Le’Veon Bell’s time in New York didn’t even last two full season.
Bell is now a former member of the Jets organization:
Jets released Le’Veon Bell.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 14, 2020
For what it’s worth, PFT is saying the Jets are announcing that they intend to release Bell in order to get some last-minute interest, but we’re thinking the release is imminent.
And the Jets are really biting the bullet on this one:
Le’Veon Bell’s release leaves behind $15M of dead cap in 2020, & another $4M in 2021 to the #Jets.
— Spotrac (@spotrac) October 14, 2020
News of Bell’s release comes hours after the team was reportedly shopping him in trade talks. Clearly, the talks were going nowhere. So rather than wait for a suitor to pop up, the Jets decided to make a statement and cut their losses.
Bell, 28, signed a sizable multi-year deal with New York in 2019, but things never clicked with his new team. In 17 games since joining the Jets, Bell has averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and 4.1 yards per touch. Those aren’t the numbers the two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler is used to putting up when in the backfield. And they certainly don’t look anything like what you’d expect from a player who signs a big-ticket free agent contract.
Now that he’s a free agent and doesn’t come with an anchor of a contract attached, Bell is a more interesting flier for a team that could use help in the backfield. To that end … sup, Bears?
Bears maybe? Making calls now. https://t.co/efp67GZpER
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 14, 2020
Considering that Chicago lost Tarik Cohen to a season-ending knee injury a few weeks ago, I suppose the team could use someone as accomplished as Bell out of the backfield to pair with David Montgomery.
And for what it’s worth, the Bears reportedly had “significant interest” in signing Bell back in 2019. With one league insider insisting he would’ve liked to see the Bears bring Bell on board when he was a free agent. Chicago has since re-worked its backfield to feature Montgomery and include Cordarrelle Patterson, but the depth is lacking, even after the addition of Lamar Miller to the practice squad. But because there are some loose connections, we’ll keep tabs on this developing story.
UPDATE: Just to confirm, the Jets have announced that they will release Bell, so they’re probably hoping they have a last-minute shot at making a trade (which almost certainly won’t happen):
Statement from GM Joe Douglas pic.twitter.com/By9XevVXVv
— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 14, 2020