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Le'Veon Bell

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, left, hands off to running back Le'Veon Bell while running a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, left, hands off to running back Le'Veon Bell while running a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Le'Veon Bell gave his Instagram followers a public service announcement on Sunday. 

Bell has caught tons of flak for not just taking a year off from the NFL, but after joining the Jets, not being around the Florham Park facility more during offseason workouts. Of course, those workouts are voluntary with the exception of the mandatory minicamp, which was the only practices Bell attended

Still, Bell continues to have people on social media who wonder why he has is posting videos of him rapping or playing basketball. Though he may have been sarcastic while dropping some profanities, Bell has an explanation. 

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New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell speaks to reporters at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell speaks to reporters at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets made a splash in the offseason and will now build their running game around Le'Veon Bell, but he's not the only talented running back on the roster ...


Projected Starters: Le'Veon Bell
Projected Backups: Ty Montgomery, Bilal Powell
On the Bubble: Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon, De'Angelo Henderson, Valentine Holmes
Departures: Isaiah Crowell

The Rundown

There's no question who the starter will be in 2019 because Bell is the league's highest paid running back and the kind of game-breaking talent that could transform the offense's fortunes. However, there is plenty of intrigue around who will make the final roster and earn some touches inbackup roles.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Le'Veon Bell, Ty Montgomery
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, left, hands off to running back Le'Veon Bell while running a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, left, hands off to running back Le'Veon Bell while running a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell was a workhorse for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that won't be the case for the Jets. Not right away, at least, says head coach Adam Gase

Bell, 27, signed a big four-year, $52.2 million deal with the Jets with $35 million guaranteed this offseason. Money like that, the second-most to any running back in the NFL per Spotrac, indicates the Jets should have big plans for Bell, but he's not going to be tossed right into the fire. 

According to Gase, the Jets will ease Bell into his touches after the rusher didn't play in 2018 because of his contract dispute with the Steelers. 

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In the last six months, the Jets have finished off their third straight season of double-digit losses, their eighth straight season of missing the playoffs, and they've fired their head coach and general manager. No wonder so many believe that things couldn't possibly get any worse.

Of course, that's not the defeatist attitude around One Jets Drive these days. Inside their building, they believe things are about to get much, much better. They have added many talented reinforcements, a high-energy coach, and a GM who seems ready to pull them in the right direction.

Will it all work out for this star-crossed franchise? It's not too early to guess. So here are five bold predictions for what to expect from the Jets this year:

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Each year, football fans anxiously await the new Madden NFL game to hit the shelves. But their player ratings generate even more buzz. 

Well, EA Sports has released their initial rankings for each team, and Jets fans may not like where their team has ended up. 

At the moment, the Jets are a 78 overall with an 73 offense and 80 defense, which is good for the sixth-worst team in the game. The Dolphins, an AFC East rival, are the game's worst team at 72 overall, while the Bills are third-worst at 78 overall. The Super Bowl defending-champion Patriots are an overall 87. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
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Dec 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) congratulate each other after New England's win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Dec 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) congratulate each other after New England's win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With training camp just a couple of weeks away, it's a good time to take stock of the rest of the AFC East. Let's review some of the big storylines for each of the Jets' rivals, and assess where they should stand in the Power Rankings...

1. New England Patriots - 2018 record: 11-5

Ordinarily, you'd expect any team to struggle to overcome the loss of key contributors like Trey Flowers, Rob Gronkowski and Trent Brown, among others. However, the Patriots have traditionally had no problems integrating replacements for their departing stars.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Both of New York's football teams have potential MVP candidates in their backfield, according to Bovada. Only one of the two have a player under center that was given odds, though.

Odds Shark released Bovada's latest odds for the NFL's 2019 MVP Award and both Jets running back Le'Veon Bell and Giants running back Saquon Barkley were listed by the odds makers. Both landed with +5000 odds to take home the top-individual silverware next season.

