When the New York Jets joined the conversation on potential destinations for former Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Le’Veon Bell, they were treated as serious contenders for one reason—they had the cap space. However, while it didn’t come up much in conversations, Bell had made comments last year that made it sound like he had no interest in going to the Jets.
But he is, and for less than expected.
His response to the tweet has since been deleted, but last February, someone asked him on Twitter if $60 million would bring him to New York. Bell responded with “that ain’t enough to come run with the Jets.”
@L_Bell26 I speak on behalf of the New York Jets, well give you $60 million in cash if you come play for us
— Erich Sternkopf (@ErichSternkopf) February 1, 2018
It now appears that $60 million was too much. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Bell is going to sign with the Jets for $52.5million over four years with $35 million guaranteed. Bell confirmed the news that he was joining the Jets with an Instagram post late Tuesday night.
Several teams had been rumored to have interest in acquiring Bell including the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, and Indianapolis Colts. Bell went as far as to respond to comments on Twitter with different emojis to make it appear as if he could be interested in those teams.
The Ravens were thought to be a serious contender, but according to Schefter, they never made an offer.
The move, of course, makes the Jets a better team immediately. Even if Bell is out of shape (which some rumors have claimed), he will upgrade the Jets run game. Last year, they ranked 29th in rushing offense and had just two 100+ yard efforts by a running back.
I’m back in the green baby, let’s get it
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) March 13, 2019
Bell should also be a tremendous help in Sam Darnold’s maturation. With teams fearing Bell and the run game now, defenses will not be able to focus nearly as much on pressuring Darnold. Bell also gives Darnold a great receiving threat out of the backfield.
The Jets have also given Darnold two more receivers to work with, Josh Bellamy (formerly with the Bears) and Jamison Crowder (formerly with the Redskins). They also added linebacker C.J.Mosley (Ravens) to the defense.