NY Jets: NFL executives still see Le’Veon Bell as a top-10 running back

NY Jets (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

NY Jets’ running back Le’Veon Bell is still highly-regarded despite his poor 2019 season.

The NY Jets were expecting big things from Le’Veon Bell when they signed him to a hefty four-year, $52.5 million contract in the 2019 offseason. Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly go as planned in his first season with the team.

Bell put together the worst season of his NFL career rushing for just 789 yards and three touchdowns while averaging an abysmal 3.2 yards per carry. Statistically, he was the worst running back in the game.

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to place all of the blame on him. He was running behind a bottom-two offensive line and saddled with arguably the worst offensive coaching staff in the NFL.

The running back position is as reliant on others to succeed as any other position in the sport and that was evident with the Jets last season. Bell’s shortcomings largely came down to the failures of his teammates and coaching staff.

How does the NFL view NY Jets’ running back Le’Veon Bell?

As a result, many gave him somewhat of a pass for his poor season. That seems to be the case among the NFL as well based on a recent ESPN poll of a select 50 executives around the league.

Those NFL executives were asked to give a list of the top-10 running backs in the NFL and Bell came in at No. 10 on the list when all the votes were compiled solidifying the league’s opinion of him.

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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley topped the list with the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, and Derrick Henry rounding out the top-five.

It’s pretty stunning to see just how quickly Bell has fallen off from being widely-regarded as probably the best running back in the NFL to barely even being considered a top-10 back.

But that’s what a year off followed by the worst season of your career will do.

In fact, it’s somewhat surprising to see Bell even crack the top-10, not because of his talent, but simply based on his stats from last year. It seems difficult to rank a guy that high who posted the worst numbers of any starting running back in 2019.

However, it’s clear that the NFL executives polled took into account Bell’s awful situation and cut him some slack.

The three-time Pro Bowler will look to return to Pro Bowl form in 2020 with a much-needed bounce-back season.

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Hopefully, his teammates and coaching staff will allow that to happen.