ESPN – The New York Jets’ rocky relationship with Le’Veon Bell came to an abrupt end Tuesday when the team announced it had released the running back.
The move concluded a 19-month tenure that was filled with disappointment and broken promises. Bell, who arrived as a marquee free agent in 2019, never clicked with coach Adam Gase, who opposed the signing from the outset.
That Jets contract (4 years $52.5 million) was a disaster from Day 1, but imagine picking Adam Gase over Le’Veon Bell?? It’s hard to tell if after 1 year + 4 games in New York if he is already washed up or if the Jets are just sucking the life out of him. I mean he’s only 28 years old, granted it’s an old 28 considering his monumental workload at Michigan State. But you’d have to think he still has a couple good years left in him. Adam Gase, the offensive guru responsible for (read: worked in the same building as) Peyton Manning’s record setting 56 TD season in Denver, has now traded, released, and generally made the Jets’ best players worse. All-Pro Jamal Adams. Former All-Pro Le’Veon Bell. First Round QB Sam Darnold. All three were seemingly key building blocks for a rebuilding team. Two of them are now gone and Darnold, despite flashes of the potential that made him the third overall pick two years ago, looks to be stuck in neutral.
So Patriots fans do you want Le’Veon Bell? He officially becomes a free agent at 4 pm on Wednesday. It’s basically become a cliche around here to say the Pats are in on Veteran X whether it’s Calvin Johnson, or Larry Fitzgerald, or AJ Green. The Pats are in on all of these guys and then nothing happens. Now the Pats are rumored to be in on Le’Veon Bell. Except, this time it’s the Jets. The Jets bought HIGH on Bell and sold LOW, getting absolutely nothing in return and releasing the former All-Pro running back. The Patriots absolutely do not need another running back with James White, Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead, and eventually Sony Michel already in the mix. But Bill Belichick is nothing if not a man who enjoys stomping on the graves of his enemies. I cannot even imagine the size of the grin on Belichick’s face as he thinks about picking the latest failed experiment of his rival off the scrap heap and turning him into a weapon for the Patriots as they fight for another Super Bowl title.
The #Patriots are looking to do for running backs what they did for tight ends a decade ago. Just win a Super Bowl with 3,4,5 RBs routinely on the field at the same time. #NFL #Jets https://t.co/PCplgDjaoF— The 300s (@The300sBoston) October 14, 2020
The Pats absolutely do not need him, but there are few teams out there that could utilize Bell better than New England. Now let’s look at Bell’s side of it. He legit sat out an entire season in Pittsburgh because he wanted a new deal and didn’t want to risk blowing out his knee right before his one big pay day.
Like LeBron or Sebastian, high school graduates
Straight to the league, I ain’t waitin’ for my knee to blow
Yesterday I was needin’ this dough
Then he signs a gargantuan contract with New York to be their bellcow back and take the Jets back to prominence. Only for the new head coach in town, aforementioned offensive guru and recently fired Dolphins coach Adam Gase, to immediately shit all over the move.
One disagreement between Adam Gase and Mike Maccagnan/Christopher Johnson…— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) May 15, 2019
Gase absolutely did not want to sign Le’Veon Bell, per sources. In fact, he made it clear that he didn’t want to spend a lot of money on any running back.
Hows that for a welcoming party? Bell drastically underperformed and battled injuries, but even when he was healthy the team around him was getting worse and the rift between him and the head coach was getting wider. You think that guy is motivated at all to stick it to his former boss?
got a lot to prove. i’m ready to go. pic.twitter.com/oDqBM62JfN— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) October 14, 2020
What better way than to sign on with their biggest rival and beat the Jets’ brains in and win a ring in New England? It’s a win win for both sides as Bell signs on with a competent team that will utilize his talents, reestablishes his value, and helps him try to get that elusive Super Bowl ring before signing another big deal somewhere else this offseason. It’s the playbook that Darrelle Revis and Trent Brown perfected in recent years.
Not to mention that every player we thought was a bum while playing for Gase has THRIVED since getting away from him. Just look at Ryan Tannehill. Under Joe Philbin for the first three years of his career in Miami, Tannehill improved every. single. year. Touchdowns, Yards, Yards per Game, Completion Percentage, Quarterback Rating, even his total Rushing Yards ALL improved every single year. Enter Adam Gase. Tannehill played a mixed bag of two seasons under Gase (he missed 2017 due to injury) as the Dolphins floundered and the coach publicly threw his QB under the bus. Both got 86’d by the Dolphins as Gase went on to do Gase things in New York, while Tannehill won Comeback Player of the Year with the Titans.
And don’t even get me started on Kenyan Drake. After 3+ seasons in Miami where Drake failed to top 644 rushing yards in a year, Drake rushed for 633 yards in 8 games with the Cardinals last year. After never rushing for more than 4 touchdowns in Miami, Drake rushed for 8 touchdowns in 8 games in Arizona last year. Drake is also more than DOUBLING his yards per game in Arizona compared to Miami as he has turned into a stud away from Adam Gase.
These turnarounds from Tannehill and Drake post-Gase legitimately offend me as a football fan. The clock is ticking on that man’s head coaching career as the Jets continue to be the worst team in football.
He’ll probably latch on somewhere else pretty quickly because the NFL is incestuous with former coaches just being recycled all across the league, but if I’m running the Jets the next move I make is the same Gase made with Le’Veon Bell, send him packing.