By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Up here in New England, we sometimes overdo it with out “LOL Jets” reactions to every bit of news coming out of Florham Park, New Jersey.
That being said … LOL JETS!
According to the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta, the Jets are looking to trade star running back Le’Veon Bell before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.
“Gang Green is amenable to dealing the perennial Pro Bowl running back for the right price before the 4 p.m. trade deadline,” Mehta reported. “Although it’s unclear what that price tag has been during discussions, there are legitimate buyers. The Jets would unload a big salary as general manager Joe Douglas looks to reshape the roster.”
This is humorous, you see, because the Jets jumped at the chance to sign Bell this past offseason, just after Bell skipped an entire season due to contract disagreements with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some teams exercised caution in investing big money in a player whose commitment might have been a bit of a question mark at that point in time; the Jets did not.
Jets RB Le'Veon Bell is cheap for the rest of 2019 ($1.06M left in base, $281K in per-game rosters), if a team wants to trade for him.
Issue comes next year: He's due $13.5M in '20 ($4.5M roster bonus, $8.5M base, $500K in per-game rosters), most of which is fully guaranteed.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 29, 2019
Bell currently ranks 28th in the NFL with 349 rushing yards, and he ranks 13th among running backs in receiving yards. He has one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown through seven games. He signed a four-year deal worth between $52.5 million and $61 million, with $25 million guaranteed.
Further adding to the comedy, a couple months after the Bell signing, the Jets fired general manager Mike Maccagnan. That firing took place after free agency and after the draft, which is not the best time to cut an executive loose. But when that executive can’t get along with the new head coach, changes must take place.
And making it even more hilarious is that at that same time, reports surfaced that new head coach Adam Gase never wanted to sign Bell in the first place.
“Sources said Gase was not in favor of paying running back Le’Veon Bell as much as the Jets did (four years, $52.5 million), feeling they could get him at a lower price,” Brian Costello reported in the New York Post.
Mehta reported at that same time: “Gase absolutely made it clear that he didn’t want Bell, according to sources. The head coach left no doubt that he didn’t want to spend a lot of money on any running back or center.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport joined the fray: “Liked the player, didn’t love the money is how I heard it on Le’Veon Bell. Adam Gase also didn’t love the price tag on CJ Mosley. It all added up.”
And now, in Week 9 of the season, with the Jets sitting at 1-6 and staring down the barrel of another wasted season; with Sam Darnold having five touchdowns, eight interceptions, and one revealing mic’d up clip to his name; and with just two touchdowns and a 3.2-yard rushing average from their $50 million running back, the Jets are looking to start over. Again.
With all due respect to that organization … LOL, Jets. LOL.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter ruined all the fun, reporting that Bell won’t be traded.
Barring a last-hour change, the Jets don’t plan to trade RB Le’Veon Bell before today’s 4 pm deadline, per source. Jets received calls, but not enough interest to make a deal.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 29, 2019
So Bell will stay on the Jets. After hearing that his head coach never wanted him and now hearing that he was dangled at the trade deadline, his love for the New York football Jets may not be very strong going forward.