Would Jets trade Le’Veon Bell?

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With reports that Jets coach and interim G.M. Adam Gase didn’t want Le'Veon Bell (overstated) and/or that Gase thinks the Jets paid too much for Bell (correctly stated), chatter has emerged that the Jets could trade Bell.

If Gase is inclined to do it, now’s the time given his current power and control over the team. And John Clayton, formerly of ESPN and now a radio host in Seattle, recently said just enough on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh to get people thinking that a trade could happen: “If there’s a suitor, I could absolutely see the Jets trading him before the start of the season.”

It’s more likely that the Jets will have a suitor than that the Jets would trade him, however, because Bell already has earned $12 million via signing and roster bonuses. A new team could get him for five years, $40.5 million. That’s the ballpark that likely would have gotten the 49ers to bite in March, but now that the 49ers have signed Tevin Coleman (and already have Jerick McKinnon entering the season year of his own big-money, free-agency deal) they’d likely be interested only if they have (another) rash of ACL tears.

It’s unclear whether anyone else would want to acquire Bell’s deal and also give the Jets something for him. An injury to a starter in the last year or two of his contract could be the only thing that triggers serious interest.

Still, the Jets would have to be willing to eat $12 million in exchange for Bell playing a grand total of zero games (which is even nuttier than giving a coach full control of a team after having coached a grand total of zero games). That would serve only to add perception of dysfunction atop perception of dysfunction and reinforce the “what the hell are they doing?” vibe that has gripped much of their fan base and the media.

Another possibility, as floated by Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, would be a one-and-done arrangement for Bell, with a trade coming in 2020. A new team would be getting a four-year, $38.5 million contract, with $13 million fully guaranteed for 2020. But here’s the thing: If Bell has the kind of back-to-the-future year that would inspire someone to take on a $13 million obligation for 2020 at a position where plenty of young, relatively dirt-cheap options are annually available via the draft and/or undrafted free agency, that would be the kind of year that would validate the trade and make the Jets far more inclined to keep him.

At this point, the best play for the Jets would be to embrace the presence of Bell (when he’s actually, you know, present) and work toward proving that Bell was worth it. And Gase would never be happier to be proven wrong.

26 responses to “Would Jets trade Le’Veon Bell?

  1. Only in the AFCE can a coach bomb out with one division team and then got hired by another team that actually watched him bomb out. And this has now happened twice with Ryan and Gase!

    But bonus points to the Jets for not only copying the Bills failed model, but also doubling down by giving Gase full control of the roster too.

  2. The Jets are stuck with him now. Who wants a head case for 8 million a year. I forgot the NFL still has the Raiders and Browns.

  3. Bell will bring drama where ever he goes.
    Best to stay away an let him fade into oblivion.

  4. Dear Jets, please keep Leveon and his silly big contract. It’ll be like when you got Revis back, only better. And with more social media too – a total win-win!
    Signed, sincerely, the rest of the AFC.

  5. Interesting possibility, but I don’t see it happening this year. The only area where the Jets have been competitive the last few years in as the NFL circus clown. Since that moniker now belongs to the Cardinals the Jests won’t do anything to earn it back, even though it appears they are trying.

  6. I don’t understand why this hasn’t become a strategy of rebuilding teams. The jets could trade him now to a super bowl ready team, like the colts, in exchange for a late first round pick. Essentially paying the colts 12 million and allowing them to get the rb they need at a better than market price.

  7. If by some chance the Jets landed Peyton Manning to run the team, I would expect a ton of changes, including getting rid of Sam Darnold, if Peyton isn’t sold on him. My guess would be, if Peyton takes the job, he will have in his contract assurances that he can’t be fired for a certain length of time and he can do whatever he wants with player personnel. He’s not going to take a job where they can ruin his reputation by not giving him control or getting rid of him right away.

  8. Its hard to be sympathetic for Bell as his only aim was to collect as much cash as he could. The Steelers offer although lacking more guaranteed money still would of paid more in the long term than the Jets and they are always competitive. I also doubt they would of just dumped him after a year either so basically he engaged one of the worst free agent gambles of all time. Enjoy your time with the Jets Le’Veon

  9. “At this point, the best play for the Jets would be to embrace the presence of Bell (when he’s actually, you know, present) and work toward proving that Bell was worth it. And Gase would never be happier to be proven wrong.”

    I’m actually afraid that he might rather be proven right than let Bell have a big season and be stuck with him for another few years at the cost they’re paying. I hate to say it, but based on what I’ve read about Miami with Landry and Ajayi, I could see this guy using and misusing Bell in ways to purposely get him disgruntled and grumbling just so Gase can do whatever he wants with him, proving to our myopic owner he’s the prescient genius he claimed to be. New GM will nod and agree. Gase bought himself 2-3 seasons. Crying to ownership that he can’t win with these guys at these prices will get him 3-4 and the ability to bring in his own guys. It’s a fine mess we’re in.If this was what ownership wanted, it should have been done in January.

  10. Bring in a coach who flopped in Miami. Sign a running back to huge money after he sits out a whole year and proved to the world the he’s a guy who could care less about teammates. Run your draft and then fire the GM AFTER the draft is over. Put said coach in charge of the whole operation. Zero Super Bowl appearances in 50 years. I don’t know how these Jets fans do it. I really don’t.

  11. Ball played the Jets and beat them but then again who hasn’t played the Jets and beat them?

  12. That would be pretty Jets, Atlanta will take him for a late round pick, Freemans always injured and Coleman’s gone.

    Beyond Kyle Shannahans atrocious clock management and play selection during the 2nd half of the Super Bowl, what doomed Atl was Coleman getting hurt and Freeman whiffing on a Hightower blitz

  13. I don’t see how to trade him. There has been so much money already paid, and he hasn’t played a snap yet.

    A one and done makes sense. Then, at least you get a chance to have an elite RB working with your young franchise QB. Moving him now, and creating no clear path for replacement is not ideal for a young QB going into second year. Stability, and talent around them is key for development.

  14. Cleon Ross says:
    May 19, 2019 at 10:22 am
    The Jets are stuck with him now. Who wants a head case for 8 million a year. I forgot the NFL still has the Raiders and Browns.
    The Raiders and Browns are set at running back. They didn’t overspend like the Jets.

  15. Carloslassiter says “Bill’s failed model”. How could you know? It hasn’t been fully implemented yet,but is getting rave reviews by those who actually know football.
    Some guy’s just don’t know football

  16. Gase knows that Bell isn’t going to throw himself at his feet and worship him. And that’s because even Gase himself knows he’s a clueless HC totally in over his head.

  17. I don’t think anyone would want to trade for Bell. He is not a team player. He is me me me. How do I make the most money possible. Screw the team. My old team did not treat me like a human being because they don’t want me to play video games. There is a good reason why Gase did not want him. If the Jets cannot trade him, then they will play him, and when it is time to cut him, they will.

    I would be shocked if the 49ers trade for him. He has been away from the game for one whole year. There is no assurance that he will perform as well as he did 3 years ago. Two years ago, he had a down year, compared to what he did 3 years ago. He may well be on a downhill slide from this point forward.

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