Le’Veon Bell Sounds Off on Possible NFL Reunion: ‘I’d Retire First’

Le'Veon Bell

Peter Aiken/Getty Images Le'Veon Bell boxes the goal post after scoring a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on October 15, 2017.

It was less than two weeks ago that former Pittsburgh Steelers/New York Jets/Kansas City Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell took to social media to promise he’d make ‘no more rushed decisions’ in free agency. After today, he may not have any decisions to make as he just made himself that much more unattractive to NFL general managers and head coaches.

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On Saturday Bell posted a message to his Instagram account that flatly stated:

“I’ll never play for Andy Reid again…. I’d retire first,” he wrote, making reference to the Chiefs’ head coach. The post has since been deleted, but not before various Instagram and Twitter users did a screen grab, including Chiefs.intel:

First and foremost, it’s highly unusual for a former Chiefs player to take a shot at Andy Reid, who is about as highly-respected a head coach as there is in the NFL. Worse yet, Reid has an extensive “coaching tree,” so Bell has likely not only burned the bridge to Reid … and the New York Jets … and the Pittsburgh Steelers … he has likely ruined whatever chance he had left of getting an opportunity via a coach who is close to Reid.

It’s Been All Downhill for Bell Since Rejecting Pittsburgh’s Final Contract Offer

It’s not like teams have been beating on Bell’s door since he hit unrestricted free agency in mid-March, not after flaming out with the Jets in 2019-20 and looking largely underwhelming with the Chiefs in the second half of last season.

Bell carried the ball 64 times for 254 yards and two touchdowns for the Chiefs after he was released by the Jets in October of last year. He also contributed 13 catches for 99 yards, but even when rookie starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire was injured during the latter part of last season, Bell wasn’t always Reid’s first option, as fellow backup Darrel Williams, a former undrafted free agent out of LSU, often received playing time ahead of him.

In fact, Bell hasn’t looked at all like the same player after sitting out the 2018 season in a contract dispute. Since his last game with the Steelers in 2017 he has appeared in 26 games—17 for the Jets and nine for the Chiefs—and rushed for just 1,117 yards with an additional 599 receiving yards.

Le’Veon Bell’s Career Earnings Have Totaled $44 Million

Don’t cry for Le’Veon Bell, though. Even if he never plays another down in the NFL, he has already earned $44,215,385 dollars (according to overthecap.com) over the course of the eight years since the Steelers made him a second-round draft pick in 2013.

It’s just that that’s a far cry from what he could have earned had he chosen to remain with the Steelers, where he had the best years of his career. Recall that Pittsburgh’s final contract offer to Bell (in 2018) was for a reported five years and $70 million, this after he played for $12.2 million under the franchise tag in 2017.

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