Le'Veon Bell says he won't let reports that Adam Gase didn't want him 'stop me from doing what I came here to do'
The Jets signed Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million deal earlier this spring
It's been a rough week for the Jets. On Wednesday, they fired general manager Mike Maccagnan and named first-year coach Adam Gase as 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, whom 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 on Wednesday. "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."
By Thursday, the New York Post's Brian Costello wrote that in the wake of Maccagnan's dismissal, "the focus of the Jets world shifts to another relationship: Gase and star running back Le'Veon Bell."
A source said Gase and Bell have been in constant contact since the offseason program began last month despite Bell not being in Florham Park for most of the workouts. The two communicated after the Maccagnan firing both on Wednesday and Thursday, and the conversations have been positive, according to the source.
There's more, of course. Andrew Fillipponi, of Pittsburgh's 93.7 The Fan, tweeted this on Friday afternoon:
Bell tweeted this out on Thursday but presumably the message still holds:
Any awkward moments between Bell and Gase will have to wait a few weeks because the running back was a no-show for voluntary workouts.
"It's voluntary," Gase said recently. "Everybody can get upset about it. There's no point. We know where he is. He's working out. He's always been ready."
The expectation is that Bell will be with the team for minicamp, which runs June 4-6. But questions remain about whether he'll return to the form that made him one of the league's best players a few seasons ago. He skipped the 2018 season after he and the Steelers couldn't come to terms on a long-term deal. In '17, Bell rushed for 1,291 yards and added 655 receiving yards. But in his absence last season, second-year back James Conner outperformed Bell at a fraction of the cost; Conner averaged 4.5 yards per carry (to Bell's 4.0 in '17) and 9.0 yards per reception (to Bell's 7.7). He also scored 13 touchdowns (to Bell's 11).
For now, Gase is the acting general manager though CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora thinks Eagles executive Joe Douglas "would be high on the list of possible replacements" for Maccagnan. There's also a report that the , who last played in the NFL in 2015 and doesn't have any front-office experience.
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