The only rusher with higher odds to land the honor was Alvin Kamara from the New Orleans Saints.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's a new general manager (Joe Douglas), a new head coach (Adam Gase), a new star (Le'Veon Bell), and a new attitude (Gregg Williams and many others). All of that has the Jets thinking this is going to be a great season.

But the "old" quarterback -- 22-year-old Sam Darnold -- is still the biggest reason for hope of all.

The Jets may not be ready to say it publicly, but internally they are thinking playoffs. In fact, they're expecting their first playoff berth since 2010. They may not be ready to win the AFC East, but they feel there's no reason why they can't emerge as an AFC contender.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

For the second straight offseason, the Jets went on a huge spending spree, and this time it looks like they spent their money more wisely. They brought in stars and players who can truly make a difference.

At least that's what they believe.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets franchise has been blessed with consistency at the center position throughout most of its history. From the Super Bowl-winning John Schmitt to two-time Pro Bowler Joe Fields, the reliable Jim Sweeney, Hall of Fame nominee Kevin Mawae and all-pro Nick Mangold, the Jets have rarely had an extended period without a solid long-term solution at the position.

However, since Mangold's retirement, the Jets have been unable to adequately fill the position. While there seems to be plenty of optimism that Jonotthan Harrison could fill that role, fans and media remain skeptical.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Jets spent big money this summer, making splashes with the additions of Le'Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Jamison Crowder and Quinnen Williams, there has been a renewed buzz around Florham Park.

Meanwhile, their stadium-mates, the Giants, continued their roster revamp in controversial fashion - they said goodbye to stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins, drafted a quarterback sixth overall and turned the keys over to an extremely young defense.

While the Giants are still rebuilding, the Jets are going all-in with a young quarterback, a budding defense and a new coach.

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Jets spent big money this summer, making splashes with the additions of Le'Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Jamison Crowder and Quinnen Williams, there has been a renewed buzz around Florham Park.

Meanwhile, their stadium-mates, the Giants, continued their roster revamp in controversial fashion - they said goodbye to stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins, drafted a quarterback sixth overall and turned the keys over to an extremely young defense.

While the Giants are still rebuilding, the Jets are going all-in with a young quarterback, a budding defense and a new coach.

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
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New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman scores a touchdown against New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman scores a touchdown against New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have not beaten the New England Patriots since Week 16 of the 2015 season, but this year could be different.

Just ask Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. 

The Super Bowl LIII MVP has noticed what the Jets have done this offseason and expects Gang Green to be a challenge for the defending Super Bowl champions this upcoming season. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, New England Patriots, Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath Before the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath Before the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Joe Namath says there is no doubt about it, Tom Brady is the best quarterback to play the game. 

The Jets legend and Hall of Fame quarterback was asked about the greatest of all time at the position while on The Howard Stern Show on Monday, and while Namath has idolized many quarterbacks, none compare to the six-time Super Bowl champion who has tortured the Jets the last two decades. 

"Tom is the best," Namath said. "I've been asked that question for many years -- Johnny [Unitas] was my hero, Otto Graham was great, Slingin' Sammy Baugh, I go back, these guys are great. But meantime, Tom has been challened more in recent history, certainly with huge games than anybody I can recollect -- and he stepped up every time."

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

TMZ Sports released audio from Le'Veon Bell's 911 call when he told the operator that two women left his house with more than $500,000 worth of jewelry.

Bell reported to police on May 25 that he returned home from the gym to find jewelry missing and his closets had been rummaged through.

On the phone call, Bell told the Hollywood (Florida) Police Department that when he returned home from his workout, the two girls "took my money, they took my watch, my jewelry, a couple more of my things of value out of my house."

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Jan 6, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) during an AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 6, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) during an AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Versatile running back Ty Montgomery had a few destinations he could have pursued in free agency this offseason. But he eventually decided the Jets was the place for him, even though he wouldn't be the main man in the backfield. 

