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Le’Veon Bell blames Jets play calling for decline, says he’ll sign with new team ‘when he’s ready’

USA Today

Le’Veon Bell used to be considered one of the best running backs in the NFL, one who put up the most yards from scrimmage (6,737) from 2014 to 2017. Bell deserved a high salary based on his performance with the Pittsburgh Steelers and eventually received it from the New York Jets — holding out an entire year before finally cashing in during the 2019 offseason. 

Since the holdout, Bell has been arguably the worst starting running back in the NFL. The year off didn’t hurt Bell, but his short tenure with the Jets did — at least in his words. 

“The only difference with the Steelers was they gave me opportunity…haven’t had that since I left,” Bell revealed on a series of social media posts Thursday. “I probably need to play for a defensive-minded head coach instead of these offensive-minded guru’s.” 

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Bell’s tenure in New York was a disaster — and he’s blaming his struggles on former Jets head coach Adam Gase. In Bell’s one-and-a-half seasons with the Jets, he recorded just 863 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns while averaging a paltry 3.27 yards per carry — all last in the league among the 16 running backs that have logged more than 240 carries since Bell started with the Jets in 2019 up until his release from the team in October 2020. 

Bell ended up with the Kansas City Chiefs, finishing with 63 carries for 264 yards and two touchdowns (4.0 yards per carry) in nine games. He has failed to record a run of 20+ yards since Christmas Day 2017 — with the Pittsburgh Steelers — a team he had tremendous success with in his final four years in Pittsburgh. Bell’s 4,476 rushing yards ranked third in the NFL amongst running backs and first in receiving yards with 2,261. 

Just 29 years old, Bell still believes there is a lot of good football left in him. Despite this, he remains unsigned — for now. 

“I’ll sign somewhere when I’m ready,” Bell said. “Ain’t no more finessing me with lies and s— just to get me to sign with their team…no more rushed decisions on my end, period.”