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

     

Le’Veon Bell

  • According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, a source familiar with the Jets’ plans called a trade of RB Le’Veon Bell “unlikely” but didn’t completely rule it out if the right offer comes along.  
  • Bell’s contract and the fact he’s coming off a down year in 2019 are what make it unlikely another team offers the Jets enough to get Bell, per Vacchiano. 
  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News points out the Jets have a history of leaking information about Bell, like the latest report about weight gain late in the season, despite the running back acting like a complete professional since joining the team.
  • First, Mehta says HC Adam Gase, through back channels, pushed the idea that his offense didn’t need Bell in order to dissuade ownership and the former front office from signing him as a free agent. Then Gase switched tacks to telling people he just had a problem with the amount of Bell’s deal. 
  • Mehta adds the notion that Bell’s weight gain at the end of the season being the reason for his lack of explosiveness doesn’t pass the sniff test, as Bell reported to the team in excellent shape for training camp, remained in good shape throughout the season and if anything lost weight after a bout with the flu in December. 
  • Mehta argues that even though Bell didn’t have a single run longer than 20 yards, he only had seven runs longer than 20 yards in his final two years with the Steelers, which places more of the blame on Gase for not using Bell to his strengths. 

Jets

  • Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Jets WR Robby Anderson to make more than $10 million per year on the open market as a complementary receiver, with the potential to reach $14 million per year, with an AFC personnel evaluator saying: “It’s real simple: He’s fast and has size. Any team that wants speed at receiver will pay him well.”
  • A source tells SI’s Kristian Dyer that if Browns WR Odell Beckham were to be traded, he would view the Jets as an ideal destination, though he’s not actively seeking to be moved: “Odell would welcome a return to New York.”

Patriots

  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes the Patriots should consider kicking OT Isaiah Wynn inside to guard and focus on finding a new left tackle. 
  • Volin mentions Panthers OT Daryl Williams and G Greg Van Roten as two options in free agency for New England to try and fortify their offensive line, along with Cardinals OT Marcus Gilbert and Titans OT Dennis Kelly
  • Volin adds the Patriots should consider signing Packers TE Jimmy Graham if he’s released by Green Bay as expected to give QB Tom Brady another weapon if he returns. 
  • At 32 and coming off a serious neck injury, Patriots FB James Develin may decide to retire, per Volin, which would open up another need for New England on offense. 
  • Volin points out the Patriots could create cap space by asking WR Mohamed Sanu to take a pay cut from his current $6.5 million salary and by declining CB Jason McCourty‘s option ($3.75 million cap savings).
  • Other options include cutting DE Deatrich Wise ($1.5 million) or S Patrick Chung ($2.2 million), restructuring CB Stephon Gilmore (up to $4.77 million) and OT Marcus Cannon (up to $2.3 million), or extending S Duron Harmon to lower his $5.75 million cap hit. 
  • NFL Media’s Gregg Rosenthal doesn’t think the Patriots will use the franchise tag on either G Joe Thuney or S Devin McCourty given their preference to develop offensive linemen and the fact they didn’t tag McCourty the last time they had the chance to. 
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