Le’Veon Bell can finally admit that coming to New York was probably a mistake.
Or, more specifically, the decision that led to his being a Jet — sitting out the entire 2018 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers for a guaranteed contract — was a mistake.
The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Brown for $14.5 million but he never signed it.
“It was like a little petty, the guarantee stuff,” Bell said on the Steel Here podcast. “… I’m thinking, could I have just ate [the money]? Yeah, I probably could’ve, yeah. I probably could’ve really ate it.”
At the time, Bell was coming off consecutive seasons of over 1200 rushing yards and might have been the best running back in the league.
He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All Pro in Pittsburgh playing along side Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown.
But after the Jets signed him to a four-year, $52 million deal, of which $27 million was guaranteed, he fell off a cliff.
Bell ran for 789 yards in his only full season with the Jets in 2019, and was released in October 2020 after playing just two games.
He has not played in the NFL since a 2021 stint with the Buccaneers, going unsigned through last season.
Though Bell has not officially retired, it would be a surprise to see him play next season after sitting out all of 2022, and participating in a boxing match against YouTuber JMX in April, which Bell won via unanimous decision.
Still, Bell is one of the most talented running backs to grace the field in recent years.
Who knows what could have been had he signed the franchise tag with the Steelers and stayed with the team that gave him so much success.