Le’Veon Bell’s first season with the New York Jets did not go as planned. After signing a lucrative free agent deal with Gang Green, Bell put up the worst statistical campaign of his career.
In 15 games, Bell rushed for only 789 yards and three touchdowns on 3.2 yards per attempt. He caught 66 passes but for only 461 yards. Bell’s struggles seemed to stem from a combination of New York’s poor offensive line play and head coach Adam Gase’s inability to use the three-time Pro Bowler effectively.
Whether it was his fault or not, Bell’s lack of production coupled with the fact Gase reportedly didn’t want the 28-year-old in the first place led to trade rumors midseason. They have continued into the offseason, but, earlier today, Jets GM Joe Douglas tried to quash the speculation that Bell is on the block.
Speaking with media at the NFL Scouting Combine, Douglas said there has been “no talk” about moving Bell. He reiterated that the team considers Bell a focal point.
“There hasn’t been talk as far as him going anywhere,” Douglas said. “We’re excited about Le’Veon. Le’Veon has been a great teammate. I can’t tell you how great he’s been. I had a great conversation with him at the end of the season. I know he’s been working hard down in Miami. I know he’s excited to get back. We’re excited to have him.”
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) February 25, 2020
In addition to saying that Bell won’t be going anywhere, Douglas stated that the plan is to make star safety Jamal Adams “a Jet for life.” That should be music to fan’s ears.
Whether it is in free agency, through the draft or both, the Jets are expected to prioritize building up their offensive line this offseason. Doing so is critical not only to maximizing Bell’s talent but also ensuring quarterback Sam Darnold’s development in his third season.