Now officially a member of the Jets, running back Le'Veon Bell has no regrets about skipping the entire 2018 season in lieu of playing under the franchise tag for a second time. Of course, he’d never admit to having regrets if he did.
“The decision I made,” Bell told reporters, “I don’t regret anything that happened. Who can I say if I played on a franchise tag, if I do get hurt, do I sit here with the New York Jets with a beautiful deal?”
He’s right, even if some are arguing that he should have taken the long-term deal that the Steelers offered last year — one that carried at least $5 million less in fully-guaranteed money.
Once it was clear he’d be hitting the open market, Bell said that his next destination was the Jets all along.
“In all reality, the Jets were the team . . . that I wanted to go,” Bell said, adding that he grew up a Jets fans. “Once the numbers made sense, it wasn’t hard for me. . . . I’m happy where I stand.”
He’s stands in the shoes of a guy who last played football in January 2018.
“The fact that I took last year off, it sucked having to watch football, but at the same time in December and January it was the best my body felt in my entire life,” Bell said.
And so the Jets are getting a player who is healthy and rested and presumably motivated to prove that those who are doubting his decisions and downplaying his skills are wrong. The Jets benefit from that, both in the form of having a contract that isn’t quite what it could have been and a player who is determined to make the most of his second NFL stop.