NY Jets’ running back Le’Veon Bell was recently named one of the NFL’s most overpaid players.
NY Jets‘ running back Le’Veon Bell certainly didn’t have the easiest first season with the organization. After sitting our a year, Bell looked to return to All-Pro form when he signed on with the Jets in the 2019 offseason.
Unfortunately, instead of returning to form, Bell was completely neutered suffering through what was likely the most challenging season of his football career.
Bell rushed for just 789 yards and three touchdowns while averaging an NFL-worst 3.2 yards per carry. Not exactly what he had planned when he signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets an offseason ago.
That’s why when CBS Sports ranked the top-10 most overpaid players in the league on a recent list, Bell came in at No. 4. New York Giants’ offensive tackle Nate Solder topped a list that also featured the likes of quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jared Goff.
But Bell’s inclusion is hardly surprising.
Now from a pure talent perspective, Bell probably doesn’t belong anywhere near this list. The three-time Pro Bowler is still probably one of the better running backs in the NFL, and that’s not just a belief shared by Jets fans.
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A recent poll of select NFL executives asked the front office members to rank the top-10 running backs in the NFL and Bell unsurprisingly made the consensus list. It’s clear that the NFL still views him in a positive light.
NY Jets’ running back Le’Veon Bell just hasn’t produced at the level of his contract.
But given his production last season, it’s hard to justify that he’s worth the near $15.5 million he’s set to receive in 2020.
Blame it on head coach Adam Gase’s confounding usage of the talented back. Blame it on an offensive line that ranked as the league’s worst run-blocking unit last season. Or blame it on overall offensive ineptitude on the part of the Jets.
All are incredibly valid and the biggest reasons for Bell’s statistical struggles. Either way, his production hasn’t matched his contract — thus making him overpaid.
Bell is one of the few players on that list where his overpaid nature isn’t entirely a fault of his own negative performance. Players like Solder, Malcolm Butler, and Leonard Fournette simply haven’t lived up to the hype.
Bell, on the other hand, has been set up for failure.
There’s a very good chance that the Jets opt to move on from Bell next offseason when given the opportunity.
But if Bell can bounce-back in a big way in 2020, perhaps he can shed his “overpaid” label and force the Jets to rethink their plans.