Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. EST, NFL teams will no longer be able to pull off any trades until the end of the year. This means that many general managers around the league are trying to get some last-minute help prior to the deadline. One surprising name that has been added to the list of available players is running back Le'Veon Bell, who is in his first year with the New York Jets.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Gang Green is open to the possibility of sending Bell to another team if an opportunity arises. The former Pittsburgh Steelers star is currently in the midst of his first season with the Jets after holding out for the entire 2018 season.
Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $27 million guaranteed last March to become the top option in the backfield behind quarterback Sam Darnold. However, Bell has been part of a struggling offense and is averaging a career-low 3.2 yards-per-attempt. He has also only scored two touchdowns and has yet to top 70 yards rushing in a single game. Despite the struggles, Bell has been what is described as a model teammate.
Considering that Bell only came to New York in March, why would the team be looking to unload him after only seven games? There are two factors that play a role in this possible decision. First off, head coach Adam Gase made news back in the spring when he said that he didn't want to sign Bell to that massive deal because he doesn't like investing that much money in either the center or running back.
Second is the hiring of general manager Joe Douglas. The former Philadelphia Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel was hired in June and has no ties to Bell. Sending the running back to another team would give him potential draft picks, as well as considerable salary-cap space with which to rebuild the roster of this 1-6 team.
One other aspect that could play a role in the potential trade is the overall lack of use. In last week's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bell had nine carries and 12 total touches. Additionally, the running back only has more than 20 rushing attempts in one game this season, which is a number he frequently topped with the Steelers.
If the Jets aren't going to use Bell as the focal point of this offense, it's possible that they don't want to pay his sizable salary. There are some teams in the league in need of another option at running back due to injuries, such as Detroit, so there could be a market prior to Tuesday's 4:00 p.m. deadline. Although the team in question would have to be willing to part ways with a high draft pack while absorbing Bell's contract.
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