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."
Jets head coach Adam Gase on the firing of general manager Mike Maccagnan Chris Pedota, NorthJersey
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.
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."