It appears the NFL and Le'Veon Bell are headed for a standoff over drug testing, and it could result in a suspension for the Jets' star running back.
Last month, Bell complained that he had been chosen by the league for five random HGH blood tests in 10 weeks and insisted he would not submit to any more.
"Whatever y’all lookin for it obviously ain’t there & I’m not about to keep allowing y’all to stick me with those dirty ass needles..find the players who really do that HGH BS & get off me," Bell tweeted to the NFL at the time.
It's hard to see Bell being banned for Sunday's season finale at Buffalo because he has the right to appeal and would likely enlist the help of the players' union to help argue his point. But this could be a story line that carries over into next season.
Of course, Bell could eventually give in to the testing, making the matter moot.
“At the end of the day, if we have to cross that bridge when we get there, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Bell told reporters Friday. “I’m saying right now, the way I feel today, when that tweet went out, that’s how I feel."
But the notice instructed Bell to report "immediately" to the testing room. So it would appear he is already standing at "that bridge."
Trading Bell would become more difficult if he's suspended to start the 2020 season. And cutting him would be a costly move for the Jets, who would eat at least $15 million in dead salary cap space, as opposed to $6 million if he were traded.
Running behind a shoddy offensive line, Bell, 27, has rushed for just 748 yards while averaging a career-worst 3.3 yards per carry this season.