Adam Gase: Le'Veon Bell Trade Rumors After Jets Fired Mike Maccagnan 'False'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Adam Gase head coach of the New York Jets is seen at the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said Thursday the team has no plans to trade running back Le'Veon Bell after the firing of general manager Mike Maccagnan.

"That's ridiculous. That's the first time I've heard of that," Gase told reporters, adding a direct "No" when asked whether Bell would be traded.

Bell stood with his coach on Twitter on Thursday:

Jets chairman Christopher Johnson made the surprising announcement of Maccagnan's departure May 15 after letting him handle the key aspects of the NFL offseason, highlighted by the draft and signing Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million contract in free agency.

"Mike helped to execute the strategic vision of the organization during the last four seasons and especially the past few months," Johnson said. "However, I came to the decision to make a change after much thought and a careful assessment of what would be in the best long-term interests of the New York Jets."

Gase was named the interim GM while the organization searched for a full-time replacement.

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In the aftermath, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Gase "absolutely did not want to sign" Bell, which became a point of contention with Maccagnan.

The former Miami Dolphins head coach appeared to downplay the speculation Thursday, saying he didn't think the Jets overpaid for the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

"The contract was what it was. Everybody can criticize the contract all you want, but he's here. I'm excited he's here," Gase told reporters. "... When you get a chance to coach a great player, I'm excited for that opportunity."

Bell sat out the 2018 season as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers after refusing to sign the one-year contract tender associated with the franchise tag.

He'll be expected to take a lot of pressure off the shoulders of second-year quarterback Sam Darnold as the Jets seek their first playoff appearance since the 2010 campaign.

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