AFC East Notes: Le’Veon Bell, Jets, Patriots

     

Le’Veon Bell

The idea of the Jets possible trading RB Le’Veon Bell, who signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract this offseason, has come up in recent days after reports that HC Adam Gase did not want to sign Bell to this kind of contract.

A team source texted Ralph Vacchiano over the weekend a flat “no” when asked about the possibility of trading Bell.

Vacchiano has confirmed that Gase wasn’t in favor of signing Bell for $52.5 million and this factored into the rift that developed between Gase and former GM Mike Maccagnan. However, Vacchiano says that it’s not as though Gase doesn’t like Bell as a player or doesn’t think he’ll be able to utilize him in his offensive system.

Gase was believed to prefer Tevin Coleman, who ultimately secured a two-year, $8.5 million contract from the 49ers.

Vacchino points out that the Jets really don’t have an obvious replacement for Bell on their roster right now with Elijah McGuire and Ty Montgomery in line to be their backups. Beyond that, New York has already paid him $12 million in bonuses for the 2019 season, which leaves him with a more reasonable four-year, $40 million with only $13 million guaranteed left.

Jets

  • According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Jets will not use a search firm to find their next general manager. 
  • Jets CEO Christopher Johnson will be the main leader in the GM search, with HC Adam Gase assisting in his interim-GM title. 
  • Breer says Eagles VP Joe Douglas is the top candidate, but also to keep an eye on Ryan Cowden with the Titans, Ed Dodds with the Colts, Will McClay with the Cowboys and George Paton with the Vikings.
  • Breer mentions the asking price for LB Darron Lee had previously been a fifth-round pick. Lee was traded to the Chiefs for a 2020 sixth-round pick.
  • Jets HC Adam Gase told reporters he disagreed with the perception that he won a power struggle when the Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan: “Whoever is getting hired (as GM) is going to have the same role.” (Connor Hughes)
  • Gase added he will not have final control of the 53-man roster: “(Future GM) will have control of the roster. Control of the 53. I will coach the team. That’s what I’m going to do. Nothing is changing in that structure. (Christopher Johnson) told me. That’s what it was. He’s the owner.” (Hughes)
  • Gase continued: “In this business, shit like that happens all the time. Happened to me last year. That’s what it is. I worked for (CJ). That’s how we’re aligned. The head coach and the GM both report to the owner. That’s the way it is.” (Hughes)

Patriots

  • Per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski was battling with a bulging disc in his back midway through the 2018 season. 
  • While the disc was no longer an issue at the end of the year, Breer says it played a role in Gronkowski’s decision to retire at 30 with how close he came to needing a fourth back surgery. 
  • Breer adds it’s another reason not to hold out much hope for Gronkowski to unretire in 2019. 

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