All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell admits he was 'petty' and made a mistake not re-signing with Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected running back Le'Veon Bell in the second round of the 2013 draft.
He had a prolific five-year career in Pittsburgh before the Steelers and Bell reached an impasse during contract negotiations. Bell held out during the 2017 offseason before eventually playing under the franchise tag that year.
Bell sat out of the 2018 season and signed a 4-year, $52.5 million deal with the New York Jets before the start of the 2019 season.
During a recent appearance on the "Steel Here" podcast, Bell recalled his decision to depart Pittsburgh. The former star running back admitted he should have accepted the Steelers' contract offer and characterized his decision to leave as "petty."
"It was like a little petty, the guarantee stuff. … I’m thinking could I have just ate it? Yeah, I probably could’ve, yeah. I probably could’ve really ate it," Bell said, via Andrew Limberg of 93.7 The Fan.
Bell was seeking a fully guaranteed contract from the Steelers at the time and went on to have a disappointing stretch with the Jets before bouncing around the NFL.
He has not played in the league since 2021, when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Despite the fact his career went downhill after he left the Steelers, he had consistently stood by his decision to request a guaranteed contract.
However, as Bell reflected on his past during the podcast appearance, he seemed to come to the realization he should have taken the Steelers' offer.