We still have a long way to go until the start of the 2019-20 NFL season, however, most of the fun has already begun.

With free agency becoming a social media roller-coaster, rumors soared around, reporters battled for the right information, and the fans chomped at their finger nails. And while it’s still not quite over, it’s safe to say the majority of the biggest names available have already found new homes.

Arguably the biggest in star RB Le’Veon Bell, has done so himself. He finds a new beginning with the team most linked to him throughout this whole process – the New York Jets.

How it Happened

If you were scrolling through social media at all the past few days, you most likely saw the abundance of reports circulating around Le’Veon Bell. In a way, it sort of became a game to see who would be the first to guess Le’Veon’s destination and contract correctly.

Safe to say that stressed out many.

Rumors began coming from far and wide. The Raiders, who had just traded for star WR and Bell’s former teammate Antonio Brown, became a name many started linking to Bell. Conflicting reports mentioned that the Raiders’ didn’t have the cash to sign Bell, while others said the deal was already close to done.

The Ravens were a team that remained consistent as well. After losing quite a few members of their defense (which was ranked first in the league last year), it became evident that Baltimore may have the money Le’Veon was looking for.

Pairing their versatile QB Lamar Jackson with a dual threat RB in Bell was pleasing to the eye. It made even more sense when remembering what the Ravens’ backfield looked like last year, with Jackson taking most of the load in the run game – and Alex Collins being released following his recent arrest.

However, the rumors failed to be true, no matter how strong they came on. “Trolls” with verified Twitter check marks continued to swindle fans into thinking they knew something nobody else did. Much of this revolved around Bell’s reported interest in the Ravens, and anyone with any sort of significance on the social media platform took advantage.

Other names continued to circulate as well, including the Colts, Eagles & 49ers. However, when it came down to it, the main event seemed to be Jets vs Ravens vs Raiders.

Choosing New York

While things heated up around the league involving a number of other free agents and trades, it was reported that the Jets had made their last and final offer to Bell – seemingly fed up with his decision making process and attempt to use them as leverage in any other deal. And after Anthony Barr spurned them, the Jets were willing to throw a bit more money to top the deal off.

This final offer came with a reported deadline, however, where the Jets would pull everything off the table and move on if that had to. They understood the need to secure a running back, but other holes were asking to be filled, and New York couldn’t waste any more time.

This was a bold move by the franchise, who had been burned many, many times in the past in similar situations. It was even more stimulating when you consider Bell’s recent history – tanking a whole year due to the money he was being offered from Pittsburgh. A deadline offer from the Jets was smart, but increasingly risky due to the type of player and person Bell is.

Ultimately, the Jets didn’t want to get played. They were familiar with the situation. Bell and his agent were pushing rumors of other teams getting involved, hoping New York would increase their bid to Le’Veon’s liking. General manager Mike Maccagnan took a stance, however, and stamped his offer with “You either want to play for us, or you don’t.”

In the end, Bell and his agent were at a standstill. The Jets offered the most of any team out there, and it still wasn’t what Le’Veon was expecting. Sitting out another year would only cause more damage and would result in the loss of millions, so Bell had to take the best he could get at that moment.

That’s how he became a New York Jet.

To top it off, Bell may have missed his best chance at the “big money” when he was reportedly offered up to $14 million per year in Pittsburgh. He now takes a hit with his new deal with the Jets after the belief that he would make a massive splash in free agency.

However, it wasn’t a total loss of Bell. He now joins a Jets roster that is filled to the brim in young, hungry talent. He also becomes the newest superstar in New York after the Giants parted ways with Odell Beckham Jr. in a blockbuster trade last night.

Lastly, Bell released his newest rap album “Life’s a Gamble” just a few minutes prior to announcing his commitment to the Jets. He did quite a great job marketing it, making everyone on social media believe he would have some secret message hidden in a song about where he would sign. We’ll wait to see how it does on the charts.

– Kyle Hirshkind is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Jets and covers the New York Jets. Like and follow on

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.