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Adam Gase Responds to Le'Veon Bell Liking Tweets Critical of Jets' Offense

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2020

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase reacts during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

It's pretty clear that Le'Veon Bell is just about done with the New York Jets and head coach Adam Gase. 

The running back liked a number of tweets in recent days that were critical of how the team has utilized him and suggesting he should be traded:

Joe Caporoso @JCaporoso

Le'Veon Bell had 1 target in the passing game today, the same amount as Trevon Wesco Jeff Smith had 11.

Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes

Le’Veon Bell, whom the #Jets stressed the need to involve in the passing game this season, had 1 catch on 1 target for 7 yards.

𝙅𝙀𝙏𝙎 𝙈𝙀𝘿𝙄𝘼🛫 @NYJets_Media

The usage of @LeVeonBell is inexcusable Only 1 target in the passing game?? He is the most talented player on offense and they don’t get the ball in his hands enough Super frustrating that we are wasting the talent of a player like Le’Veon Bell

Lu @NYJPapi

As much as I hate the idea, the #Jets should trade @LeVeonBell. He's one of the most talented RBs in the NFL, but is not being used right. Gase has had an issue with him since day 1. And as bad as this team has been, Bell's been nothing but a class act and deserves better.

On Monday, Gase responded to the situation. 

"I hate that's route we go with all this instead of just talking to me about it," he told reporters, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "But it seems that's way guys want to do it nowadays."

Mehta opined that Gase's stance was an "interesting take from guy who routinely trashes his players behind the scenes."

Bell, 28, missed three games this season with a hamstring injury, though in the two games he's been active this season he hasn't been heavily utilized. Bell has registered 19 carries for 74 yards and three catches for 39 yards. 

Gase has talked in the past about getting him involved more in the passing game, per Rich Cimini of ESPN, though he was targeted just once on Sunday:

"Some of the things they were doing on defense weren't ideal for some of the stuff that we had up for him, so I felt like we might have been releasing him [from pass protection]. They were getting the safety working down on him instead of the linebackers. We liked his matchup against the linebackers, but they were using the safeties a little bit with him. I saw that and probably got away from him a little bit. That's just kind of the flow of the game, how it felt."

Even if the Jets do decide to move on from Bell, trading him won't be easy given his $8.5 million base salary. As Cimini noted, Bell will still be owed $5 million by the trade deadline. That means the Jets likely will have to eat some of that salary themselves and perhaps sweeten the pot on any deal with a later-round draft pick. 

Granted, there's also the possibility that Gase will be fired at some point, given the team's dreadful 0-5 start, and an interim head coach might incorporate Bell into the offense more heavily. The team does have Frank Gore and La'Mical Perine at running back as well, so there are only so many touches to go around. 

Bell clearly wants more, however. Add it to the list of issues the Jets need to resolve this season. 

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