Report: Jets felt Le’Veon Bell gained weight, lost explosiveness last year

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Before running back Le'Veon Bell signed with the Jets as a free agent last offseason, there was some discussion about whether he’d be in shape after sitting out the entire 2018 season.

Those concerns didn’t stop the Jets from signing him to a four-year deal, but they apparently haven’t gone away as he moves into his second season with the team. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports that the team feels Bell lost explosiveness as he put on weight over the course of the 2019 season.

Bell’s results on the field back up that analysis. He averaged a career-low 3.2 yards per carry, some of which can be pinned on playing behind a subpar offensive line but Bell didn’t look like the back who starred for the Steelers earlier in his career.

That’s why there’s been chatter about the Jets being open to a trade, but Cimini notes that the team doesn’t think it is a likely outcome. Bell, who turns 28 on Tuesday, is owed $13.5 million in guaranteed salary in 2020 and they probably couldn’t expect much in return even if they did decide to go that route.

26 responses to “Report: Jets felt Le’Veon Bell gained weight, lost explosiveness last year

  1. That may well be true. but having watched teh Jets games I can assure you teh Oline did him no favors.
    I saw Bell hit behind teh LOS countless times. I saw plays where he turned a -4 yard play into a +2 yard play.

    Was he worth the money? No.

    But he did better than his stats show, and the Jets weren’t equipped to utilize his skills.

    Imagine having a 28 year old Aaron Rodgers with no receivers. His stats would be bad. Blam eit on the prior GM, Mike Maccagnan for the terrible Oline, an don the new HC, Adam gase, for how he was utilized. I’ll bet you Derreck Henry would have had similar stats with teh Jets.

  2. What happened to him happens to many guys, like Zeke. They finally get that huge contract and suddenly have millions and millions of dollars. At that point, their main focus in life is not their job but all the toys they want to buy and all the partying they want to do. They don’t care about spending extra time in the gym, they care about what model of Lamborghini they want to order to impress the girls, and spend hours on the internet looking at mansions for sale.

  3. I love it when the Jets continue their annual blundering:

    Sign highest priced free agent
    NY Media picks them to go to the Super Bowl
    National Media picks them to be the most improved team
    ESPN gives them an A in the draft
    Training Camp turmoil with Coaching/Players
    Draft picks turn out to be busts
    Season fails
    Offseason turmoil
    Repeat

    Ugh

  4. All Steelers fans stated this throughout his holdout (he got puffy). But they were just a salty, whiny bunch, right???? LMAO, I love it!

  5. His stats had already declined precipitously from 2016 to 2017. Sitting out 2018 just finished guy off.

  6. Probably should have looked into this a bit more before they paid a 28 year old running back who hadn’t played football in a year 25 Million guaranteed.

    And just so Gase knows, using the media to black ball a guy you signed doesnt get you out of the contract, it also doesnt help his trade stock.

  7. He didn’t play for a whole season, what did you think would happen! But this sounds like a Gase story leaking to the media. He wants you to believe that it can’t be the head coach who runs the offense. The one who has done absolutely nothing getting a offense to move the chains in Miami and now New York.

  8. “I love it when the Jets continue their annual blundering:”

    You forgot “signed a new head coach that was beyond awful in his previous head coaching gig”

  9. muzzy27 says:
    February 18, 2020 at 8:36 am

    All Steelers fans stated this throughout his holdout (he got puffy). But they were just a salty, whiny bunch, right???? LMAO, I love it!

    ————————-

    Those things can both be true at the same time. Which they are.

  10. He played better than I expected so credit to him there. I expected maybe 300 yards and a season-ending injury but he hung in there and was FAR from the biggest disappointment on the Jets offense. His signing was a very Jets move in that it made little sense and certainly not at that price. Only way to justify that deal would have been if they saw themselves as being just that one piece away from contending, which was utter delusion if that is what they thought.

  11. I can’t say I’m surprised. What did they expect they were going to get? The Steelers didn’t miss him when he sat that year out. That should have been enough to show that Bell wasn’t worth the money he wanted. Now he’s like a boat anchor around the Jets’ neck and they can’t get rid of him. Bell better be saving all that money because he won’t see another big contract.

  12. This does sound like a Gase-leak type of story. This doesn’t help you trade him, only put the blame on other places besides the coach. Everyone would play better with a different coach than Gase.

  13. Once again a team signs one player for way too much $ then regrets it. This will effect their ability to bring in important pieces.

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