Very rusty Bell skips Jets voluntary camp


Associated Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J.

The New York Jets hit the field together for the first time this offseason — without their star running back.

Le’Veon Bell was not among the players present Tuesday for the start of the team’s voluntary three-day minicamp. Linebacker Darron Lee, whose role with the team is uncertain, was also not on the practice field.

Coach Adam Gase appeared unconcerned, though, downplaying the fact neither was present.

“It’s voluntary,” Gase stressed. “[Bell] was here that first week [of offseason workouts], and we got a lot of good information that week to him.”

According to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, teams with new coaches are allowed to hold a voluntary minicamp early in the offseason program. Teams also hold 10 sessions of organized team activities, which are also voluntary. The Jets’ mandatory minicamp begins June 4.

Gase said Bell, signed as a free agent last month, was with the team during the first week of offseason workouts, and Lee has also been at the facility.

The coach added that players who might not attend a voluntary session can remotely keep up to date on what the team is doing through the playbooks on their iPads.

Bell not being at the on-field session Tuesday was magnified mainly by the fact he hasn’t participated in a practice since the 2017 season with Pittsburgh.

He sat out all last season after declining a five-year, $70 million offer from the Steelers and then refusing to sign his $14.5 million franchise tender.

The Jets signed him to a four-year, $52.5 million deal that includes $27 million in guaranteed money.

TRADE

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

The Kansas City Chiefs acquired pass rusher Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks for a package of picks, then quickly agreed with him on a $105 million, five-year contract, as they continue to overhaul their much-maligned defense.

The Chiefs sent the No. 29 overall pick in this year’s draft and a second-round pick in 2020 to Seattle, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke about the trade terms and contract details on condition of anonymity because they were pending a physical.

Clark planned to head to Kansas City to complete that in the next 48 hours.

The trade also includes a swap of third-round picks in this year’s draft. That means the Chiefs will move up eight spots on Friday night.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said last week that he was aggressively trying to upgrade the defense, and he acknowledge the window for winning a Super Bowl title began last season. That’s when Patrick Mahomes took over at quarterback and had an MVP season as a first-time starter, leading Kansas City to a third straight AFC West title and the conference championship game.

KRAFT VIDEO

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.

A video that police say shows New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying a massage parlor worker for sex should not be publicly released for now because it would ruin his chance for a fair trial, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Circuit Judge Leonard Hanser accepted arguments by Kraft’s attorneys that releasing the video would likely make it impossible to seat a jury for his trial on misdemeanor prostitution charges. He said the video shouldn’t be handed to the news media as a public record until a jury is seated, a plea agreement is reached or the state drops the case. Kraft has pleaded not guilty but has issued an apology for his conduct.

Hanser wrote that under normal circumstances, an older man allegedly paying for sexual services would be “a rather tawdry but fairly unremarkable event.”

“But if that man is the owner of the most successful franchise in, arguably, the most popular professional sport in the United States, an entirely different dynamic arises,” Hanser wrote. He said the video would be shown widely on television and on the internet and it would be difficult for him to find unbiased jurors. The Associated Press is one of several media companies that have argued that a redacted version of the video should be released under Florida’s broad public records laws.

Kraft was one of 25 men charged with solicitation after police secretly installed cameras at the Orchids of Asia massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida, in what authorities initially said was an investigation into human trafficking. Prosecutors have since said they found no evidence of trafficking at the spa.

Police say the video shows Kraft and other customers engaged in sexual acts with spa masseuses.

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