Le’Veon Bell was largely ineffective after he signed with the New York Jets in 2019, but the former running back feels he still has plenty to offer.
In a video he shared on Snapchat this week, Bell said he is going to begin training in March for a potential NFL comeback. The 31-year-old said he will first see how his body feels but that he is confident he will “be better than I ever was” if he makes the decision to revive his career.
“I gotta go out there and be like, I’m gonna put my foot in the ground. Do I Feel it? Am I hurting? Can I go out there and really play again?” Bell said, via Alex Kozora of Steelers Depot. “And bro, I’m telling y’all right now when I go out there and train in March and if I hit April and I make the decision to come back to play in the NFL again, mark my words down. I will be better than I ever was. Ever. And I will only come back for that one team. Y’all know who it is. I don’t gotta say no team. Y’all know who it is.”
Bell was almost certainly talking about the Steelers. He said last offseason that Mike Tomlin is the only coach he would want to play for if he returned to the NFL.
It remains to be seen if there would be much interest in Bell if he does attempt a comeback. Bell was one of the most dynamic offensive players in the NFL during the five seasons he played for the Steelers. He was hit with the franchise tag in 2018 and could not find common ground with Pittsburgh on a long-term extension. The Steelers typically structure big contracts with rolling guarantees and less money up front, and Bell took a hard stance.
After sitting out all of 2019, Bell signed a 4-year, $52.5 million contract with the New York Jets. The deal included about $27 million guaranteed up front. While Bell finally got the money he was seeking, his production completely fell off a cliff. He never again looked like the three-time Pro Bowl back that played for the Steelers.
Bell, who last played in the NFL in 2021, has expressed regret over the way things ended in Pittsburgh, which is probably a big reason he wants to play for the Steelers again.