Gone in a New York Minute
The Le’Veon Bell era with the New York Jets – short-lived as it was – is officially over.
After failing to find a suitable trade partner for the 28-year-old running back, the Jets announced Bell’s release in a statement Tuesday night.
As a vested veteran, Bell won’t have to go through the waiver process and becomes a free agent Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.
After sitting out the 2018 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a contract dispute, Bell signed a lucrative four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets under then-general manager Mike Maccagnan in March 2019.
Bell became a holdover of a previous regime when the Jets let Maccagnan go in May 2019 and brought in Joe Douglas to handle GM duties on June 6, 2019.
To hear NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tell it, Gase and Maccagnan likely didn’t see eye-to-eye on signing Bell in the first place.
“[Jets head coach Adam Gase] never seemed like he wanted him. Never seemed like he had any really good ideas for how to employ him … So they said, ‘You know what, we’re just going to move on right now.'”
With just three rushing touchdowns and a 3.3 yards per carry average in two seasons, Bell became persona non grata in New York.
However, due in part to the structure of Bell’s contract with the Jets, it doesn’t seem as though he’ll be lacking for suitors around the league.
Presumably, teams with an interest in Bell will be hoping for the Steelers version of the running back, where he amassed 42 total touchdowns and just shy of 8,000 yards from scrimmage in five seasons.
And, of course, the first name on most people’s lips upon Bell’s release? Bill Belichick.
The Patriots coach has a long history of successful reclamation projects, and the idea of Bell to New England has Nick Wright, a Chiefs fan, perturbed.
“I’m prematurely angry about it … There is no running back that would fit what the Patriots like to do — which is have a running back come out of the backfield, line up in the slot or hand him the ball — than L. Bell.”
Perhaps fortunately for Wright, the Pats are longshots to land Bell, according to oddsmakers at FOX Bet.
At +1500 per their insights, Bell has a better chance of winding up at 12 other teams ahead of New England.
One of those teams is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are second-favorites at +500 behind the Chicago Bears at +350.
Could a return to the Steel City be in the cards? Brandon Marshall believes it’s a solid fit for everyone.
“It would be good for Le’Veon. It would be good for football. It would be good for us … He can go in there right away and make an impact. I would love to see him with the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Some of the other favorites by FOX Bet’s metrics include the Browns (+650), Chiefs (+700), Buccaneers (+750) and Titans (+800).
But wherever the two-time All-Pro winds up, Bell is confident he can make a difference.
This content was originally published here.