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Ba-Bye Steelers? Le’Veon Bell Says He Never Wanted to Leave Pittsburgh



Steelers Le'Veon Bell

Le’Veon Bell opened up about his exit from Pittsburgh, and he revealed that he has more than a few regrets about how the entire situation ended up playing out.

Bell’s exit from Pittsburgh remains one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ in recent Steelers history. Appearing on the Steel Here podcast with Kevin Adams and Jersey Jerry, Bell discussed how the entire situation came about during contract negotiations. He revealed that he never wanted to leave Pittsburgh, but the offers he received simply did not match up. More importantly, he says the difference from Mike Tomlin to other coaches is what caused him to get a shock.

“You know, what it was for me the most was the coach,” Bell said. “It was not necessarily the place I was at. In New York, there were a lot of secrets and you couldn’t say something to somebody. Coach Tomlin would just be a guy who was so honest and straightforward with you. My mistake was thinking you were going to get that from everywhere.”

However, Bell never wanted to leave the city. During the 2016 playoff run to the AFC Championship, Bell revealed that he played through the groin injury that would keep him out for most of the game against New England. He felt a sense of loyalty to Pittsburgh. That loyalty would be tested when the Steelers franchise tagged Bell two years in a row.

“No, I didn’t want to leave Pittsburgh,” Bell said. “Because, at the end of the day, that’s where I was at. It was like, that’s where I got drafted, right?”

The biggest holdup in getting a contract done continued to be guaranteed money. With the franchise tag hitting him twice and Bell having experienced multiple injuries in his career, he grew wary of playing another year, causing him to sit out the year in hopes of hitting it big once he would hit free agency the following year.

“With the Jets, the contract thing was that they had guaranteed me a certain amount of money,” Bell said. “It was like $39 million versus Pittsburgh which guaranteed me $17 million. At the time, I had just played on the franchise tag and I was already lowkey chancing because before that I was already being told I was going to get a long-term deal. We didn’t work it out. I did play under the tag because they said they would get me right the next year. The final offer was $13.3 million per year and the franchise tag was like $12 million. You know, the annual was fine but they only guaranteed me the first year of the contract. So, I was basically playing on another franchise tag. I get hurt and you can release me in Year 2. That’s how Pittsburgh does contracts.”

Le’Veon Bell went on to say he was ‘Pittsburgh’s guy’ and he wishes he would have stayed there. He wants to retire a Steeler as well, and that would make sense. Bell is now 31 years old and out of the league after going to the Chiefs and Ravens after the Steelers, but it can only be asked as a ‘what if’ and what could have happened if Bell did sign a long-term deal with the Steelers.

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May 26, 2023 6:41 pm

The dud is a certified douche of the highest order. He hung us out to dry with hid holdout, despite saying he’d be back. F him

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