From time to time, a team will announce that it plans to release a player. Then, before actually releasing the player, the team will find a trade partner.
That may be what the Jets are trying to do with running back Le'Veon Bell.
His release won’t become official until Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. Before then, a team that hopes to secure dibs on Bell can try to work out a deal pursuant to which the Jets would get something/anything and the Jets would pay the difference between the amount the new team is willing to pay Bell and the balance of his 2020 compensation.
For Bell, it’s far better at this point to be cut. By rule, he can claim the balance of his 2020 salary ($6 million) from the Jets as termination pay, and he can then pocket whatever he earns from another team, double-dip style.
Before that happens, the Jets have to cut Bell. Before that happens, no last-ditch suitors will have to emerge, hopeful to get Bell now in lieu of having to compete with others on the open market once Bell otherwise becomes a free agent.