NFL

Jets Finally Clear up Le’Veon Bell’s Future

Last offseason, the New York Jets made the big-splash move to acquire star running back Le’Veon Bell to bolster their backfield. However, things didn’t pan out as expected as the team struggled tremendously offensively throughout the year, with Bell playing a factor into their shortcomings on the field with what was a career-worst campaign. New York is set to enter the offseason with plenty of questions, including the Pro Bowler’s long-term future with the franchise. General manager Joe Douglas has cleared up the air about what the team plans on doing with Bell moving forward.

Le’Veon Bell’s Lackluster first year with the Jets

New York had hoped to take a significant step forward in the second season for quarterback Sam Darnold to move into playoff contention. Among those indications of that push was the signing of Bell to a lucrative long-term deal to give them another bonafide offensive weapon.

That didn’t transpire as hoped with the 27-year-old as he struggled to get any significant footing in the running game, rushing for 789 yards, which was the second-lowest total of his career along with a career-worst 3.2 yards per carry in 15 games played. Bell failed to crack more than 87 rushing yards in any contest but did manage to record 66 receptions for 461 receiving yards and a touchdown.

His lack of significant production was deflating for the Jets, but it wasn’t entirely his fault as New York possessed one of the worst offensive lines. Meanwhile, Darnold was inconsistent at times, along with missing a handful of games due to mono. Nonetheless, that has put Bell’s long-term future with the Jets into question, which the team has already addressed.

Jets discuss Le’Veon Bell’s future in New York

The struggles the Jets had on the field throughout the 2019 season led to much speculation around Bell’s future with the franchise. It had even put the possibility of being moved before the trade deadline.

Since then, New York has been mum on what their plans are with Bell despite voicing that he’s committed to the full rebuild well beyond the 2019 campaign. During the season-ending press conference on Tuesday, general manager Joe Douglas expressed that the Jets will listen to trade offers for their star running back.

That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that head coach Adam Gase hasn’t exactly been enthused by the team’s decision to offer him a lucrative deal. Gase was asked this week about Bell’s future and stated he is under contract for three more years. What this signals more than anything else is that the former Pro Bowler is firmly on shaky ground in New York.

Is Le’Veon Bell good as gone in New York?

Throughout the entire season, Bell stayed on the notion that he’s committed to the long-term with the franchise. However, that doesn’t appear to be a mutual feeling with the front office and Gase, as his play wasn’t up to the high expectations.

Bell’s plan to hold out for an entire year did backfire in some ways, but his struggles on the field are not entirely his fault. He’s still an extremely talented running back that can be a significant asset in both the running and passing game. There will be teams that could jump at the opportunity to add him, such as the Miami Dolphins or Chicago Bears.

Following yet another disappointing season, there should be some significant changes in New York, especially with Gase looking to put his fingerprints on the roster in his first full offseason at the helm. All of that could very well see Bell moved out in the coming months.