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Money was a factor in Bell’s decision

jacobbell Getty Images

Last week, Jacob Bell walked away from the NFL after eight seasons.  But he now admits to Peter King of SI.com that, if Bell were due to earn big money this year, he likely would have kept playing.

Under the deal Bell signed in 2008 with the Rams, he was due to earn $6 million in 2012.  Instead, he was going to make $825,000, the veteran minimum for a ninth-year player with the Bengals.

And so King was direct with Bell:  “If you were on your previous contract with the Rams, due to make $6 million this year, would you have retired?”

“That’s a very good question,” Bell replied. “And therein lies the problem.  How can you say when you’re being offered so much money, the kind of money that can secure your future, to play football?  So of course it played a role.”

It’s the magnitude of the cash that keeps plenty of guys in the game.  “I guarantee you if you asked every player in the NFL if they’d do it for $500,000 a year, a lot of them would do something else,” Bell said.

That’s not entirely accurate.  Plenty of young players are on the small side of 500 large, but they’re still lining up in droves to play.

Still, the game could see more guys like Jacob Bell walk away once the big money dries up — if, of course, they’ve saved enough of it so that they don’t need to play for $825,000 or $500,000 or whatever they can get.

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16 Responses to “Money was a factor in Bell’s decision”
  1. kingkaufman says: May 15, 2012 3:49 PM

    “I guarantee you if you asked every player in the NFL if they’d do it for $500,000 a year, a lot of them would do something else,” Bell said.

    That’s not entirely accurate. Plenty of young players are on the small side of 500 large, but they’re still lining up in droves to play.

    That doesn’t make it inaccurate. He said “a lot of them would do something else.” Not “all of them would do something else.”

  2. oldskoolchopper says: May 15, 2012 3:51 PM

    And there in lies the real problem…guys without a college education that have the potential to earn $500k (which is more than the President of the US) would walk away from a job that requires them to work about 200 days per year to play a game. Instead, they would rather get a job out of football making about $30k per year being a manager at a fast food restaurant.

    I say let the ones without heart hit the bricks. When they are 40 years old they will have wished they could make $500 to work out, stay in shape and play a kids game.

  3. cali49er707 says: May 15, 2012 3:56 PM

    It’s the magnitude of the cash that keeps plenty of guys in the game.  “I guarantee you if you asked every player in the NFL if they’d do it for $500,000 a year, a lot of them would do something else,” Bell said.

    —————————— —————————— ———

    i cant speak for everybody but, if this guy thinks money like that is just floating around, well then i say GOOD LUCK!!!! i personally dont know one person bringing in $500,000 a year but, what do i know?? im just a 40hrs a week guy working a average job, paying my bills, and average life!! i dont have the luxury of driving the hottest sports cars or walking away from that type of cash like these guys, & then they wonder why they go broke!!!!

  4. Kaz says: May 15, 2012 4:01 PM

    Not that anyone cares but me but I told you guys this in the comments when he first announced his retirement.

  5. vbe2 says: May 15, 2012 4:04 PM

    $825,000 would secure a lot of peoples futures. You’re a fool to walk away from that kind of pay check.

  6. hikohadon says: May 15, 2012 4:18 PM

    $500k a year is nothing to scoff at, but if you’ve saved up enough and you’re worried about your health, sure, walk away.

    It’s not like there isn’t a pipeline of young guys dying to take your place.

  7. chocopoppy says: May 15, 2012 4:19 PM

    He has already made alot of money so the fact that $500k doesn’t motivate him doesn’t surprise me. Nothing wrong here.

  8. inthezone4 says: May 15, 2012 4:34 PM

    Big cry baby! Sign me up for $825,000 a year. These guys don’t know a thing about the real world. Try struggling to pay your bills every month after being laid off.

  9. kg112686 says: May 15, 2012 4:44 PM

    oldskoolchopper says: May 15, 2012 3:51 PM

    And there in lies the real problem…guys without a college education that have the potential to earn $500k (which is more than the President of the US) would walk away from a job that requires them to work about 200 days per year to play a game. Instead, they would rather get a job out of football making about $30k per year being a manager at a fast food restaurant.

    I say let the ones without heart hit the bricks. When they are 40 years old they will have wished they could make $500 to work out, stay in shape and play a kids game.
    —————————————————-

    and some of these NFL players will wish they had retired early like Bell because they won’t be healthy enough to play with their kids when they finally have to give up football. some of these players won’t be alive to see their kids grow up and go to college because of long term injuries they sustain. why fault a guy for walking away on his own terms and not being forced out? to some players 5ooK isn’t enough to risk permanent injury that could ruin the rest of your life. the reward isn’t worth the risk sometimes.

  10. hatesycophants says: May 15, 2012 4:47 PM

    Why are so many of you convinced that everyone is as motivated by money as you?

  11. bearsrulepackdrool says: May 15, 2012 6:40 PM

    That’s not entirely accurate. Plenty of young players are on the small side of 500 large, but they’re still lining up in droves to play.

    _____________________________

    They have no problem being on the small side of 500 large, because they’re working to make the $6 million. There’s a difference.

    It’s easy for the young guys to settle for what they have because it’s new to them. They worked to get that much. But, Bell has already been there. He worked to get where he’s at. He’s not going back and I wouldn’t blame him.

    I’m sure your interns are happy making what they make. But, I guarantee you wouldn’t take a pay cut to make the same thing they are. Yet, still be their boss and do your same duties.

  12. dionoil says: May 15, 2012 6:48 PM

    I can think of alot of things I’d do for 6 million that i wouldn’t do for 500 thousand

  13. rajbais says: May 15, 2012 9:28 PM

    What a disgrace!!!! He was a commendable figure and now he’s just a paycheck seeker!!!

  14. cleverbob says: May 15, 2012 10:12 PM

    Still, the game could see more guys like Jacob Bell walk away once the big money dries up — if, of course, they’ve saved enough of it so that they don’t need to play for $825,000 or $500,000 or whatever they can get.
    ———————————————–

    Looking at you, T.O.

  15. mwindle1973 says: May 16, 2012 3:09 AM

    He’s made $25M in his career, he was due to make $890k with the Bengals this year. Had he played better this year than last he might have made it back to the $2M range for the rest of his career. Which could’ve been 2-5 more years. Him turning down a million is equivalent to someone who has career earnings of $2.5M saying another 100k is insignificant. It’s pretty significant. And if he ended up putting effort in again, he could’ve made another 5-10M before leaving football.

  16. nopepper123 says: May 16, 2012 9:21 AM

    If someone could speak on Bell’s behalf, Palmer was willing to walk away from $50 million to not put on a Bengal’s uniform.

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