Le'Veon Bell was given a whole lot of money by the New York Jets in March after sitting out all of last season in pursuit of a long-term contract. This was, reportedly, to the dismay of his new head coach Adam Gase. The man who actually gave Bell that money, Mike Maccagnan, was fired after the draft, a questionable series of moves by the Jets at best.
Gase is now the interim GM, and had his first press conference after the firing and subsequent reports of his displeasure with Bell’s contract on Thursday. It was a rather awkward affair, and out of it came an odd tidbit of information. Bell, who has been known for using social media to convey his feelings to the public in the past, allegedly checks with Gase before posting anything on Instagram.
No matter how true this is, it’s pretty weird. The details around the situation matter a lot here. Did Bell volunteer to run all of his Instagram posts by Gase before putting them up? If so, that would indicate Bell is aware of the reputation he has, and maybe just shouldn’t post at all. If that is not the case and Gase is asking Bell to do this, it’s indicative of a management style that may be of some concern. Head coaches have more than enough on their plate without having to worry about social media posts from their star players. What does it say about Gase if that’s a huge priority for him?
Does Gase not have other things to attend to as interim GM and current head coach? Don’t teams have social media people specifically for the purpose of preventing potentially damaging posts? Is Bell just unwilling to hire his own social media team, and using Gase as an unpaid consultant? Also, what about Twitter?
There are a lot of questions here. My personal guess is that Bell lets Gase know whenever he posts something that could be interpreted as damaging, and Gase slightly exaggerated in order to prove to the notorious New York media that he has everything under control. The Jets are in a transitional period at a crucial time for their franchise, and it’s important that their highly-paid superstar and new head coach at least appear to be on the same page. But Gase’s strategy of doing so raises far more questions than answers.