Adam Gase responds to questions about whether he will trade Le'Veon Bell before the season
Bell isn't taking part in voluntary workouts with the rest of his Jets teammates
Jets first-year coach and interim general manager Adam Gase met with reporters on Thursday and he made it clear that he never considered trading running back Le'Veon Bell, who signed a big-money deal in the offseason and hasn't even played in a regular-season game for his new team.
"That's ridiculous," Gase said, via Newsday. "That's the first time I've heard that."
NFL reporter John Clayton floated the idea last week during an appearance on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.
Last Wednesday, the Jets fired general manager Mike Maccagnan and named Gase the acting GM. A short time later, a report surfaced that Maccagnan and Gase were at odds over signing Le'Veon Bell, whom Maccagnan signed in March to a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $27 million guaranteed.
Bell, who sat out the 2018 season after he and the Steelers couldn't come to terms on a long-term deal, took to Twitter to respond to the notion that Gase didn't want him in New York, at least at that price.
"There's been a BUNCH of false reports and speculation about me in the past about things I've said and done, so I'm used to this," Bell tweeted last week. "I don't jump to conclusions when I hear or see a story that may affect me. Even if reports are true, that won't stop me from doing what I came here to do ... everyone has a job to do, and I'm gonna do mine whether people 'like' me or not. I'm here to win football games."
So, just so we're clear, would the Jets trade Bell?
"No," Gase said Thursday, adding, "We signed [Bell]. I'm excited we have him. I've been in constant communication with him. Discussions happen. To me, when you're going through free agency -- we signed a lot of guys -- you're trying to put together a big puzzle. You're trying to figure out money, fit, locker room, all those things. There's a lot of things go into all that stuff.
"Discussions are had and whether or not we disagreed on anything if it was financially, that's a completely different story than the person or the player. That's where a lot of this gets misconstrued. Le'Veon Bell is a great player. He's a good person. He's been in constant contact with me. I've enjoyed my interaction with him."
Those interactions have been limited because Bell hasn't taken part in voluntary workouts, instead choosing to work out on his own. But Gase isn't worried,, "It's voluntary. Everybody can get upset about it. There's no point. We know where he is. He's working out. He's always been ready."
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