Bleacher Report believes that NY Jets’ running back Le’Veon Bell would be better on a different team.
NY Jets‘ running back Le’Veon Bell didn’t exactly have the easiest first season in green and white. After signing a massive four-year, $52.5 million contract in the offseason, the two-time All-Pro running back put together the worst season of his career in 2019.
And it really wasn’t even close.
Bell averaged career-lows in every major rushing category rushing for just 789 yards and three touchdowns on an abysmal 3.2 yards per carry. Before that, he hadn’t even averaged below 4.0 yards per carry in any season since his rookie year.
It was a difficult year for Bell who went from prized offseason addition to offensive afterthought in a matter of months. Of course, however, it certainly wasn’t all his fault.
Bell was forced to run behind a bottom-three run-blocking offensive line in the NFL and was hampered by his usage from head coach Adam Gase. Realistically, it’s hard to have imagined him in a worse situation.
And for that reason, Bell recently made Bleacher Report’s list of five players who they feel would be better off on another team. Others to make the list were unsurprising players like A.J. Green, Yannick Ngakoue, and even Ryan Kerrigan.
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Perhaps the only surprise addition was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But that’s a conversation for a later date.
The NY Jets have failed Le’Veon Bell to this point.
The inclusion of Bell, however, is difficult to dispute.
No position is more dependent on its supporting cast than the running back position. A great offensive line and an effective scheme can turn career journeymen into super-efficient stars.
Meanwhile, a poor supporting cast can turn a true superstar into statistically one of the worst running backs in the NFL. That’s evidently what happened with Bell last season.
You could argue that the 28-year-old has lost a step or two and perhaps he’s not quite the same player he was during his prime years in Pittsburgh. But given an even average offensive line and a competent coach, Bell could still be a very productive running back.
Probably one of the best in the NFL in the right system.
As the author, Maurice Moton, mentioned, the additions of veteran Frank Gore and rookie La’Mical Perine are meant as a way of “taking some of the pressure” off of Bell. Only the “pressure” isn’t what did him in last year.
It was his incompetent supporting cast and questionable offensive play-caller.
Moton insists that Bell would be a much more productive and effective player if he were placed in an offense that could maximize his skill set. And honestly, how could you argue that?
The hope is that the improvements to the offensive line and a second year with Gase under the helm will help improve Bell’s environment, but that’s far from a guarantee.
Ultimately, Bell would be better off in a different system — at least if we’re basing it off of last year.
Here’s to hoping, however, that the Jets have managed to surround Bell with enough talent that he could find success in 2020 and change the narrative going into 2021.