The Jets signed Bell to a massive four-year, $52.5 million contract prior to the 2019 season with the hope that he would help transform the team's offense. What followed instead was 17 games of utter disappointment for everyone involved.
Bell looked nothing like the player he was in Pittsburgh and some blamed Gase for the former All-Pro's shortcomings. It seems as though Bell is firmly in the camp of blaming Gase as well.
Bell responded to a Twitter user on Wednesday who suggested that he "wasn't the same elite player" after he took a year off prior to signing with the Jets. The three-time Pro Bowler didn't take kindly to this comment and directed blame at his former head coach in New York.
"I was a better player … it’s just hard to get off when Adam Gase is your coach calling dives on 1st & 10 … he had dives in his first 10 plays."- Le'Veon Bell
Le'Veon Bell blamed Adam Gase for his struggles with the NY Jets
Bell insisted that he was "a better player" with the Jets than he was with the Steelers but that Gase's play-calling essentially sabotaged his career. He wasn't done playing the blame game, however.
The next day, Bell responded to a Twitter user who questioned why the former NFL running back would sign with the Jets and run behind an inferior offensive line to the one he was paired with in Pittsburgh.
Bell seemed to agree with the user's stance on the Jets' offensive line during Bell's tenure with the team, although he stopped short of fully saying what he wanted to say.
"I could like really really be honest with you, but then it’s gonna make it seem as if I’m talking down on someone else … so ima answer your question with “yes.”"- Le'Veon Bell
Ultimately, it's impossible to say exactly why Bell failed with the Jets, but it's safe to say that he likely lost a step from his time with the Steelers. Brief, unremarkable stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Baltimore Ravens after the fact pretty much proved that.
Of course, Gase likely did him no favors in New York either, so perhaps Bell has somewhat of a point about his former coach.
Either way, no one will look back on Bell's tenure with the Jets fondly. Evidently, not even Bell himself.