What should we expect from New York Jets’ Le’Veon Bell in 2020?
In the first year of a four-year, $52 million contract, New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell posted a career-low 3.2 yards per carry and the second-lowest total in rushing yards at 789.
Overall, the versatile running back was unable to reach his potential, primarily due to a lack of offensive line adequacy. He recorded 311 total touches, the fourth most in his career after he recorded 406 in 2017, and then proceeded to miss the 2018 campaign with a contract dispute.
Nonetheless, general manager Joe Douglas made it a priority to bolster the front five in the trenches, signing guard Greg Van Roten, tackle George Fant, Center Connor McGovern, and drafting Mekhi Becton with the 11th overall pick.
“Absolutely. Can’t wait,” Le’Veon Bell told ESPN, regarding his excitement to run being the new-found line.
The reinforcing of this unit should give Bell more running lanes to work with and Sam Darnold more time in the pocket to throw the ball.
I do believe that Bell can handle a heavy workload, as he was selected to a Pro Bowl and was a first-team All-Pro in 2017, indicating that he is not too far removed from an absolutely dominant season.
Ultimately, the lack of playmakers on the Jets’ offense limited his production, as teams knew they would game plan around him.
Adding wide receivers like Denzel Mims and Breshad Perriman should allow the Jets to utilize play-action more frequently and split out Bell into screen positions and flat routes.
With the new additions in the trenches and more playmakers added the offense, Bell is set up perfectly to have a bounce-back year, recording his worst yards per carry over six seasons in 2019. He is capable of much more, as he also averaged his lowest rushing attempts per game, indicating he was heavily used in the receiving game. Nonetheless, with a better offensive front, head coach Adam Gase should begin to prepare a game plan that employs different schemes and sets, therefore offering more potential for Le’Veon down the road.
The Jets also signed 37-year-old Frank Gore to help limit Bell’s usage and also drafted La’Mical Perine out of Florida to develop.