Le’Veon Bell doesn’t regret sitting out the 2018 season

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Le'Veon Bell made a unique decision to bet on himself and sit out the 2018 season rather than play on the franchise tag.

Through various circumstances and reasons, Bell hasn’t seen the same level of success in 2019 and 2020 as he did the first five years of his career in Pittsburgh. He did sign a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $35 million guaranteed with the Jets but vastly underperformed in his time with New York.

But as he prepares to play the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, Bell says he doesn’t wish he’d played in 2018.

“Oh no, that never crossed my mind,” Bell said Tuesday. “I feel like me sitting out, I just kind of look at it as it kind of helped me out on the backend of my career, because last year when I came back, it felt like I was reset. It felt like I was a rookie all over again. I was so excited to get back on the field and really just get my gatherings back. So I don’t know, it kind of reset my body. I feel like it’s going to really help me for the end of my career.”

Bell may have felt great, but he recorded only 789 yards rushing and three touchdowns while averaging just 3.2 yards per carry in 2019. He added 66 receptions for 461 yards and a receiving TD, giving him 1,250 yards from scrimmage.

But that was a far cry from his years in Pittsburgh, when he racked up 2,215, 1,884, and 1,946 yards from scrimmage in three of his last four seasons with the club.

Bell will be a free agent again in March, so he’ll have another opportunity to show just how fresh he is at age 29 in 2021.

25 responses to “Le’Veon Bell doesn’t regret sitting out the 2018 season

  1. “LeVeon Bell made a unique decision to bet on himself and sit out the 2018 season.”

    Since when is sitting out betting on yourself?

  2. Bell lost about $13M that he will never recover, and since he returned he hasn’t looked even close to what he was in 2017. At a minimum he should have fired his agent.

  3. I never cared for this signing, and now he’s going to possibly be greatly rewarded a ring for absolutely nothing. Shoot, let’s sign Mark Ingram for the playoffs next year, why not!

  4. It was ridiculous of the Steelers to not either extend Bell or just let him walk and collect compensatory picks. It was a greedy and spiteful move to franchise tag Bell a second time in his prime with no intention of extending him. The whole saga was completely avoidable and the Steelers, Bell, and fans all suffered for it.

  5. What else is supposed to say? I still think he made a big mistake sitting out the season.

  6. He is talking as if sitting out had nothing to do with money when it had everything to do with money.

  7. He looked like a potential HOF’er before he sat out 2018. Now he’s barely a 3rd string back. But yeah, no regrets.

  8. What, you expected him to be intelligent enough to admit a stupid mistake, he not only missed out on big money that year but he’s been a lousy football player since. You can’t leave and come back and pick up where you left off, NFL football doesn’t work like that-he still has rocks in his head!~

  9. He traded $13 million guaranteed for $35 million guaranteed. He didn’t get beat up or injured in 2018, while sitting at home. Now what I’m guessing Florio was trying to say is that he’ll be released with 2 years left on his contract.

  10. Let’s not forget that Pittsburg offered Bell $70 million over 4 years with a $10 million signing bonus averaging $14 million per year. Money that he’ll never recover. Yet he is glad ?

  11. What a fool. That move killed his career. He’s been an afterthought ever since.
    He should have the stones to stand up and tell young players not to make the same mistake he made. Help out the young guys to prevent them from ruining their careers too.

  12. I keep reading comments blaming his agent. He went against his agent’s advice. The agent recommended taking the deal the Steelers had on the table it was Bell’s decision not to sign it.

  13. The guy lucked out into playing for KC. He didn’t look like he was having so much fun feuding with his head coach in New York.

  14. Much of Bell’s success (and the Killer B’s) is owed to former Pittsburgh O-Line coach Mike Munchak. Most underrated Steeler.

  15. bodinibrown says:
    February 2, 2021 at 4:57 pm
    Bell lost about $13M that he will never recover, and since he returned he hasn’t looked even close to what he was in 2017. At a minimum he should have fired his agent.

    What you think now Florio? Wrong decision then, wrong decision now. He didn’t save tread by being off a year. And @bodinibrown is right – he ain’t ever getting that money back.

    RBs are a dime a dozen. *I* feel (just my opinion) is WRs becoming the same. Sitting out is simply not a good strategy,

  16. A leg injury turned “Fast Willie” Parker to not so fast anymore and he soon out of the league.

    Steelers fan, but I think the deal he got from NYJ proved it was prudent.

    After all, his rap career hasn’t exactly taken off.

  17. Someday either Bell or Antonio Brown will sit back after their bodies are broken down, and they have no money left, and wish they would’ve stayed the course in Pitt. I say “either” because the one who does not get the Super Bowl Ring will most likely be the one regretting their decision.

  18. Lev was on track to become the greatest Steeler RB of all time. A couple of years after leaving Pittsburgh, he’s barely relevant. Don’t only consider the money, there is plenty else to regret!

  19. I concluded along the way he just did not love the game; he could resist suiting up with his teammates and playing.

    so … I think the Jets overpaid for a guy not driven to win.

  20. It always amazes my the way people rip into a guy who makes his own decisions and by the incredible expertise of wannabe GMs and HCs. Why does an independent, go your own way player get under the skin of these people and inspire them to say such nice things about him?

    If the $13 million was the issue he wouldn’t have sat out. It’s not the issue.

    The man made a decision for himself based on his values, morals and integrity. He has earned respect and deserves to be shown respect by all of us.

    BELL IS PLAYING IN THE SUPERBOWL this weekend. I don’t think the people hammering him are.

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