That title, of course, goes to Le'Veon Bell this season after he signed a long-term deal with New York. Still, Montgomery believed the Jets was the right fit, mainly because of the offense Adam Gase brings with him.

"You have to be smart," Montgomery told newyorkjets.com's Ethan Greenberg about Gase's offense. "You have to be able to catch the ball and you have to be able to run the ball. You can't have an imbalance and be at running back in this offense. It's actually pretty cool, it's challenging. I think it suits my abilities and I'm loving it."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball in front of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball in front of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' offseason has been a wild roller-coaster ride. It started at the bottom when they fired their head coach, peaked during free agency and the draft, then went on a wild spiral downward when they fired their general manager … and then somehow managed to come out of it OK.

In fact, not only do they seem OK now that GM Joe Douglas and his good buddy, head coach Adam Gase, are in charge; they are convinced they are on an uphill climb again. They are loaded with optimism. They feel like they are finally headed in the right direction. They believe a return to the playoffs is near.

Maybe they're right. Or maybe they're fooling themselves. For now, though, there has been an unusual amount of hope and excitement around the Jets as they wrapped up their spring organized team activities and mini-camps. Time will tell if that's warranted or not.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Derrick Jones, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Parry Nickerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Douglas excited for Jets talent 00:02:41
Joe Douglas caught up with Jeane Coakley and shared that Sam Darnold was a big reason he thought the timing was right to join the Jets.

"This is a good day, a really good day."

That's how Jets CEO Christopher Johnson opened up the press conference to introduce new GM Joe Douglas at the Jets facility in Florham Park on Tuesday. 

Johnson and the Jets moved on from now-former GM Mike Maccagnan, though he did complete their draft and free agent moves. Head coach Adam Gase was given the interim role, as the Jets went searching for someone who "shared my vision for the team," as Johnson put it. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets are scheduled to introduce their new general manager, Joe Douglas, to the media on Tuesday afternoon. Here are 10 questions we'd like to see Douglas answer:

1. What is your current assessment of the roster you are inheriting?

While Douglas may not go into specific players or position groups, it's important to get some sense of how far away he feels the team is from being a contender. Mike Maccagnan expressed confidence in the team a few months ago, but - having inherited it rather than built it himself - Douglas might be more willing to be honest about some of the weaknesses.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (unsurprisingly) had a loud offseason. For the most part, everything went pretty well. They hired a new coach, won the Le'Veon Bell sweepstakes, and drafted Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 pick in the draft. Then, they fired GM Mike Maccagnan after the draft, and new head coach Adam Gase briefly served as the interim GM. With new GM Joe Douglas in the fold, the organization appears finished with its major offseason moves.

For a franchise that seemingly can never escape controversy, the Jets enter the 2019 season with an exciting roster and plenty of reasons to feel optimistic. These are a few of them...

Sam Darnold's progression

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Now that the Jets have filled their general manager vacancy, there will inevitably be changes in the way the Jets put together their team. 

While Joe Douglas, like Mike Maccagnan before him, has a background in scouting, there are plenty of differences in his approach. 

Let's consider some of the main tenets, how they differ from those of Maccagnan and what this could mean for some of the players on the current roster.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Trumaine Johnson
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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

According to a police report, Le'Veon Bell's home in Hollywood, Florida was the site of an apparent robbery.

On May 25th, Bell reported to police that he returned home from the gym to find his closets rummaged through and his jewelry missing.

The report lists the two women in question, who were nowhere to be found when the star running back returned home, as Bell's girlfriends, and the Jets' running back claims that $520,000 worth of jewelry was taken.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets wide receiver Deontay Burnett catches the ball against Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller at Soldier Field. (Quinn Harris/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Deontay Burnett catches the ball against Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller at Soldier Field. (Quinn Harris/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Which under the radar players have been making an impression at minicamp?

