A year-and-a-half ago, Le’Veon Bell was the big free agent acquisition for the Jets. But it was a doomed marriage before the contract was even signed. It was doomed by the fact that he was signing to a team with Adam Gase as the coach.
Be happy for Bell. He deserved to be let free. He deserves to go to a team that will actually attempt to make use of his talent. Bell’s absence won’t hurt the Jets this year, mostly because it’s not actually possible to hurt the Jets anymore than they hurt themselves. This team is an absolute disaster all across the board.
The team was so bad, Jamal Adams couldn’t take it anymore and demanded out. They refused to even entertain the idea of bringing Robby Anderson back just to watch him turn into a number one receiver in Carolina. Kelvin Beachum couldn’t wait to leave this team. Kelechi Osemele said the Jets wanted him to play through an injury that doctors told him required surgery. They sent blank MRIs to the doctor and claimed it was, “an honest mistake.” Osemele filed a grievance against the team for how they mishandled his situation. And through all of this Gase never bothered to talk to Osemele. We can go through his time in Miami and you’ll see the exact same trend. So much so that plenty of people warned fans that this is exactly what would happen if Gase was hired. It all happened exactly as expected and similarly the Jets are the laughing stock of the league. Again, as expected.
Bell’s release came after yet another embarrassing loss in which Gase failed to utilize Bell. Bell had 13 carries for 60 yards against the Cardinals, that’s actually an efficient 4.6 yards per carry. Yet Frank Gore still got nine carries for 30 yards and Trevon Wesco got the nod on a failed thrid-and-one, which was followed by a failed fourth-and-one run by Gore. They completely wasted a Cardinals turnover in their own red zone. But the carries isn’t even the issue, it’s the refusal to use Bell as a receiver. For a year-and-a-half, Gase talked about the need to use Bell as a receiver yet he never actually deployed Bell in such a way despite the Jets receiver core being Crowder and players picked from the scrap heap.
Bell then had the audacity, the gall, to like a couple of tweets. That’s it, he liked some tweets which were critical of Gase and beat reporters acted like this made Bell some type of malcontent. How dare he… like some tweets? Oh, I’m sorry. He also declined a Zoom interview with reporters after the game. The nerve to be a human person with human frustrations? And with that decision to decline one little interview, the water carriers started doing what they do. They called for Bell’s head while still defending the guy who continues to fail while running all the talented players out of the building.
Make no mistake, Joe Douglas actually did Bell a favor. It’s in the best interest of both sides to part at this point. But only because they are sticking with the stubborn head coach. As long as Gase refuses to change, Bell serves no purpose here. His running style doesn’t mesh with Gase’s system or this terrible run blocking offensive line, but his receiving style can fit anywhere. Well, anywhere that will actually try to use it. The Jets will eat the rest of this year’s salary and take a small hit in dead money next year. If they kept him they’d risk him getting injured and being stuck with an $8 million cap hit for him next year. This was by far the best thing the Jets could’ve done for Bell.
The problem isn’t in cutting Bell. The problem is in keeping Gase. What good would firing Gase do now, the water carries ask? Well it would stop driving talented players away and being laughed at by the entire league. Once again the Jets dominated the timeline as the butt of a joke. The Titans and Bills were playing a real, live football game and people were more interested in clowning the Jets. What more does he have to do? Not just to get fired, but to not have defenders? How can people possibly make Gase into a victim because Bell liked a few tweets?
It’s absurd on it’s face, but at least we can be happy for Bell as he has been freed from this clown show.