Le’Veon Bell said he and Adam Gase are “good” and that he hopes to remain a Jet for at least the length of his contract.
“Me and coach Gase had our exit meeting. It was fine," the Jets running back told TMZ Sports in Miami. “We straight. Yeah, we're good."
There’s been plenty of speculation about Bell’s relationship with the Jets coach and that Gase didn’t necessarily want to sign Bell to the big contract he received.
Former Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan gave Bell a four-year, $52.5-million contract. It’s been reported that Gase would rather have spent some of that money elsewhere and put more of an emphasis on the offensive line.
Throughout the season, Gase was very complimentary of Bell, how hard he practiced and how good of a teammate he was. But in his last news conference of the season, Gase seemed indifferent about bringing back Bell.
“Everybody blows everything out of proportion," Bell said. "It’s water under the bridge. We're fine. We good.”
Bell had arguably his least productive season of his NFL career. He rushed for 789 yards and caught 66 passes for 461 yards and scored four touchdowns.
There were a number of reasons the three-time Pro Bowler didn’t have the season many expected. The Jets’ offensive line did not perform well. How Gase used Bell also was a factor. But Bell, who sat out 2018 over a contract dispute, also didn’t seem to have the same burst or explosiveness as he did with the Steelers.
It’s possible the Jets could look to move Bell, but his contract will be difficult to deal. He will make a guaranteed $13.5 million in 2020. There are no guarantees in the third and fourth years of his deal. The Jets probably would have to pay some of his contract if they traded Bell.
It might be more beneficial to keep him in 2020, see how he does in the second year under Gase and what is expected to be a revamped offensive line. If it doesn’t work out, the Jets could cut him after the season and not owe him anything.
Bell said he wants to spend the next three years with the Jets.
"Of course," Bell said. "We got to see how things go obviously in the offseason."