When the New York Jets acquired Le’Veon Bell during the off-season, the move was expected to be a game-changer for the Jets. He was supposed to be that running threat that would take the pressure off Sam Darnold while also giving him an outlet in the passing game.
But he has been none of those things for the Jets this season. Instead, he has been nothing more than an overpaid, underperforming disappointment with messed up priorities looking to play the victim.
Bell ended up not playing in last week’s 22-21 win over the Miami Dolphins. He wasn’t injured but had a bad enough case of the flu that the team sent him home Friday to keep from infecting anyone else.
Common sense, at that point, would tell most people to stay home and rest. But Bell is not most people. Rather than take care of his body so he could ensure he didn’t suffer any setbacks heading into Week 15, he went bowling Saturday night until 1 AM.
There have been no reports of him drinking or doing anything inappropriate. But, when you are too sick to go to work, that doesn’t mean you go out and play all night. It means you do what you need to in order to take care of your body, so you don’t miss any more time.
After signing a four-year, $52.5 million contract, you would think that is the least Bell could do. But instead, he went bowling because he had family visiting and they were bored (via ESPN) :
They weren’t sure about my energy and hydration, so they held me out of the game. But they advised me to get out of the house and move a little bit. I had a lot of family and friends there because they were expecting me to play. Everybody was at my house, just kind of looking at me. I felt better, I felt a lot better, so we went out bowling and had fun.
Bell didn’t break any rules. No one has reported him doing anything questionable, so, in a way, there is nothing for anyone to be mad at.
But the whole situation looks bad. If Bell felt good enough to go out bowling till late in the night, he should have at least showed up to the game and cheered his teammates on from the sideline. Jamal Adams was on crutches, but he was still there.
Had Bell at least recognized that maybe this whole mess would go away. But, instead, he joked about bowling a 251.
There is nothing for the Jets to punish here because he didn’t do anything wrong. It just looks terrible, not necessarily for the organization, but for Bell.
It appears like he doesn’t care about the team or the game. Had he shown a little remorse, it wouldn’t look as bad—but he showed none. If he was producing this season, no one would care.
But he isn’t.
The fact that he recognized being spotted as his only regret goes to show he knows he shouldn’t have been doing it.
He is a “me-first” kind of guy. He always has been and always will be. His focus is not on being the best running back he can be. For $52.5 million, it should be.
The Steelers were smart to let him walk when they did, and the Jets will be smart to trade him in the offseason (if they can ).