Le'Veon Bell trade rumors: Jets reportedly want to deal running back prior to NFL deadline

The New York Jets didn't surprise many people by dealing impending free agent Leonard Williams this week, but according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, they could have another, more stunning move up their sleeve ahead of Tuesday's NFL trade deadline. Looking to remake their roster as they enter Week 9 with a 1-6 record near the bottom of the AFC East, the Jets are open to trading star running back Le'Veon Bell, Mehta reported Tuesday morning, just seven months after signing the former Pittsburgh Steelers standout to a four-year, $52 million contract with $27 million guaranteed.

General manager Joe Douglas, just hired this offseason, is apparently eager to give New York's roster a makeover, and dealing Bell would shed a big salary from the Jets' books. That's why the team is "amendable" to parting ways with the perennial Pro Bowler, who sat out all of 2018 before cashing in via free agency, ahead of Tuesday's deadline, according to Mehta.

Although it's unclear what Douglas might seek in return for the 27-year-old starter, Mehta said "there are legitimate buyers" who've had "discussions" with the Jets about the running back, and reports prior to the season indicated first-year head coach Adam Gase did not want the club to pay Bell big bucks in the first place.

A three-time 1,200-yard rusher, Bell has been level-headed during his Jets debut despite a porous offensive line contributing to his career-low 3.2 yards-per-carry mark. Gase and the Jets' quarterbacks have fed Bell fairly regularly, giving the ex-Steeler 109 carries and 42 pass targets through seven games, but he's scored just twice as part of a wholly inefficient system.

Whether or not Bell actually gets moved, the Jets could be selling other weapons surrounding quarterback Sam Darnold on Tuesday. Starting wide receiver Robby Anderson has been heavily speculated as a trade chip, with Mehta reporting recently the team intends to auction off the big-play threat for future draft picks.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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