The New York Jets’ rocky relationship with Le’Veon Bell ended abruptly on Tuesday when the Jets announced their release.
He completed a 19-month term filled with disappointment and broken promises. Bell, who arrived as a free agent in 2019, has never clicked with coach Adam Gaze, who has opposed the signing from the start.
“After talking to Le’Veon and his agent and exploring potential trading options over the past few days, we decided to release Le’Veon,” the team said in a statement. “The Jets appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his stay here and we know that he has worked hard to make a significant contribution to this team. We believe that this decision is in the best interests of both parties and we wish him future successes. “
As a trusted veteran, Bell is not to be given up. He will be a free agent at 4pm ET Wednesday.
Bell shared her thoughts on Twitter shortly after the message, when she tweeted the emoticons with her praying hands.
̵1; Le’Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) October 14, 2020
Disappointed by the lack of involvement in the crime, Bell met on Monday with Gaze and general manager Joe Douglas, a source said. They told Bell they were going to study a craft and gave his agent permission to talk to other teams.
The Jets contacted each team, but found the contract difficult to navigate. They were willing to eat some of the $ 6 million left for his basic salary in 2020, but an obstacle to that was a $ 8 million injury guarantee in 2021, a source said. No other team wanted to take such a big risk, fearing a serious injury this season.
After all, neither the Jets. They could continue to buy it until the November 3 trading deadline, hoping to get back a late choice, but they too were cautious about the injury guarantee, knowing they planned to cut it out of season.
The Jets are responsible for the remaining $ 6 million of Bell’s base salary for 2020, but there is a compensation clause that will compensate him with the amount of salary in a new contract with his next team.
Bell tweeted that he was ready for another opportunity.
I have a lot to prove. I’m ready to go. pic.twitter.com/oDqBM62JfN
– Le’Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) October 14, 2020
The turning point in the relationship came on Sunday when Bell was upset by his role in the Jets’ 30-10 loss to the Arizona cardinals. He then rejected requests for media interviews, but he turned to Twitter and “liked” comments from media members who suggested he was abused and should be traded.
This upset Gaze, who told reporters on Monday, “I hate that this is the way we go with all this, instead of just talking about it, but it seems like the boys want to do it these days.”
Bell has been a disappointment since signing a four-year, $ 52.5 million contract last year, taking an average of just 3.3 yards to carry with the Jets, the 51st of 53 qualified NFL players in that period.
In 17 games with the Jets, Bell rushed for 873 yards and three touchdowns. He was injured by mediocre play on lines and a system that did not match his strengths as a flexible player.
Bell was signed by former general manager Mike Macanyan, who wanted to add weapons to help develop quarterback Sam Darnold. As it turned out, Makanyan was fired two months after signing. Darnold regressed and the Jets were 0-5 with the lowest NFL score.
This was the second time in four months that a senior player wanted to leave New York. In July, the safety of All-Pro Jamal Adams and the team were embroiled in a contract dispute. In the end, the Jets traded Adams with the Seattle Seahawks. Adams was critical of Gaze’s leadership on the way out.
At the time, Bell was critical of Adams for rescuing the planes, and he attacked Adams on social media.
Bell expressed disappointment at various points last season, but he shifted his focus off-season and came to training camp in the best shape of his career, he said. He lost more than 20 kilograms from last season. Acknowledging that he was smug in 2019, Bell promised to secure a career year.
Gaze blurred the situation by signing one of his favorite players, Frank Gore, which could further alienate Bell. Of course, there was disagreement in the training camp after Gaze removed Bell from an internal squad. Gaze said Bell reported a tight tendon and did not want to risk injury.
Bell took to Twitter and practically called Gaze a liar, which caused a long sitting relationship between the two.
Bell returned to the squad on Sunday and carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards. He was targeted only once in the passing game. Many times Gaze talked about attracting Bell more actively as a successor.
On Sunday, the rookie, who escaped from La’Mical Perine, did not see any action. Leaving Bell should create time for Perine to play, who will share the burden with 37-year-old Gore.