For obvious reasons, much of the attention at the Jets' mandatory minicamp has been centered around players like Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams. These, after all, are the players whose performance in 2019 will be most influential in shaping the Jets' destiny.

However, with head coach Adam Gase confirming 100 percent attendance and only a few players sidelined due to injury, there are plenty of other players who are competing for roles. Let's consider some of the less high-profile names who have made an impression.

Tags: Deontay Burnett, Derrick Jones, Jamal Adams, Jeremy Clark, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Rontez Miles, Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Jets are only through two days of minicamp without pads, but Jets receivers Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson can already anticipate the impact that Le'Veon Bell will have when he's on the field.

"[He's a] dynamic back," Enunwa said after Tuesday's session. "That's a guy who's been doing it for years, proven that he can do it over and over again, and even though we didn't have pads on and he didn't take a lot of reps, you can kind of see what he's able to do with the ball in his hands."

Adding Bell to the fold will do more than just boost a unit that was the 26th-ranked rushing offense last year. Bell's ability to line up in several different formations and be a receiving threat out of the backfield will pay dividends for his receivers...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Adam Gase on Sam Darnold 00:01:36
Adam Gase says he and quarterback Sam Darnold are getting better with communicating with each other and Darnold likes being direct.

The first day of Jets minicamp had a bubble of excitement surrounding it. Most of it was due to Le'Veon Bell being in the building, but it was the first time every Jets player on offense and defense could compete together this offseason. 

But as team drills got underway, it was the defense that was winning. 

Gregg Williams' aggressive defense was showcased on Day 1, as solid coverage and turnovers were created in the non-contact drills. And a couple of those turnovers came from QB Sam Darnold, who wasn't too pleased with his performance. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Adam Gase on Le'Veon Bell 00:01:46
Adam Gase was impressed with Bell's first practice as a Jet. Bell was very engaged and asking the right questions according to his coach.

Le'Veon Bell was mainly an observer in his first practice with the Jets on Tuesday. He did participate in limited drills, like 7-on-7, but head coach Adam Gase said the team was going to be "smart" with how much they deployed him. 

Still, Gase was impressed with what he saw from his Pro Bowl running back on Day 1.

"I thought he did a good job," Gase said. "He jumped right in there -- I think he wants to get as many reps as he can. He's trying to pick up the terminology and get up to date as fast as possible. It's hard to kinda cram it all in a short time, but he's done a good job asking the right questions. Very engaged in practice, asking the right questions in practice."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Scott Thompson
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Jan 28, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) against the NFC in the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Jan 28, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) against the NFC in the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Le'Veon Bell has been away from the NFL for over a year-and-a-half until he returned to the Jets' facility in Florham Park for the first day of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. 

That long hiatus, though, has many wondering: Is Bell still the NFL's top running back? It was long considered the case when he was racking up yards, making people miss, and dancing in the Heinz Field endzone for the Steelers in his five seasons in Pittsburgh. But since he left, players like Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, and his new crosstown rival Saquon Barkley have become part of those conversations. 

Bell will be thrust back to the top of the list, but that doesn't mean he will be No. 1.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Last month there were reports that Jets head coach Adam Gase either didn't want to sign Le'Veon Bell at all or didn't like the amount of money since-fired general manager Mike Maccagnan gave Bell.

Bell addressed those reports on Tuesday at Jets minicamp and wasn't putting a lot of stock into them.

"Obviously we talk. Me and coach Gase talk all the time," Bell said. "When the report came out, I don't know where the report came from. But business is business. So even if the report was true, obviously he don't feel like I'm not a great player. Maybe he just feel like we could've gotten more great players, I don't know. But what I'm saying is, me and him, our relationship is great."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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For most players around the NFL, minicamps and OTAs are just another part of the offseason. But for Jets new RB Le'Veon Bell, it was something much more. 

