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Jets intend to keep both Le'Veon Bell, Jamal Adams

In a week dedicated to assessing the future, the New York Jets spent part of Tuesday addressing the long-term plans of two of their own.

Ever since the trade deadline back in October, Le'Veon Bell and Jamal Adams have been intertwined, thanks to the frequently addressed idea that one or both of the high-profile players could be moved at any given moment.

During the team's media availability session at the NFL Scouting Combine, Bell and Adams were again at the forefront. Only this time, the conversation was more about the Jets strengthening their partnership with both players, rather than parting ways.

"There hasn't been talk as far as him going anywhere," GM Joe Douglas said of the star running back, per ESPN. "We're excited about Le'Veon. Le'Veon has been a great teammate. I can't tell you how great he's been. ... We're excited to have him."

After sitting out in 2018 and signing a monster free-agent deal last spring, Bell, 28, is coming off a poor year in which he rushed for 789 yards, three touchdowns and 3.2 yards per carry in 15 games.

Many have made conjectures about exactly what led to Bell's uncharacteristic play in 2019. But, in Douglas' eyes, N.Y.'s offensive line deserves a claim of the blame.

"I wouldn't say his play declined. His numbers probably aren't where he would want them to be. I think we need to do a better job of opening holes for him," Douglas said. "We need to put him in a good position to be as productive as he was in Pittsburgh."

Throughout the season, Bell's relationship with coach Adam Gase became a hot talking point. Earlier this month, Bell refuted the idea of tension, saying, "Everybody is blowing everything out of proportion." Tuesday was Gase's turn to offer his take.

"He's been great for us," Gase said on where things stand. "He's done everything I've asked him to do. He tried to do things the right way. What anybody else says, I think we're to the point where we really don't care. As long as our relationship is good, we're good."

If Bell, Gase and Jets management are as good as they say, consider that a "check" on the team's offseason to-do list. Next on that list is tackling Adams' future.

The standout safety has been a force since being drafted sixth overall in 2017, and continued to make a name for himself, earning his first career first-team All-Pro selection and a second straight Pro Bowl nod.

Adams and the Jets appeared thisclose to a breakup before mending fences in November. According to Douglas, the team has had "some preliminary discussions" with Adams' agent and the idea now is that both sides are planning for "Jamal to be a Jet for life."

"For life" obviously has heavy undertones but, for now, the Jets can at least plan for both to be with the team in 2020.

With Adams under contract through 2021, including his fifth-year option, and Bell's deal having no more guaranteed money after next season, it's entirely possible this conversation could resurface before year's end.

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