Le’Veon Bell doesn’t want to be with the New York Jets anymore, and the feeling is mutual.
In the exciting, and ever-evolving, world of social media, a “like” can be interpreted as an endorsement.
Bell, after his first game back from a hamstring injury, liked a tweet from a sports talk radio host that said the Jets should trade him. This wasn’t the only “like”.
Bell also liked several tweets with a similar narrative suggesting head coach Adam Gase has misused him.
The Jets went on to their fifth straight loss to open the season, a 30-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium. In that game, Bell carried the football only 13 times for 60 yards.
When Bell signed with the Jets, it was believed his pass-catching ability would be an added weapon for the offense. But that hasn’t been the case for Bell since signing a four-year, $52.5 million contract last year.
In six years (he sat out the sixth year) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell averaged 62.4 receptions out of the backfield. He caught only 1 pass against the Cardinals, for seven yards. His 3.3 yards per carry this season is down from his career average of 4.2 yards per carry.
Bell’s production hasn’t been anywhere near what it was with the Steelers. However, he also hasn’t been used the same way either.
Since joining the Jets, you’d be hard-pressed to find tape of Bell used successfully in a featured role.
It’s clear Gase has little to no trust in using him like the All-Pro running back he is.
It’s not the first time a head coach has shown he’s uncomfortable using certain players if they’re not an ideal fit in their scheme. And it was reported Gase wasn’t in favor of signing Bell.
But isn’t part of the job for a head coach to maximize the abilities of their players? Of course, it is. And wasn’t Gase hired because of his ability to coach up an offense? Of course, he was.
What we do know is Gase has failed in both of those areas. How much would you care to wager his players are already thinking the same? I’d bet the house on it.
In July, All-Pro safety Jamal Adams talked his way out of town to get away from Gase and the Jets. How many more tweets can Bell “like” to get his fresh start?
Unless there’s a miracle turnaround this season – and don’t hold your breath, Gase will be packing his office sooner than later. Meanwhile, there’s still time to do right by Bell and move him elsewhere before the November 3rd trade deadline.
In order to trade Bell, the Jets likely will need to eat some of his salary. But why worry about that now? It’s the price you pay for futility.
The Jets may not be able to move Bell before the deadline, but they need to keep trying. It would be the one thing they’ve done right for him.
Photo: Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire