Le’Veon Bell says a trade was “close,” and that his contract was a “huge part” of the talks

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Nearly two weeks ago, Jets running back Le'Veon Bell disclosed that the Chiefs, Texans, Packers, and Steelers spoke to the Jets about a potential trade, prior to the October 29 deadline. On Tuesday, I asked Bell how close he came to making an in-season switch.

“Honestly, it was close,” Bell said. “I mean, obviously, it was at the time just hearing everything out and seeing how it plays out. Obviously, I didn’t want to get traded but if it did happen I was ready and I would do what I had to do but, yeah, I just understand from the Jets perspective if they were to trade me and they got some value out of it, I understand where they’re coming from.

“[I]t’s a business — strictly business — and I understand that whole business-decision thing, so I didn’t take too much offense to it. I just kept my head down and once the trade deadline went by I was ready to put my head down and get back to work.”

When Bell spoke about the situation after the trade deadline, he hinted that a new team would have wanted Bell to restructure his contract to take less money.

“That was definitely a huge part,” Bell said. “I understand how things work and everything, but the fact that I had actually sat out a whole year to kind of get to where I wanted to get to today, I definitely couldn’t like retract on it. I’m still trying to set myself up and my family up down the line so I’ll make sure that everything tries to stay intact we both would have, myself and whatever team got me, would have both became winners, not just them.”

Bell has a very pragmatic, non-emotional approach to the business of football, and that attitude serves him well. Indeed, based on how the current season ends and in light of the needs of the various NFL teams come March, trade talks could once again happen. Look for Bell, as he always does, to approach business decisions in a businesslike manner, calmly and dispassionately and applying the same kind of strategic thinking that teams always employ when making their own business decisions.

38 responses to “Le’Veon Bell says a trade was “close,” and that his contract was a “huge part” of the talks

  1. Steelers will sign this guy and get hosed again. They fall for these divas every time.

  2. “When Bell spoke about the situation after the trade deadline, he hinted that a new team would have wanted Bell to restructure his contract to take less money.”

    Of course they would he’s grossly overpaid. And of course he wouldn’t restructure so the Jets are stuck with him.

  3. Calling and getting confirmation that the Jets are indeed shopping a player is NOT a team expressing interest in trading for said player.

    Every team should keep themselves up to date on all things going on with other teams. Doesn’t mean a team has the slightest interest in a trade.

  4. Why would someone want a guy who didn’t play football last year, and seems like his new team has buyers remorce.

    He seems like he isn’t a good teammate, after leaving them hanging last year, and seemingly trying to get out of NY a 8 games into his new contract, GBs RB sitatuion seems all right, Pitt just moved on from him, KC and Texans maybe as they have young QBs that could use a RB with his skills but would he stunt their development?

  5. Strategic thinking? This has to be a joke. He took way less money to sign with the Jets, who don’t even want him after eight games. Great situation, especially considering he’ll need to take another pay cut to get out of it. What a great strategy for a running back once bound for the hall of fame.

  6. This guy has been an outstanding leader for the Jets since he came on board. I really hope Joe Douglas can revamp this team significantly in the off-season and reward this guy’s patience with a team to play with next year and hopefully make the game a little fun for him again.

  7. “if they were to trade me and they got some value out of it, I understand where they’re coming from” is completely understandable when you are on one of the worsted teams in the league right now. I have the feeling if a team making a run at a Superbowl would be trading him he wouldn’t have the same prospective.

  8. Le’Veon Bell and “strategic thinking” in the same sentence? SMH.
    I don’t care what anyone says, he will NEVER recoup the $14 million is lost salary from the 2018 season. Not to mention the interest that he could have earned on that money.
    Bell is a greedy idiot.

  9. Get this kid some better lineman and he will be at the top of the league again. He’s been a great teammate since he became a Jet. Glad he isn’t going anywhere.

  10. Can’t imagine the Packers had much interest. They probably called to check in .. like they do with every potential trade option, but doubt it was anything more than that.

  11. He is smart enough to know it only takes one sucker (the Jets). And Jets clearly have admitted as much

  12. I would be surprised if the Texans were interested. Carlos Hyde has performed extremely well. Duke has been good add too..

  13. He’s a mature guy who knows what’s up.

    Let’s all take a look at this if and when Douglas rebuilds this O-line. I don’t think you can judge skill players when the QB is literally running for his life on every single play.

  14. Don’t see what all the hate is. The guy plays the most volatile and indiscriminately abused non-respected position AND almost all who play it get hurt and typically have short careers. He had a window where he was able to acquire a VERY unusual opportunity most RBs never get. He made a decision while still healthy to take the best deal he thought he could get. Maybe it was best (by waiting)) maybe it wasn’t – like ALL negotiation decisions. Either way hes making a hell of a living, still moderately healthy and DESPITE what the (jealous?) commentators are saying here his team is VERY supportive and appreciative of his attitude and personality… hes been a class act. MOST NFL players in tough negotiations could learn a thing or two from this guy.

