New York Jets coach Adam Gase addressed speculation Thursday morning that the franchise was looking to trade star running back Le’Veon Bell.
Rumors have surfaced in recent weeks that the Jets would explore trading Bell, who they signed to a 4-year, $52.5 million contract earlier this offseason.
But Gase adamantly denied any talks of moving on from Bell so quickly.
“That’s ridiculous,” Gase said, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “That’s the first I’ve heard of that.”
The potential rift started last week when the Jets parted ways with general manager Mike Maccagnan, who is the executive credited with signing Bell.
Gase clarified Thursday that while he might not be a fan of the cost for Bell, he likes him as a person and a player.
“Whether or not we disagreed on anything financially, that’s a completely different story than the person or the player,” Gase told reporters. “That’s where a lot of this gets misconstrued. Le’Veon Bell is a great player. He’s a good person.”
Bell responded positively to that message on Twitter:
“When you get a chance to coach a great player, a guy who has done things nobody else has done in the league, we’re excited for that opportunity,” Gase said. “I’m excited to get him in the offense so I can start figuring out what else can we do with him, and what he hasn’t done.”
Bell’s inclusion for the 2019 campaign should make it a little easier for handicappers to judge the Jets’ regular season win total of 7.5 (via Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). Getting to .500 might sound steep for a franchise that has picked No. 3 overall in back-to-back drafts, but Bell could make this the most dynamic offense the Jets have had in years.
Bell sat out the 2018 season while in a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers.