98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The New England Patriots were among the three teams that had trade discussions with the New York Jets regarding since-released running back Le’Veon Bell, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In addition to the divisional rival Patriots, the Jets also had discussions with the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders, according to Schefter. But the sticking point in all these talks came back to Bell’s contract, as the three-time Pro Bowl back was two years into a four-year, $52.5 million contract, and was on the hook for $8.5 million in guaranteed money this season.
Instead of absorbing that contract, those teams decided to instead out-wait the Jets, which was certainly the smart play, with the 28-year-old Bell now on the market as a free agent following his Tuesday release.
Bell was a straight-up mismanaged disaster in New York, rushing for just 863 yards (50.8 per game) and catching 69 passes for 500 total yards (29.4 yards per game) during his 17-game run with the Jets over two seasons. That was a near 40-yard drop in his rushing yards per game figure in his final year with the Steelers, and a nearly 15-yard decrease in receiving yards per game.
Whether or not the Patriots come calling will be worth monitoring.
The Patriots do have their share of capable backs on the roster — the Patriots have utilized Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, James White, Damien Harris, and even J.J. Taylor this season — but Bill Belichick is never one to skip a phone call.
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