Le'Veon Bell wants to return to Jets in 2020

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Le'Veon Bell's first season with the New York Jets has been a disappointment, fueling trade speculation, but he doesn't want to be a one-and-done player.

"I wouldn't have signed here for four years if I didn't want to be here four years," Bell said Friday.

Bell, who signed a $52.5 million contract last March as one of the top free agents, is having the worst statistical season of his career. The former Pittsburgh Steelers star also is on a losing team for the first time.

The Jets (6-9), who figure to be rebuilding, could look to shop the former All-Pro in the offseason.

Bell, who will be 28 next season, said he knew success wouldn't happen overnight when he signed with the Jets after sitting out a year due to a contract dispute with the Steelers.

"When I did sign here, I didn't expect us to go 16-0, you know what I'm saying?" Bell said. "I knew it would be a process. I understand everything. We got a young quarterback, a whole group of guys coming in -- new offensive coordinators, head coaches. ... I understand what goes on. It's not like basketball. You can't take one or two guys and change a team."

Bell is due to make a fully guaranteed $13.5 million in 2020, which will be a major roadblock in any trade attempt. If the Jets move him, they probably would have to pay a portion of his salary, which could be costly. They don't have an heir apparent on the roster.

For practical purposes, the Jets saw it as a two-year, $28 million contract because there are no guarantees in the third and fourth years, but the deal was negotiated by the previous front office. Coach Adam Gase, who sources say wasn't on board with the deal, may want a younger, less expensive running back.

They can't cut him because the cap hit is prohibitive.

"I'm a guy that is extremely patient, not just on the field," Bell said. "I understand it takes a while to build a stable program. I'm here for it. It's what I want to do. I'm not saying I'm ecstatic about it. I'm not saying I'm down about it. I understand it's a process, getting things going in the right direction."

Bell, who expressed frustration with his role earlier in the season, has seen an uptick in his workload -- 46 carries in the past two games. He said Gase "has been doing a great job of utilizing me and putting the ball in my hand. I'm not upset about it. We'll see where things go."

Playing behind a patchwork line, Bell has produced career-lows in yards per carry (3.3), rushing yards per game (53.4) and total yards from scrimmage per game (83.8).

The Jets, out of the playoffs for the ninth straight year, finish the season Sunday at the playoff-bound Buffalo Bills (10-5).

Gase took a measured approach when asked about Bell and next season. He said Bell will benefit from another offseason and training camp in the system, but he didn't gush about the possibility of a bounce-back year.

"The hardest thing about going through Year 1, you're trying to learn not only players, coaches, just kind of what's the right fit for this group," Gase said.

Bell's final regular-season practice day began with a letter requesting an HGH blood test -- again. This marked his sixth random test of the season, the maximum allowed under the CBA. He tweeted a copy of the letter, tagging the NFL and saying, "I bet I don't." He quickly deleted the tweet.

On Nov. 20, Bell said he was done taking random blood tests. This time, he declined to answer when asked if he was planning to take the test. Refusal could result in a suspension.

"I think they're trying to clone me or something," Bell joked.