Kansas City Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell is just a few days away from playing in his first Super bowl and while it’s been a few years since he decided to sit out the 2018 season as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers due to him and the team being unable to come to terms on a long-term contract after he was given the franchise tag that offseason, he made it clear during his Tuesday media session that he still doesn’t regret that decision.
“Oh no, no,” Bell said on Tuesday when asked if he’s ever thought he shouldn’t have sat out the entire 2018 season. “That never crossed my mind. I mean, I feel like, you know, me sitting out, I look at it as like, it kind of helped me on the back end of my career. Because, I mean, literally the year I came back, last year when I came back, it kind of like, it felt like I was reset. It felt like I was a rookie all over again. I was just so excited to get back on the field and really just get my gatherings back. And so, I don’t know, it kind of like reset my body. I feel like it’s going to really help me for the end of my career, the long game to my career.”
Well, Bell sitting out the 2018 season may have helped his body reset, but that said, his 2019 season with the New York Jets, the team that signed him to a four-year, $52.5 million contract with $27 million fully guaranteed at signing that also included incentives and salary escalators that increases the maximum value of the deal to a possible $60.15 million, didn’t go well at all. Bell, body reset and all, registered all of 1250 yards from scrimmage and just four touchdowns in 2019, his lone full season with the Jets. This past season, Bell, who was ultimately released by the Jets in the middle of October, managed to register all of 466 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 98 total touches.
In the Chiefs two playoff game wins these last two weeks, Bell only managed to play in one of them and he touched the football just twice for 6 yards in the home game win against the Cleveland Browns. Will he touch the football a lot more than that in Sunday’s Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs? We’ll see.
Sundays Super Bowl will also include one of Bell’s former Steelers teammates, wide receiver Antonino Brown, playing for the Buccaneers, which is something the veteran Chiefs running back never imagined happening when the two were together in Pittsburgh several years ago. He said that while he and Brown don’t really have contact with each other since both left the Steelers, he’s still been paying attention to what the veteran wide receiver has been doing with the Buccaneers.
“Well, obviously, when we were in Pittsburgh, we wasn’t envisioning being in a Super Bowl somewhere else,” Bell said Tuesday of Brown. “But I still keep in touch with a lot of my old teammates in Pittsburgh. Me and him haven’t really kept in contact like that, but I have just been kind of watching him from distance and have been proud of what he’s been doing.”
Bell also let it be known on Tuesday that after the Steelers got off to an 11-0 this season that he thought there was a good chance that the Chiefs and his former team would likely end up playing each other at some point during the playoffs.
“Yeah, that was always, you know, kind of an idea, because obviously at the time, I think we were a game behind the Steelers when they were 11-0, and we was thinking like, well, we’re probably going to have to see the Steelers at some point, which I was excited about,” Bell said about thinking the Chiefs might ultimately face the Steelers in the playoffs this year after his former team started undefeated through their first 11 games played. “But you know, obviously that didn’t end up happening. And it is what it is, but it’s been a fun ride so far.”
We’ll see on Sunday if Bell’s fun ride with the Chiefs continues one more game in Tampa. If it does, the Steelers former second-round draft pick will have his first Super Bowl ring. If it doesn’t, Bell’s former teammate Brown will have his first one.
“Yeah, it’s crazy to think of as long as we’ve been playing together, we never made it to this point,” Bell said about him and Brown being poises to compete in Sunday’s Super Bowl on opposing teams. “But the fact that we’re playing against each other is going to be, you know, it’s going to be fun. You know, just on different sides of the ball, obviously.”