NY Jets: Analyzing Le’Veon Bell’s time with the organization

NY Jets, Le'Veon Bell (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Le'Veon Bell (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Le’Veon Bell’s time with the NY Jets has come to an end. We take a look back at his brief tenure.

In March of 2019, the NY Jets made a splash by signing Le’Veon Bell in free agency. The Jets did not envision Bell failing to last 20 months with the team.

When the Jets signed Bell, he was viewed as arguably the best running back in the entire NFL. Being able to convince a superstar player like Bell to sign with the team immediately gave the Jets franchise some much-needed credibility.

Additionally, the Jets needed to surround Sam Darnold, who had just finished his rookie season, with talented players that would make his life easier and Bell absolutely fit that description. However, things never worked out between the Jets and the former Michigan State star.

After a Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills in 2019, Darnold missed the team’s next three games due to mononucleosis. With the team’s starting quarterback out, the Jets needed someone to step up.

In those three games, Bell rushed for only 146 yards on under 3.0 yards per carry and scored zero touchdowns as the Jets were outscored 23-84 in that stretch and fell to 0-4 on the season.

To be fair, Bell’s was playing behind a horrendous offensive line, but he’s not the only running back to ever play with a bad offensive line. Given Bell’s salary of over $13 million per year, his performance was disappointing, to say the least.

Bell ended his first season with the Jets averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per carry, one of the lowest marks among starting running backs.

Le’Veon Bell fell short of his own expectations with the NY Jets

After predicting a big season for himself before the 2019 season, Bell once again set his expectations high entering the 2020 season. In limited action this season, Bell’s struggles with the Jets continued.

After last Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Bell “liked” comments from media members on Twitter who said the Jets weren’t using him properly.

If Bell really agreed with those statements, he should have discussed the matter with Adam Gase in-person rather than making a statement through social media — although this certainly isn’t the first time this issue has come up.

On Tuesday night, it was announced that the Jets had released Bell. His tenure with the Jets was filled with losing and broken promises.

Why did Bell’s time with the Jets end up being a complete disaster? Who should we blame?

The Jets’ offensive line made life very difficult for Bell. Additionally, Adam Gase failed to utilize Bell in the passing game. Bell is an excellent route-runner and pass-catcher which the Jets could have utilized especially since Sam Darnold doesn’t have many reliable wide receivers to throw to.

We also have to blame Bell himself for his struggles. We can make all the excuses we want, but Bell didn’t perform up to standard. As previously stated, Bell isn’t the only running back that’s played behind a bad offensive line.

He averaged 3.3 yards per carry as a member of the Jets, which is atrocious. When Bell was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was playing behind arguably the best offensive line in all of football.

When he didn’t appear in a single game for the Steelers in 2018, his replacement, James Conner performed just as good if not better than Bell did the previous year. Is it possible Bell was just a product of that great offensive line in Pittsburgh?

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There’s probably more to it than that. But Bell was a disappointment in New York — no matter how you look at it.