If the Jets want to usher in an offseason of discomfort for their fans, all they’ll have to do is table the idea of trading running back Le’Veon Bell.
The All-Pro running back is coming off a disappointing debut season in the Meadowlands, rushing for 789 yards while adding another 461 receiving with four total touchdowns.
It was his worst full season as a pro, prompting the idea that head coach Adam Gase wants no part of the talented dual-threat.
Throughout their first year together with the Jets, it’s been well documented that Gase wasn’t too keen on bringing in Bell for the amount of money former general manager Mike Maccagnan spent on his signature.
The four-year, $52.5 million deal is a pretty penny to put up for a rebuilding franchise, but Bell immediately provided young franchise quarterback Sam Darnold with the ultimate security blanket.
Gase, however, didn’t do much to utilize Bell — limiting his touches throughout most of the season to stymie his production.
With new general manager Joe Douglas in to fix Maccagnan’s mess, the possibility of trading Bell remains present — especially with the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta reporting that he “disapproves” of Bell’s pricetag.
Mehta’s report allowed him to further add fuel to the speculative trade fire, claiming that if there was a team willing to take on most of Bell’s contract and give up a third-round draft pick to the Jets, Gase and Douglas would, “personally drive the running back to the airport.”
The problem is that interested parties might balk on taking on a majority of what’s left of Bell’s remaining $52 million deal. Meaning the Jets would have to eat most of the money to make him more appealing on the market.
If that’s the case, there isn’t much of a point in trading a back with star potential if you’re still going to pay him.