The New York Jets have released running back Le’Veon Bell following an 0-5 start to their 2020 NFL season. Jets GM Joe Douglas released a statement via the team’s Twitter account, specifying that New York decided to move on after failing to find a suitable trade partner over the past couple of days. Douglas says the move was made with the interest of both parties in mind.
Statement from GM Joe Douglas pic.twitter.com/By9XevVXVv
— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 14, 2020
After signing a four-year, $52 million contract with New York prior to the 2019 season, Le’Veon Bell will leave the club less than 20 games into his Jets career. Bell was placed on IR earlier this season and missed three games with a hamstring injury but returned this past Sunday in their matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
Bell produced 67 yards from scrimmage in the 30-10 loss but has been largely ineffective with the Jets dating back to last season. Once perhaps the premier running back in the NFL during his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell has failed to produce top-end numbers with the Jets. The former All-Pro rushed for just 789 yards in 15 games last season.
Bell was the definition of a workhorse back for Pittsburgh since the day he was drafted in 2013 but a contract dispute resulted in him missing the entire 2018 NFL season and seeking a payday elsewhere. Bell would get the deal he wanted with the Jets, but his production has taken a drastic nosedive.
Whether Bell has lost a step or head coach Adam Gase wasn’t deploying him correctly remains to be seen, but New York’s shaky offensive line and inconsistent quarterback play certainly didn’t help matters. Bell and Gase reportedly clashed heads from the start which could’ve had an impact on how he was used within the Jets’ offense.
Now Bell will look to hit the ground running elsewhere and after spending over a season with New York, we could see the veteran back join a potential title contender. The Jets will move forward in a lost season with Frank Gore likely receiving most of the early-down work with La’Michal Perine and Ty Johnson behind him on the depth chart.