Just nine months ago, Douglas stood in front of reporters (in the days before our Zoom) and announced, “The plan is to create the best culture in sport.”
That ambitious goal, launched at the end of the 7-9 season that was seen by the organization as a sign of progress, appears to have gone blank in the wake of what has been going for the past few months.
Why Jets is dropping Bell now versus waiting for deals Jets said Jets doesn’t want to wait to get Le’Veon Bell out of the building, saying things are “unsolvable” after the Cardinals’ match. Fowler also talked about where Bell was likely going next.
Don’t blame Douglas; he inherits Bell.
Obviously, this doesn’t reflect well on Gase, who came to his reputation for star chafing players. It happened to the Miami Dolphins, and now it seems to be happening here. Under Gase, they swapped their previous three options in the first round: Adams, defensive player Leonard Williams and winger Darron Lee (he deserved to go). The Jets failed to re-sign recipient Robby Anderson and they are now out of Bell.
The idea was aim to bring talent into the building, not send it. The idea is to be a place players want to play, a free destination.
To attract players, the Jets pay too much, which is what they did with Bell, who chased money and left a comfortable situation in Pittsburgh.
Does the Jets have the right to upset when he hasn’t lived up to the bargain? Sure.
Honestly, this isn’t that Bell starred for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He gained weight last season (he’s over 230 pounds), is underperforming and has to admit to being complacent.
The same goes for Darrelle Revis 2.0 and Trumaine Johnson, the free backers coming for money. Bell has gone one step further this season by becoming a distraction, because he used social media to criticize Gase. He has the right to be frustrated, but it’s useless to let his thumb talk on Twitter.
So yes, Bell has to share some responsibility for the failed relationship, but this is not an isolated case, and that’s the alarming part. It’s a pattern that is repeated with this Jets organization, which are close to their 10th consecutive season in the knockout stages.
It needs a cultural change, and it will probably start with a new coach. Douglas will find a new coaching team, more talent and a new attitude.