Before he could even get on the field in his fresh new Gotham Green uniform, the fans and media have already found a way to bash the Jets’ biggest offseason addition in RB Le’Veon Bell. The former Pittsburgh Steeler made it loud and clear that he would not be attending Jets voluntary minicamp, which has sparked some serious outrage from the people in the stands.
Obviously, the frustration stems from the early skepticism of the Bell signing. Less than a year ago he was the talk of the league for all of the wrong reasons, ex. he did not show up to play.
Now, looking for a fresh start in a new city, people tend to think Bell has already reverted back to his old ways. The anxiety levels in Florham Park have jumped just a tad when Le’Veon failed to make his appearance at voluntary workouts.
But that’s just the thing…they’re voluntary. Grab a dictionary if you need to.
The Answer is, “Yes.”
Feel free to stop reading here if you’d like. Le’Veon’s absence IS being overblown. Even the Jets know this.
As a player who has done their rounds and experienced the long haul of a season, including the playoffs, Le’Veon has every right to workout on his own while he has the chance.
Sure, the critics will claim that Bell is missing out on the early opportunity to work alongside future teammates, build relationships with the coaching staff, etc., however, it is important to recognize who we are referencing here.
🤭🤫 they say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it pic.twitter.com/LfsTYOzxVI
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 13, 2019
Bell is a unique talent who performed at the top of his position for multiple/consecutive years before sitting out last year. This all while dealing with a lackluster relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin.
Bell knows what is best for him to perform at the best of his abilities. The Jets and their fans should respect that and not be so worried about the potential of a damaged relationship, simply because of the way Bell has been outspoken regarding his excitement to play with Sam Darnold, Jamal Adams, etc.
Public Service Announcement 🚨 pic.twitter.com/pX7jB1w8Ft
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 7, 2019
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 8, 2019
The Jets and head coach Adam Gase have referenced that they believe Bell will be present for mandatory team activities, via CBS Sports.
Gase informed the media that he has indeed spoken with Le’Veon, who reiterated that he would be ready for mandatory workouts come early June.
“We had a conversation about what was kind of his schedule,” Gase said, via the New York Daily News. “We’ll kind of see how the OTAs go. As of right now, I know the mandatory stuff … he said he was going to be here for that. So, I don’t expect him to not show up for (minicamp on June 4-6).”
We’re here to change New York… pic.twitter.com/CpyYXwAkGS
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) April 20, 2019
Gase spoke further about Bell’s current absence from the team, and downplayed it by saying, “Every year that he’s played, he’s been ready to go. So, that’s just what it is. If somebody doesn’t like it, then talk to the NFLPA.”
He makes a great point, one that we’ve pushed quite enough throughout this article. I mean, Tom Brady skipped the Patriots first voluntary workout too, but is anyone making a big deal about that?