Widely criticized for sitting out last season and exaggerating his bargaining hand when he joined the free agency, the return of LeVeon Bell claimed Thursday that he had no regrets, saying he had "got a good deal" with the New York Jets.  The former star of the Pittsburgh Steelers signed a four-year contract worth 52.5 million dollars, of which 25 million guaranteed at the time of signing.
"I don't regret anything that happened," Bell told the conference call with journalists. "Everything happened for a reason: who can say that if I played last year, you know, if I go out to play last year with a one-year franchise tag, if I get hurt, I'll end up sitting in this position today, being with the New York Jets on a great deal? "
Bell also suggested a heavy workload with the Steelers may have damaged its market value, saying," Who would say a team would would bring after 400 carries? "
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He wouldn't have faced that situation if he had accepted the Steelers' long-term offer, a $ 70 million figure in five years. This proposal included $ 33 million in the first two years and $ 20.5 million guaranteed in the first year.
A review of Bell's contract with the Jets shows he will make less money than he could have had in Pittsburgh. He will earn $ 14.5 million in the first year, including a $ 8 million bonus. His two-year payment is $ 26 million. The three-year payment is $ 39.5 million, $ 5.5 million compared to what it would have done with the Steelers.
Bell's market was not as robust as many expected. In the end, he arrived at the Jets and the San Francisco 49ers. His average of 13.1 million dollars a year is in second place among the running backs, behind Todd Gurley II ($ 14.4 million).
Speaking publicly for the first time since the end of the season, Bell played in an optimistic tone, refusing to comment on Steelers and their recent trade with Antonio Brown. He said the year away from football has done wonders for his body.
"I played soccer from the age of 4, every single year," he said. "The fact that he took the last year – he sucked to watch football – but at the same time, from late December to January and February, it's the best my body has ever experienced in my life. or confronts what I feel, literally just resting and letting my body heal … I have so much built in me that it's time to let it go now. "
Bell, 27, wouldn & # 39; Say what you weigh, but promised to be in the form of football at the start of the season.
He talked a lot about quarterback Sam Darnold, saying the quarterback's potential took his decision into consideration. He wants to be Darnold's "security blanket" in the field. Bell also complimented security Jamal Adams for his non-stop recruitment.
"It was on my constant line, you know, pulling up, pulling me, sending me messages, tweeting about me, Instagram, all I could to get me here," Bell said. . "Just because he joined me and things like that, meant everything in the world to me, that someone wants me so much, that a team wants me so much." I'm happy to be here. part. He made it happen. I have to give him a lot of credit. "
Bell said that" all the stars are aligned to the Jets ", adding that they were his favorite team raised in Ohio. His favorite player was Curtis Martin, a Hall of Fame.
Bell laughed from a comment that he had done last year at TMZ, the one about how he wouldn't take $ 100 million to play with the Jets.
"It was just that I was on Twitter and TMZ, talking," he said. " All that was. You know, I'm happy with where I am. The situation I am in now, I would not change for anything in the world. "