Meanwhile, he continues to clash with team brass. This week, he dished out social media likes to a number of followers who were criticizing Adam Gase for his limited usage of Bell.

I know he’s frustrated that we haven’t won,” the head coach told reporters on Monday. “It wasn’t necessarily the plan of not targeting him in the past game, it just kind of ended up being that way with how they were they were playing us. So that’s what it is, I mean, just try to find ways to move the football that’s all we’re trying to do, and it doesn’t always go exactly as planned..I hate that’s the route that we go with all this. Instead of just talking to me about it but seems the way that guys want to do it nowadays.”

Bell will earn a guaranteed $8.5MM base salary for 2020. In the past, he’s rebuffed the Jets’ attempts to restructure his deal. But, if he truly wants a trade, he may have to reconsider his position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.