New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell did not attend OTAs, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort from at least one of his teammates.
Defensive tackle Steve McLendon, who was also a teammate of Bell’s with the Pittsburgh Steelers, unsuccessfully tried to get Bell to attend.
“I talked to him and I told him, ‘You understand this place is different than Pittsburgh,'” McLendon said, per SNY. “I said, ‘You need to get back so you can understand the quarterback and the situation.'”
McLendon also added that he told Bell “‘The media is gonna get you if you don’t come back.'” Still, he understood Bell’s decision.
The Jets were reportedly less understanding of Bell’s decision. It’s also been noted that the decision to sign Bell might have gotten general manager Mike Maccagnan fired. So, he might have been fighting an uphill battle to please his new team as soon as he signed.
Bell is certainly going to be in the eye of the storm in 2019. He would go a long way toward justifying his decision to skip Jets OTAs if he plays well during the season. If he doesn’t, the decision to skip them will only add to the immense scrutiny that he was already going to be under this season.