He hasn't seen a practice field in 17 months heading into the start of minicamp on Tuesday, which is why he was in good spirits and all smiles when addressing the eager media afterward. His teammates may be used to these types of practices now, but it was a breath of fresh air for Bell. 

He appreciated the little things...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Adam Gase on Le'Veon Bell 00:02:21
Adam Gase addressed the media ahead of Jets minicamp. Bell will participate for the first time this year as attendance is mandatory.

As the Jets mandatory minicamp kicked off in Florham Park on Tuesday, head coach Adam Gase probably knew going into his media session what kind of questions he would field. 

While the GM search was on the list, the main questions revolved around Le'Veon Bell practicing with the team for the first time since he signed his deal this offseason. It's the reason for the very large media gathering for a June practice. 

Being that this is his first practice session in 17 months, Gase knows that he needs to be cautious with how much work they give him over these next few days...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Adam Gase will act mostly the Jets head coach this week, not the interim GM nor the leader of a search firm. Le'Veon Bell will be in a Jets uniform, mostly because it's mandatory. And young Sam Darnold will finally get a sense of what he can do in his new offense with all his weapons on the field.

For the next three days, as the Jets begin their three-day, full-team, mandatory mini-camp, it will be football first, with all the off-field drama of the last few weeks finally pushed aside. Gase's coaching -- not his front office power play -- will be the center of attention. And there will plenty of interest storylines to watch.

Here are the top five:

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

It's official: Running back Le'Veon Bell is at Jets minicamp.

After missing voluntary organized team activities and infamously skipping the 2018 season with the Steelers while holding out, Bell showed up at the Jets' practice facility at Florham Park, New Jersey.

"Uh oh, y'all. Y'all see it?" Bell said in a video of him in a new Jets No. 26 jersey. "Yeah. We here, baby! I'm in this green, 2-6. We here. And it's official. Media day. And we having fun."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Steve McLendon
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Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell warms up prior to a game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports (Mark Konezny)
Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell warms up prior to a game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports (Mark Konezny)

It is normally the case when OTAs come around. There's a tad bit of intrigue because it brings about the start of a new football season. Add a little more if you have a top rookie or new free agent pickup you can't wait to see come September. 

But Tuesday at the Jets' facility in Florham Park will be different when RB Le'Veon Bell steps foot on a practice field for the first time in over a year. 

Not only has the Pro Bowler sat out an entire season, but he also hasn't been back to New Jersey since signing his new, lucrative deal with the Jets this free agency period. Instead, Bell has stuck to his plan of working out in North Miami with his long-time personal trainer, Pete Bommarito...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Steve McLendon, Scott Thompson
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Chris Herndon (89) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Chris Herndon (89) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Jets' offense is going to be a totally different animal this season. Not only is new head coach Adam Gase bringing in his new schemes, but there are some new offensive weapons for Sam Darnold to work with as well. 

Le'Veon Bell is the obvious big addition, while Jamison Crowder is expected to make an immediate impact out of the slot. Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson will also be back looking to make big impacts after their solid seasons in 2018. 

But there is one more weapon that stays under the radar thanks to these other names. Tight end Chris Herndon, the Jets' fourth-round draft pick last season, quietly had an intriguing rookie campaign. 

Tags: Chris Herndon, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is pushed out of bounds by New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung in the third quarter at Heinz Field. (Philip G. Pavely/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is pushed out of bounds by New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung in the third quarter at Heinz Field. (Philip G. Pavely/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Earlier this week, we looked at how the defensive players acquired during the offseason will fit into Gregg Williams' scheme. Now, we move on to look at how offensive players acquired in free agency and the draft fit into Adam Gase's system.

Running Back

Gase arguably has never had a player like Le'Veon Bell before, although Jay Ajayi rushed for almost 1,300 yards in Gase's first year in Miami. However, while Ajayi had good pass catching numbers in college, he hasn't produced much as an NFL pass catcher because he simply doesn't have the positional versatility, route running skills, and hands that Bell brings to the table.

