Le'Veon Bell Rumors: Jets RB 'Likely Gone' After 2020 NFL Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2020

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
David Dermer/Associated Press

Le'Veon Bell signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the New York Jets last offseason, but his time with the team could still be coming to an early end. 

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY reported in his mailbag the running back is "likely gone after this season."

Vacchiano also praised the Jets' fourth-round draft pick of La'Michal Perine, who can provide depth behind Bell in 2020 and potentially replace him in 2021.

Bell's initial contract had $27 million worth of guarantees, but only $4 million remains against the cap if he is released after the 2020 season, per Spotrac. The team can save up to $11.5 million for 2021 if he is cut after June 1.

He would come with $17 million of dead cap if he was released this offseason, likely removing this as a possibility for New York.

The organization is still likely disappointed with his production in 2019, finishing the year with 789 rushing yards and three touchdowns in 15 games. His 3.2 yards per carry was the lowest mark of his career and second-worst in the NFL among qualified players, ahead of only Peyton Barber.

Head coach Adam Gase also reportedly didn't agree with the price tag on Bell to begin with, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. General manager Mike Maccagnan signed the running back before being fired later that offseason and replaced by Joe Douglas.

The outlook in 2020 is better after the Jets spent the offseason rebuilding the offensive line, but the production must greatly improve for Bell to justify his cost.