FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Adam Gase denied that he was against the Le’Veon Bell signing and said he can’t wait to really coach him.
Gase also dismissed speculation that the Jets would try to trade Bell before the season starts.
“That’s ridiculous,” Gase said Thursday morning. “That’s the first time I’ve heard that.”
Gase also flatly said “no” when asked if trading Bell would happen.
There were reports that Gase and former general manager Mike Maccagnan, who was fired last week, did not see eye-to-eye on the Bell signing. One suggested Gase didn’t want Bell, while others said Gase felt the Jets paid too much for Bell (four years, $52.5 million).
Gase did not necessarily deny the money part of it. But Gase said he and his staff are excited about coaching Bell and he has a good relationship with the former Steelers running back.
“We signed him. I’m excited we have him,” Gase said. “I’ve been in constant communication with him. Discussions happen. To me, when you’re going through free agency – we signed a lot of guys – you’re trying to put together a big puzzle. You’re trying to figure out money, fit, locker room, all those things. There’s a lot of things go into all that stuff.
“Discussions are had and whether or not we disagreed on anything if it was financially, that’s a completely different story than the person or the player. That’s where a lot of this gets misconstrued. Le’Veon Bell is a great player. He’s a good person. He’s been in constant contact with me. I’ve enjoyed my interaction with him.”
Bell, who has not attended the voluntary workouts and wasn't present on Thursday, has been training on his own. Gase has said he has no issue with that, and that Bell keeps him informed on what he’s doing. Gase has no concerns that Bell will be ready when training camp begins.
“All that stuff you get on Instagram, I get it first,” Gase said. “That’s how I know what he’s doing. He’s been great with me as far as contact goes, making sure I know what he’s doing, where he’s working at, where he is, whatever part of the United States he’s working out in.”
In seeing some of Gase's comments on Twitter, Bell responded.
"Yup. Let's get it Coach," Bell tweeted.
Later, Gase said he didn’t think the Jets overpaid for Bell.
“No. The contract was what it was,” Gase said. “Everybody can criticize contracts all they want. He’s here. I’m excited that he’s here. I think our players are excited that he’s here. Our coaches are. When you get a chance to coach a great player, a guy that’s done things that nobody’s ever done in the league, we’re excited for that opportunity.
“I’m excited to get him in the offense so I can start figuring out what else can we do with him, what hasn’t he done, what can he be great at in this system."