May 15 (UPI) — Coach Adam Gase and former general manager Mike Maccagnan disagreed on the price point for free agent Le’Veon Bell before the New York Jets opted to give the running back a $52 million contract this off-season.
Sources told NFL Network that Gase “likes” Bell as a player but didn’t “love” spending that much money for a running back. Gase did not want to pay more than about $13 million for a running back.
Sources told the New York Daily News earlier on Wednesday that Gase “absolutely did not want to sign” Bell and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on any running back.
Jets CEO Christopher Johnson announced Maccagnan’s firing on Wednesday. Bell signed with the Jets in March. His new pact included $27 million guaranteed. The star running back has an average salary of $13.1 million for the next four seasons.
Bell, 27, sat out for the entire 2018 season after refusing to sign his franchise tag tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers, declining a $14.5 million salary last season. The three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro led the NFL with 321 carries and 406 touches in 15 starts during his 2017 campaign.
Bell was absent from the Jets’ voluntary minicamp. New York has its first OTA off-season workouts on May 21 and begins mandatory minicamp June 4.
Gase expects Bell to attend minicamp.
Bell tweeted May 6 that he plans to report when “it’s time to play football.”
“I got to stick to the formula that I know works for me to be the best player I can be,” Bell wrote. “I’m not just trying to win football games, I want a ring. I want to desperately show everybody what I can really do. I’ll take the heat right now, everybody will forget about that once January comes around.”