The New York Jets released disgruntled running back Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday night.
Bell recently took to Twitter to express his frustrations over his usage following Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.
The 28-year-old was in the second year of a four-year, $US52.5 million contract ($A73.3m).
GM Joe Douglas in a statement said they were unable to trade Bell.
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Bell’s release will leave $US15 million of dead cap in 2020 and $US4 million in 2021, according to Spotrac.
“After having conversations with Le’Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le’Veon,” Jets GM Joe Douglas said in a statement. “The Jets organisation appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to the team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”
Bell reacted to the news with a “prayers up” emoji.
The Jets made their impulse purchase in March 2019 when former general manager Mike Maccagnan gave Bell a four-year contract despite the objections of coach Adam Gase, who wanted to allocate that money toward offensive linemen.
Since the signing, the decision has looked worse and worse as Bell has been a bad fit, ineffective and at times a distraction.
The last category reared up again after Sunday’s 30-10 loss to the Cardinals when Bell took to Twitter, his favourite outlet, to take passive-aggressive shots at the team and Gase. He liked tweets about how poorly the Jets are using him in the passing game and one about how the Jets should trade him.
If only Bell’s feet moved as fast as his thumbs these days.
This is the second time in the last two months he had a Twitter tantrum. Bell whined about being removed from a scrimmage on the social media platform in August, claiming Gase lied about his hamstring tightening up. Bell then injured his hamstring in Week 1 against the Bills and missed the next three games.
got a lot to prove. i’m ready to go. pic.twitter.com/oDqBM62JfN
Gase said he had yet to speak with Bell about his social media pity party, but said he understood why players get frustrated, especially at 0-5. It is the way Bell chose to deliver the message that chafed Gase.
“I hate that that’s the route that we go with all this instead of just talking to me about it,” Gase said. “It seems that’s the way guys want to do it nowadays.”
This is no longer the player we watched with the Steelers who looked like he was on track for the Hall of Fame.
Maybe it was overuse in Pittsburgh or his year off in 2018 or just being a 28-year-old back instead of a 25-year-old one, but Bell is not what he was.
Eventually after you make a bad purchase, you realise there comes a time you just put it on the kerb and maybe someone will take it.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.
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