    Also, honestly if i had a son with his opportunity, Id be pretty pleased with his suggestions. More so if my daughter was married to him.

    This guys a mench. The rest of these negative comments are for children.

  15. Man all the hate for Bell. So what he sat out last year cause he didn’t get a new contract and didn’t wanna get hurt. The guy had earned a new deal but Steelers are known for not being extremely stingy. Guy went to the Jets and hasn’t had a single issue or done anything but be positive in a bad environment. Its pretty clear he isn’t a diva but just wanted to get paid.

  16. cheeseisfattening says:
    November 12, 2019 at 1:49 pm
    Trying to trade for Bell shows a complete lack of faith in Aaron Jones by the Packers. Can’t say that I blame them
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    I think I may start numbering the incredulously stupid, purposeful, and unnecessary fight-picking things you say. I’ll start today.

    No. 1.

  17. “Bell has a very pragmatic, non-emotional approach to the business of football, and that attitude serves him well.”

    ————————–

    You mean forfeiting $15 million by sitting out a season? He’s got no chance of getting that money back now. What team would sign him for more than the vet minimum after the guaranteed money from the Jets is paid out?

  18. Calling Bell ‘pragmatic’ and ‘business-like’ when it comes to contracts just shows that Florio never learned basic math.

    Bell will never recoup the $14.5m he flushed by sitting out last year.

  19. I hope there aren’t any Jets fans left who really like Bell and still haven’t figured out that he will be elsewhere in 2020.

  20. shaggytoodle says: “He seems like he isn’t a good teammate, after leaving them hanging last year, and seemingly trying to get out of NY a 8 games into his new contract”
    ————————

    Wow, EVERYTHING YOU SAID WAS WRONG.

    – He was unsigned last year, so he actually didn’t have any teammates left “hanging”.
    – Nothing he said or done would indicate he wants “out of NY”. NOTHING.
    – as for “stunting a QB’s development, are you kidding me? Roethlisberger had some of his best statistical years with Bell, especially with a RB that has a 80% CAREER catch percentage

  21. Please don’t use if he had a better oline he’d be putting up better stats crap. That’s true of any running back. He had everything he needed in Pittsburgh but wanted more. He got his money and now he’s getting what he deserves. He’ll become a distraction next season to force his way out after he finishes this season with 1.5 ypc.

  22. buckstalion12965 says: “Calling Bell ‘pragmatic’ and ‘business-like’ when it comes to contracts just shows that Florio never learned basic math.

    Bell will never recoup the $14.5m he flushed by sitting out last year.”
    ————————-

    The reason for not signing the franchise tag offer was to secure a long-term contract. A career-ending injury would’ve limited his earnings to just that $14.5m. The Jets signed him to 4yrs/$52m with $27m guaranteed.

    It is indeed “pragmatic” and “business-like” to evaluate the ENTIRE financial circumstances where the Steelers tried to download all injury risks onto the player.

  23. Teams like the Jets need to stop thinking big ticket purchases like this will solve their problems. Personally, I believe (1) players should be paid on average far less than they make, but (2) teams should be forced to honor deals in the contracts they make. The whole system of signing a $100m+ contract but then in reality its good for 1-2 years for a total of $30m and the team releases that player is just dumb.

  24. I don’t know how good a business man Bell is. I personally don’t think he is worth the money he is being paid. He is a fine back but the only time a running back is worth what he is being paid is when a generational player comes along; most “great” running backs are just products of great offensive lines.

    But the butt hurt a lot of people have about this guy, especially steelers fans, is ridiculous.

    He had every right to hold out and he did nothing wrong to anyone unless it was himself. I never heard of him being a problem except for getting busted for pot with that idiot Blount.

    Teams cut players, void contracts and force renegotiation all the time and that doesn’t make them bad. Now if you want to talk about Brown that is a whole different story……

  25. Making a lot of money to become irrelevant on a basement dwelling team… It was fun watching you while you had a team around you. Else we won’t see much from you anymore. Good luck with retirement. Next!

  26. bobhpine says:
    November 12, 2019 at 1:25 pm
    Strategic thinking? This has to be a joke. He took way less money to sign with the Jets, who don’t even want him after eight games. Great situation, especially considering he’ll need to take another pay cut to get out of it. What a great strategy for a running back once bound for the hall of fame.
    —————————————————————————–

    He doesn’t have to do a thing. His contract guarantees him more than the one year he would’ve gotten paid as a franchise tag and gotten hurt. He effectively paid one year of an insurance policy to get a few years in salary guaranteed.
    People just like to hate on this guy because he made decision for himself, but want to make him out to be selfish.
    There’s no talk or indication of him being locker room problem. In fact he’s been the opposite.

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