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Jets head coach Adam Gase on the firing of general manager Mike Maccagnan Chris Pedota, NorthJersey
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FLORHAM PARK — Jets coach Adam Gase and Le'Veon Bell haven't even had their first practice together, but things are already very complicated. After the Jets fired general manager Mike Maccagnan last week, several reports emerged that Gase believed the team overpaid for Bell in free agency by giving him $27 million guaranteed. But Thursday, in his first interview session since Maccagnan's dismissal, Gase said he's looking forward to working with Bell and put to rest speculation that the Jets could trade the star running back before the start of the regular season. "That's ridiculous," Gase said. "That's the first I've heard of that." 
One of the reasons Jets CEO Christopher fired Maccagnan last week was a lack of synergy between Gase and the former GM. Gase made it clear Thursday that he's excited about having Bell as a weapon. But when he was first asked about the decision to sign Bell, he didn't exactly sound like a man who was on board with the contract that Maccagnan doled out. 
"Discussions are had and whether or not we disagreed on anything, if it was financially, that’s a completely different story than the person and the player," Gase said. " And that’s where a lot of this gets misconstrued. Le’Veon Bell is a great player, he’s a good person, he’s been in constant contact with me."Later, Gase was asked directly if the Jets overpaid Bell and did not give a direct answer. 
"The contract was what it was," Gase said. "Everybody can criticize contracts all you want, but he’s here, I’m excited that he’s here. I think our players are excited that he’s here. I know our coaches are. ... I’m excited to get him in the offense."Gase was asked one more time if the Jets had overpaid Bell and finally gave a firm answer. "No," he said. For comparison, Gase was much more clear and forceful in his response when asked if he believed the Jets overpaid linebacker C.J. Mosley, whose contract includes $51 million in guaranteed money. "Those words never came out of my mouth," Gase said. "We did everything we could to get him. I think I took a pay cut, so whatever we had to do to get him that’s what we wanted to do." But even though it seems like Gase wasn't happy with Bell's contract, trading him now would make no sense. The Jets have already paid him $12 million and if they trade him now, it would have been for nothing. It just doesn't make sense, which led to the firm response from Gase, who is serving as the team's interim GM during their search for Maccagnan's replacement. Still, this is a bit of an awkward situation for the Jets' offensive play caller and their most dynamic weapon. Only time will reveal if this episode damaged their relationship. 
But Bell took to social media last week to say he wasn't bothered by the reports. And Gase insists he has a good relationship with Bell and is looking forward to coaching him, eventually -- Bell was not in attendance for the Jets' first three days of OTA practice. "I’m excited we have him," Gase said. "I’ve been in constant communication with him. ... He texts me all the time. All that stuff you get on Instagram, I get it first. So that’s how I know what he’s doing. So he’s been great with me as far as contact goes, making sure that I know what he’s doing, where he’s working out at."

Williams sits 

Jets first-round pick Quinnen Williams was held out of Thursday's OTA practice because of a calf injury. The team does not believe the injury is serious and kept him on the sideline for precautionary reasons.It's unclear when Williams sustained the injury, because Tuesday and Wednesday's OTA practices were not open to the media. Williams, the No. 3 overall pick, spent practice on the sideline doing light work.Bell and starting cornerback Trumaine Johnson were both absent from the voluntary OTA practice. Bell's absence is not a surprise, given he skipped the team's voluntary three-day minicamp earlier this month and has said he prefers to prepare on his own. Johnson, who struggled last season with a quad injury, attended voluntary minicamp, but apparently decided to skip at least part of OTAs. Again, it's not clear if he participated on Tuesday or Wednesday.The Jets have seven OTA practices remaining, three next week (open to media Wednesday) and four in the second week of June. Mandatory minicamp is June 4-6.Email: vasqueza@northjersey.com 

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