The New York Jets are reportedly trying to trade disgruntled running back Le’Veon Bell.
This is no surprise, of course. Bell chose to go passive-aggressive with his criticism of coach Adam Gase after Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, when he went on a “like” button spree of Tweets that were critical of coach Adam Gase and the way he was deploying the running back.
Bell is justified in his frustration. He has been a model leader for this team, through a difficult time. But he crossed a line by publicly criticizing his coach, putting his self-interest ahead of the team. And that can’t be good for the locker room dynamic, which is already fragile with the team at 0-5.
Analysis: NY Jets sink even lower, squandering chances in blowout loss to Cardinals
This season: NY Jets schedule change: What’s next after NFL adjusts amid pandemic
So, obviously, the Jets would like to send him on his way before the Nov. 3 trade deadline, as The Daily News first reported.
But finding a trade partner will not be easy.
Bell has a massive $8.5 million base salary, about $5 million of which will go to whatever team he lands with. That’s way too much for an aging running back, who just came off an injury, so the Jets would likely have to eat a significant part of the salary.
But if they can get any sort of draft pick — it’s hard to imagine them getting anything more than a sixth-rounder — they should make a deal.
The Jets are going to end up cutting Bell before the start of next season anyway, when they can do it without major salary cap ramifications. Things have worked out terribly, for both Bell and the Jets, since they signed him to a four-year, $52.5 million deal in March of 2019.
Oct 6, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell (26) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Moving on from Bell will also give rookie La’Mical Perine a chance to take on a bigger role, which should help his development. And it would benefit Bell, who wants to play for a winner and clearly wants out of a situation where he doesn’t believe he’s being utilized properly.
Andy Vasquez is the Jets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Jets analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and download our app.
Email: [email protected]sey.com Twitter: @andy_vasquez