The short marriage between the New York Jets and former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell is not going too swimmingly.
Bell, 28, averaged just 3.2 yards per rush in his first season with the Jets after sitting out the entire 2018 campaign. His relationship with Jets head coach Adam Gase did not get off to a great start. That appears to have continued with less than three weeks remaining until the start of the 2020 NFL season.
Le’Veon Bell calls Jets out after being pulled from practice
Earlier on Wednesday reports came out of New Jersey that Bell was pulled from practice with what Gase called hamstring tightness. Bell took to social media shortly thereafter to dispel this notion.
Bell also noted that there was nothing wrong with his hamstring. This is seemingly a continuation of major issues that could lead to a divorce in the not-so-distant future.
Le’Veon Bell trade rumors heated up this past offseason
After a disastrous first season in Jersey, rumors started to heat up this past spring that the Jets were willing to trade Bell. That was magnified after New York signed future Hall of Fame running back Frank Gore.
It’s not yet known whether the Jets would have any real market for Bell in a trade should the team’s brass come to the conclusion that he must be moved. However, there’s a lot more to look at here outside of Bell’s declining production and his relationship with the Jets’ brass.
Le’Veon Bell’s contract is almost a non-starter
Signed to a four-year, $52.5 million contract back in March of 2019, Bell is set to count a whopping $15.5 million against the cap in 2020. He has cap hits of $13.5 million and $15 million in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Any team making a move for Bell would likely have to restructure his contract, pushing back large cap hits into the future while linking them to Bell far beyond the 2020 season. As of right now, the Jets can get out from under Bell’s contract following the 2020 season with a mere $4 million dead cap hit.
If general manager Joe Douglas and Co. were to decide releasing Bell made the most sense, the team would incur a $17 million dead cap hit this season.