Mike Maccagnan has already lost his job over the signing of Le’Veon Bell. Now the Jets might want to send the running back on his way.
Adam Gase’s displeasure with the free agency signing of Le’Veon Bell was a big reason why the Jets parted ways with general manager Mike Maccagnan earlier this week. It’s possible the carnage of dysfunction won’t end there.
ESPN reporter John Clayton claims that if a suitor comes along, he could “absolutely” see the Jets trading Bell before the regular season begins.
Admittedly that’s an idea that’s fraught with practical difficulties, but firing a general manager weeks after letting him administer your team’s draft also seems ludicrous to many NFL observers.
The biggest obstacle looming between the Jets and making a deal for Bell is the $25 million in dead cap money New York would be forced to absorb.
Gase may not think Bell is worth the $13 million and change he’s due to earn during each of the four seasons on his current contract, but that doesn’t mean he thinks getting rid of him is worth the mountain of dead money it would create.
It would be much easier for the Jets to ride Bell hard for the next two seasons and to cut him at the conclusion of the 2020 season. That’s the time when New York could part ways with the outspoken running back and only incur a cap hit of $4 million in dead money.
Trading Bell would also require the Jets to find another team willing to shell out big money to a running back with a lot of miles on his body. That practice isn’t exactly en vogue around the NFL at the moment.
Most teams are trying to pay running backs less and less money as they see how possible it is to find a journeyman who can provide really good production at the position. There are only a few running backs who really deserve big money in the economics of the modern NFL.
The only reasonable takeaway from the news that the Jets might be looking to offload Bell is that the franchise might be more dysfunctional than anyone realized before Maccagnan’s dismissal.
Cutting bait on Bell before he even takes a snap would be a public relations nightmare for a franchise that needs to achieve some stability.
The only good news for Jets fans is that Bell’s contract structure makes it virtually impossible for the team to trade him in the near future. Otherwise, Jets fans should expect a lot of drama as the 2019 season approaches.