The Jets figure to make a huge offseason push for the second consecutive year to try to sign the biggest star on the free agent market.
But for the second consecutive year, it looks like that player may not want to sign with them.
Running back Le'Veon Bell, who is expected to become a free agent on March 13, "has his eyes on" the Indianapolis Colts, according to a source familiar with Bell's plans. The source, who has spoken to Bell, said the free agent hasn't ruled out signing with the Jets or any team that pursues him, but the Colts, with quarterback Andrew Luck and perhaps more than $120 million in salary cap room, seem to be at the "top of his list."
"He has his eyes on the Colts, no doubt about that," the source said. "He sees Luck and that offense and all that cap room and they're much closer than the Jets. He wants to go someplace he can win right away."
If that's still Bell's desire when the market opens, it puts the Jets in the same awkward and unenviable position they were in last March, when they made signing quarterback Kirk Cousins their top free agent priority. At the time, as SNY reported, they were worried that Cousins wasn't really interested in coming to New York, and just wanted to use their offer as leverage to get more from the Minnesota Vikings.
That proved to be true, as Cousins revealed in a documentary on his free agent process. The Jets offered him a fully-guaranteed, three-year, $90 million contract. Once he got that, he said he just wanted the Vikings to present an offer that was "competitive with the Jets' offer." Eventually he signed with the Vikings for $6 million less.