Le’Veon Bell seemingly found a new friend in coach Adam Gase.
The running back made his first appearance with the Jets at the start of minicamp and told media Tuesday he and Gase are texting buddies.
Bell, 27, signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Jets in March. It was later rumored Gase did not want to spend big money on a running back, but he has since denied that.
Those rumors though didn’t affect the two men’s relationship.
“This is a business,” Bell said, via ESPN. “Even if the report was true, obviously he doesn’t feel like I’m not a great player.
“Maybe he just feels like, ‘Dang, maybe we could’ve got more great players.’ I don’t know. What I’m saying is, me and him, our relationship is great.”
Bell chose to skip voluntary workouts in April and announced on social media in May he would join the team when it was “time to play football.” He arrived at the team’s facility Monday ahead of the mandatory practice scheduled Tuesday.
He spent his offseason training in South Florida and said he and Gase have been communicating during that time. Bell would send the newly minted Jets coach video of his workouts while Gase sent Bell clips from the Jets’ practices.
“There have been false reports about me, so I don’t really buy into reports,” Bell said. “I talk to him. He tells me what’s going on. The communication is there, that’s all that matters.”
Bell totaled 5,336 rushing yards, 2,660 receiving yards and 42 touchdowns through his first five NFL seasons.
He notably sat out all of 2018 after he refused to sign the franchise tag.
Bell is expected to improve a Jets team that finished last season with a 4-12 record and ranked 26th in rushing yards.
“This felt so good, not doing (anything) for a year and things like that,” Bell said. “I’m excited.
“It was amazing, just running around and being able to trash talk and catch some balls, and just sweat in your helmet, and things we take for granted when you’re playing. To have that whole year off, and to come out here and play football again, it felt so good.”