The New York Jets began their three-day voluntary minicamp on Tuesday, and one of the team’s biggest free agents was notably missing: Le’Veon Bell.
Bell notoriously sat out the entire season last year rather than play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and recently signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets. While his absence might be discouraging to the Tom Coughlins of the world, Jets coach Adam Gase didn’t seem to mind.
“It’s voluntary,” Gase said. “That’s what it is. That’s the CBA, that’s the rules. He was here that first week and got a lot of good information. The good thing is having the iPads and things like that help you. If a guy’s not here, he can keep up on what we’re doing as far as playbook goes.”
Gase’s words are accurate. The CBA dictates that these workouts are voluntary, and it is Bell’s right as a player to sit them out if he wants to. It’s not even like Bell has avoided his new team considering Gase said he attended the team’s first week of activities, which began on April 8.
Bell also has access to the team’s playbook, and Gase seemed confident that the running back would have no trouble getting in shape for the season.
“For him he has a pretty good training regimen that he goes through,” Gase said. “I don’t even remember the last time he’s had an offseason [workout]. It’s been a few years to where he’s gone through this kind of stuff. He knows how to get his body ready for training camp and the regular season.”
Also absent from the Jets’ voluntary workouts was linebacker Darron Lee, according to the Associated Press. That’s a different situation from Bell, as Lee is on the trading block after the team signed linebacker C.J. Mosley.
The first day Bell is obligated to be in attendance for the Jets is the team’s mandatory minicamp beginning on June 4.
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