New York Jets and Le’Veon Bell ‘mutually interested’ in parting ways per report

New York Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
New York Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets and running back Le’Veon Bell are both “mutually interested” in parting ways this offseason, per a recent report.

To say that Le’Veon Bell‘s first season with the New York Jets was a disappointment would be a bit of an understatement. And now, that “first” season may end up being his only if both sides have their way.

Rumors have swirled for months that the Jets would be looking to unload Bell in the offseason after signing him to a massive four-year, $52.5 million contract in the offseason. But a recent report that has come out indicates that the feeling is apparently mutual.

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Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline reported on Thursday that “the feeling is mutual from both sides” and that “it’s best for everyone involved if the Jets and Bell part company.”

This has seemingly been the indication for a while and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that either side feels this way.

The Jets paid Bell a ton of money in the offseason but the three-time Pro Bowler failed to produce behind one of the worst offensive lines in football. On top of that, head coach Adam Gase never seemed to find a role for Bell in the offense and arguably didn’t use him to the best of his abilities.

It’s been widely reported that Gase isn’t looking for a true Bell-cow back (no pun intended). And in the past, we’ve seen Gase misuse running backs like Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake only for them to later find success elsewhere.

Bell may very well be a similar case.

A major issue in this plan, however, could be finding a suitable trade partner. Bell’s salary is quite large and at age 28, coming off the year he just had, it might be difficult to find a team willing to take on his salary and assume such a risk.

Pauline speculated that it’s most likely a team not paying a big contract to a quarterback or edge rusher would be most likely to step in and make a play for Bell. That leaves very few options, but perhaps a team like the Indianapolis Colts could be interested.

The Colts showed interest in Bell last offseason and should have the money to make a huge splash if they opt to go down that route.

Either way, it appears that Le’Veon Bell’s days in New York may be over before they ever really got started. It’s a shame as the Bell/Jets pairing had plenty of potential, but was never given a fair shake because of a porous offensive line and some questionable offensive scheming.

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Ultimately, it likely is for the best of both Bell and the Jets if the former All-Pro running back is playing with a new team in 2020.