The Jets also brought in Ty Montgomery, who entered the league as a wide receiver. Could Gase opt to run some packages where both are in the game, creating the ultimate in positional flexibility?

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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McLendon addresses Le'Veon OTAs 00:01:14
New York Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon discusses Le'Veon Bell not attending Jets OTAs

Steve McLendon gave it a shot, but there was no changing Le'Veon Bell's mind.

The defensive tackle revealed Wednesday that he spoke to Bell, whom McLendon was teammates with in Pittsburgh for three seasons, to attend voluntary workouts. 

"I talked to him and I told him, 'You understand this place is different than Pittsburgh,'" McLendon said. "I said, 'You need to get back so you can understand the quarterback and the situation.' 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Steve McLendon
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Gase 'careful' with his words 00:01:29
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase tiptoed around Mike Maccagnan's firing at his availability. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano analyzes his comments.

Jets head coach and interim GM Adam Gase stood in front of the podium to take a handful of questions before Thursday's OTA session, and as SNY's Ralph Vacchiano put it, he was "careful" with his words. 

Gase addressed the firing of former GM Mike Maccagnan, and while he acknowledged there were some disagreements between the two, Gase made note that there wasn't a "personal rift" that caused the firing. 

Vacchiano breaks down that portion of Gase's interview as well as his words on Le'Veon Bell, who has been in "constant communication" with his new head coach...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Jets head coach and interim GM Adam Gase was at the podium before another OTA on Thursday, and as one would expect, he fielded questions about Le'Veon Bell

It was reported earlier this month that Gase wasn't a fan of Bell's contract, which was one of the reasons a supposed rift was put between him and former GM Mike Maccagnan. 

While shooting down the rift reports as well, Gase said he is excited to have Bell in his backfield...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Darnold and Adams talk changes 00:01:24
Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams address many changes for the Jets, including a new coaching staff and the firing of former GM Mike Maccagnan.

With Le'Veon Bell not at the Jets OTAs so far this offseason, Sam Darnold has been left to still imagine what it will be like to have him in his backfield this year. 

He loves what he sees. 

When the Jets finally struck a deal with the Pro Bowl running back, Darnold was "pumped" to have a new weapon in his arsenal, as he knows the type of damage he can do for the Jets' offense...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Gase clears up Bell rumors 00:02:07
Adam Gase says the Jets didn't overpay for Le'Veon Bell and that he looks forward to working with the running back.

Ever since the Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan, there have been whispers that Adam Gase was unhappy with the signing of Le'Veon Bell.

On Thursday, Gase answered those questions head-on.

"We signed him. I'm excited we have him," Gase said when asked whether he and Maccagnan failed to see eye-to-eye on the signing. "I've been in constant communication with him."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Danny Abriano
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Adam Gase says he just wants to coach the Jets. He's still using his newfound powers as interim GM to act on his vision for the team, though.

Gase fired scout Bill Dekraker on Tuesdsay, according to the Daily News' Manish Mehta, who added that the move was done in an effort to fulfill the coach's desire of streamlining the organization's scouting department. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The firing of Mike Maccagnan last week, just weeks after he ran the draft, and months after he spent $120 million in free agency and helped hire the new head coach, may go down as one of the strangest, craziest moments in the star-crossed history of the Jets.

But that would seem like nothing if they soon decide to trade the recently signed Le'Veon Bell.

They won't, of course. At least they probably won't. One team source texted a flat "No" when asked about the possibility by SNY over the weekend. But the wacky idea still gained some traction over the weekend as many tried to predict what's next for the Jets and their interim GM/head coach Adam Gase. The rumor that Gase would soon trade Bell grew like wildfire when former ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton said in a radio interview on Friday, "I could absolutely see the Jets trading (Bell) before the start of the season."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Contrary to reports that Adam Gase did not want Le'Veon Bell on the Jets because the running back would cost too much, the two are apparently enjoying a happy marriage thus far. 

