Two days after Bell indicated on Twitter that he wanted to leave the team, the Jets adjusted the running backs. The Jets announced Tuesday night that they released Bell after attempting to trade him.
The release ends a 19-month rocky marriage between the two parties.
Jets GM Joe Douglas said in a statement, “After negotiating with Levon and his agent and exploring possible trading options over the past few days, we have decided to release Levon.” “The Jets organization praised Le’Von’s efforts during his time and we know that he worked hard to make a significant contribution to the team. We believe that this decision is in the best interests of both sides and his I wish the future success. ”
Bell, 28, has been a disappointment since signing a four-year, $ 52.5 million contract with the Jets in March 2019. He rushed for 863 yards and three touchdowns in an average of 17 games for only 3.3 yards per game. He also took 69 catches for 500 yards and one touchdown.
Bell tweeted an emoji of hands together in prayer, which means thank you.
“Got to prove a lot,” Bell later tweeted. “I’m ready to go.”
The final straw came when Bell took to Twitter following Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, and coach Adam Gesse liked several tweets criticizing him for using them. He liked a tweet stating that the Jets should trade him.
That was just the latest dustup between Bell and Gesse. The partnership looked bad from the start. Former GM Mike McKagan signed Bell to Gesse’s objections, preferring to invest money in other positions. Those objections became public after Macagnan was ousted in May 2019, and the disagreement over Bell was cited as one of the reasons for the rift between Gesse and McCagon. Both Gesse and Bell repeatedly stated that there were no problems between them, but repeated brushfires.
Bell was unhappy after Sunday’s game when he had 13 carries for 60 yards but only one catch. It was his first game after missing three with a hamstring injury. He refused to talk to reporters after the game on a zoom call and then gave it to his Twitter tantrum. Gesse said he understands Bell’s frustration, but wants him to come to him instead of turning to social media to express it.
It came after a similar training camp after Bell between the two was pulled by a scramge by trainers and Gassay told reporters that it was because his hamstrings were tight. Bell said on Twitter that his hamstring was fine. The two had a meeting after talking through things, but this was just one more sign of a lack of trust between the two.
Bell was paid around $ 6 million for the remainder of this season, as well as some bonus money, which made him difficult to trade. The Jets did not pay him any guaranteed money beyond this year, so it was expected that he would be cut after the season. Instead, Jet hurried off. He supersedes the $ 15 million salary-cap charge this year and another $ 4 million in 2021.
With Bell gone, the Jets can now give more carry to rookie La’Meil Perrin, who played no offensive snacks on Sunday. It will be Perrin and veteran Frank Gore, who will now bear the weight for the Wineless Jets.
The move is the latest moment in a Tughlaqi season for the Jets. It began in the spring with a contract drama between the team and star safety Jamal Adams. The training camp consisted of two first-round picks in Seattle in exchange for a package before ending with the Jets trading Adams.
A week later, linebacker CJ Mosley, the highest-paid player on the team, dropped out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Jets have lost their first five games and are on the Gesse hot seat. Quarterback Sam Darnold did not play particularly well and then injured his shoulder two weeks ago against the Broncos and missed Sunday’s game.
Now, Bell, the team’s most accomplished player, is gone.