Earlier in the day, league sources told ESPN the Jets were attempting to trade Bell amid the team's nightmarish season. According to reports, Bell was unhappy with his role in Jets head coach Adam Gase's offense.
The Jets had been trying to find a trade partner for Bell since the beginning of the season, according to ESPN. Then the tailback pulled his hamstring in Week 1, forcing the team to delay a deal. In the end, the franchise opted to release him.
"After having conversations with Le'Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le'Veon," Jets general manager Joe Douglas said in a statement Tuesday.
"The Jets organization appreciates Le'Veon's efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success."
Bell had $6 million remaining on his 2020 salary -- all of it fully guaranteed. That would have made it challenging for the Jets to deal him before the NFL's Nov. 3 trade deadline.
As a vested veteran, Bell isn't subject to waivers. He will become a free agent at 4 p.m. EST Wednesday.
Bell shared his thoughts on social media shortly after the team's announcement, saying that he has "got a lot to prove."
The breaking point between Bell and the organization came Sunday, when the running back was upset with the Jets for his limited role in their 30-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
"I know he's frustrated that we haven't won," Gase said Monday after Bell had only one target in the loss to the Cardinals. "It wasn't necessarily the plan of not targeting him in the pass game. It just kind of ended up being that way with how they were playing us. So that's what it is.
"I mean, just try to find ways to move the football. That's all we're trying to do, and it doesn't always go exactly as planned."
After the Jets' loss, Bell refused to speak with the media but "liked" multiple posts on social media that suggested he should be traded because Gase has misused him. On Monday, Gase voiced his displeasure about Bell's method of communication.
"I hate that that's the route we go with all this instead of just talking about it, but it seems that's the way guys want to do it nowadays," Gase said.
This wasn't the first tense exchange between Gase and Bell this year. The pair also had a disagreement in training camp, when Bell criticized Gase on social media after he removed him from an intrasquad scrimmage.
Bell, who missed the past three games because of a hamstring injury, returned to the lineup Sunday and notched 60 yards on only 13 carries. He caught his only target for seven yards.
In 17 career games with the Jets, Bell rushed for 873 yards and three touchdowns.
Under Gase, the Jets are 0-5 this season ahead of a matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6.