According to Brian Costello of The Post, Gase and Bell have been in "constant contact" since the offseason training program began last month even though Bell chose not to report. 

The two have spoken twice since the Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday with both conversations being positive.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Jets became a news hub on Wednesday, as multiple stories surfaced from the firing of GM Mike Maccagnan to CEO Christopher Johnson explaining why he made that call after allowing Maccagnan to make the team's offseason moves. 

But there was also the report that new head coach Adam Gase and Maccagnan were at a disagreement with the signing of Le'Veon Bell. While it was viewed by many that the Jets got a good deal with a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $27 million guaranteed, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Gase didn't like that amount of money for the versatile back. 

In fact, Gase didn't want that type of money going to any running back to begin with. He also isn't a fan for the massive five-year, $85 million deal CJ Mosley received from Gang Green, either. His $51 million guaranteed is the largest amount ever for a linebacker. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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Mike Maccagnan was announced at the Jets general manager in January 2015, after he beat out a handful of candidates, including current Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier. After the disastrous outcome of using a search firm to find their previous general manager (John Idzik), the Jets' decision to hire Maccagnan came largely from the recommendation of the experienced pairing of Charlie Casserly and Ron Wolf.

Early results for Maccagnan were good. Having been hired alongside Todd Bowles, Maccagnan made a couple of splashes and some shrewd moves, putting the team in position to make the postseason until they choked the opportunity away in the season finale in Buffalo.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Christian Hackenberg, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
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Johnson talks about Maccagnan 00:01:09
The Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday. Team Chairman and CEO explained why it was necessary.

Before this crucial offseason began for the Jets, GM Mike Maccagnan knew he was on the hot seat. That is why we saw him shell out roughly $191 million to land some of the top free agents on the market with RB Le'Veon Bell leading the pack. 

Then, came the NFL Draft. Though the Jets didn't have a lot of capital this season, they still had the No. 3 overall pick. Maccagnan wasn't shy in saying the pick was up for sale, but they would keep it in their pocket and select possibly the safest pick in the class in Alabama DT Quinnen Williams -- a player that is going to be at the top of Defensive Rookie of the Year ballots to start the season. 

Through his free-agent pickups and a solid draft class, it looked like Maccagnan was on the right path to turning around not only the franchise, but thoughts about his job security...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Scott Thompson
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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

It appears that Mike Maccagnan and Adam Gase had different views on Le'Veon Bell.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Gase didn't like the amount of money Maccagnan gave to the running back, who sat out all of last year. Maccagnan, who was fired on Wednesday, signed the former Steeler to a four-year, $52.5 million deal.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Jets first-round pick Quinnen Williams arrived in Florham Park on Friday and the defensive tackle was all smiles as he was about to embark on his NFL career. 

The 6-foot-2, 302-pound Williams felt like a little kid getting to meet his new Jets teammates and offered some colorful quotes at Jets rookie orientation on Friday. 

Here are some of the highlights from his first press conference:

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets head coach Adam Gase spoke to the media for the first time since the conclusion of the NFL Draft as players reported to the facilities in Florham Park, NJ for rookie orientation. 

Gase was asked about expectations and impressions oof the rookies, as well as other stuff regarding the team since the draft, such as the status of Le'Veon Bell. 

Here are the takeaways from Gase:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell
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Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

It has been a custom for Le'Veon Bell to miss offseason workouts over the past few years in the NFL, and he defended that decision on Monday after a fan asked when he was going to show up to Florham Park. 

"I got to stick to the formula that I know works for me to be the best player I can be," Bell responded to the fan on his Instagram. He added "everybody will forget about that once January comes around."

But Bell isn't the only one defending himself. The man that played a vital role in getting him to sign with the Jets in Jamal Adams also came to his side with a comment under that same post, saying "I understand & get it brotha. Do what makes u happy. Ima hold it down."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
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