Le'Veon Bell, a three-time All-Pro running back, is now looking for a new NFL team. On Tuesday night, the New York Jets released Bell after signing him to a four-year contract last year. Bell came to the Jets from the Pittsburgh Steelers and never lived up to expectations.
"After having conversations with Le'Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have decided to release Le'Veon," Jets general manager Joe Douglas said in a statement. "The Jets organization appreciates Le'Veon's efforts during his time here, and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success."
When the Jets made the announcement, Bell went to Twitter and tweeted the praying-hands emoji. And in a follow-up tweet, Bell posted a photo of himself and wrote, "got a lot to prove. I'm ready to go." According to ESPN, Bell met with Douglas and head coach Adam Gase on Monday because he was frustrated with his lack of involvement in the offense. Douglas and Gase told Bell they would seek a trade and allowed him to speak with other teams. Ultimately, the Jets decided to cut Bell and are responsible for the remaining $6 million on his 2020 base pay. One big reason the Jets couldn't find a trade partner was the $8 million injury guarantee in 2021, and no team wanted to take that much of a risk.
This past Sunday, Bell returned to the lineup after missing the last three weeks due to a hamstring injury. He had 13 carries for 60 yards in a 30-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals and didn't speak to reporters after the game. However, Bell went to Twitter and "liked" comments from media members who suggested he be traded. Gase was upset and said he hated "the route we go with all this instead of just talking about it."
Bell had a disappointing run with the Jets, rushing for 863 yards, and three touchdowns in 17 games. He became one of the best running backs in the league during his time with the Steelers as he was named to the All-Pro First Team in 2014 and 2017. He was named to the All-Pro Second Team in 2016.