With the Jets organization, Bell dealt with dysfunction from the moment he arrived in the Big Apple.
After sitting out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute, running back Le’Veon Bell decided to take his talents elsewhere.
That destination would be New York, where he would join the Jets organization after inking a four-year, $52 million deal with $27 million guaranteed. Months before, the Jets signed Adam Gase to be their head coach.
Rather than celebrate getting an All-Pro, Gase disagreed with former general manager Mike Maccagnan on the Bell signing, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
Rather than be upset by the reports, Bell took to Twitter to express his readiness to compete with his new team.
Though I understand Gase’s standpoint, it put Bell in a difficult situation. The leader of his new team didn’t want him on the roster. In any job, if your boss doesn’t want you, it creates an awkward situation for both sides, especially after signing up to be there for the next four years.
This situation may have had an impact on Bell’s comeback season in 2019. His yards per carry dropped to 3.2 per attempt, compared to his nearly five-yard average over his last four seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, Bell remained a threat in the passing game for the Jets. Catching 66 passes for 461 passing yards, according to Pro Football Reference. His production in the passing game dropped a little as well, but could be due to less talent on the Jets roster.
With the Steelers, Bell was able to run behind a better offensive line, which fit with his patient running style. With the Jets, a rebuilding team did not offer the same production as the Super Bowl contender Steelers with Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Bell’s second year with the Jets started with a hamstring injury in Week 1. This placed Bell on the injured reserve list for the next three weeks. In Week 5, Bell would return against the Arizona Cardinals.
Bell had 13 rushes for 60 yards, with over four yards per carry in the 30-10 blowout loss to the Cardinals, according to Pro Football Reference. Bell was targeted and caught just one pass for seven yards as well. Bell went to Twitter and liked tweets that talked about his lack of touches.
Both of these tweets were liked Bell, when asked Gase expressed communicating face-to-face rather than on social media, according to CBS Sports. This disagreement would be their last.
The Jets released Bell to test the open market. His last three teams on his list were: the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills. Bell would choose the Chiefs after he narrowing it to Miami and Kansas City.
When looking at his last two and a half years, Bell sat out to get the contract he earned after back-to-back dominate seasons. Went to the Jets where the head coach didn’t want him there. The Jets have been a dysfunctional mess this year after going 7-9 last season.
Bell being back to a structured franchise will help him get back to form. When in Pittsburgh, very few, if any had the kind of production and usage of Bell. His New York tenure was disrupted by Gase’s immediate disapproval with him and the teams lack of development as a whole.