Veteran running back Le’Veon Bell was one of the league’s biggest stars during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But after leaving the franchise in 2019 following failed contract negotiations, Bell quickly found out that the grass is not always greener.
Four years later, Bell is out of the NFL and seems to regret the way he left the franchise. In a recent appearance on the Steel Here podcast, the 31-year-old player said that he never actually wanted to leave Pittsburgh.
“That’s where I got drafted,” Bell explained. “Especially after going to different teams and seeing how it is, it’s like when the team has their guy, you’re their guy. I was Pittsburgh’s guy.”
Bell, who hasn’t played at all in 2022, also admitted to being “a little petty” during his contract negotiations with the franchise.
“I’m thinking, ‘Damn, could I really have just ate [the money]? Yeah, I probably could’ve,” he added.
Le’Veon Bell earned three Pro Bowl nods and three All-Pro selections as a Steeler between 2013 and 2017. Ahead of 2018, the Steelers placed a franchise tag on Belle for the second straight year after the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement about a new contract. However, instead of playing on the tag, Bell opted to sit out for an entire year and hit free agency in 2019.
Bell ended up signing with the New York Jets on a four-year, $52.5 million contract but never managed to reach the same level of play that he had with the Steelers. He was released after a year and a half and bounced around the league in the next two seasons.