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Le’Veon Bell finally admits regret in sitting out 2018 Steelers season

Former All-Pro running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Le’Veon Bell, finally admits regrets about his hold out in 2018.

Le’Veon Bell appears to be officially retiring from the NFL. He previously came out to say he would be sitting out of the 2022 NFL season to pursue a career in boxing, a pursuit he was loosely connected to in the 2021 offseason as well. Yesterday, he took to Instagram solidifying assumptions that he was done with football for good.

He wrote, “I’m excited for this next chapter of my life, my journey to be the BEST at what I do… The NFL has done great things for me, & I truly appreciated every single year of my NFL journey…”

More interesting, however, with a preexisting and general understanding that he was done, Bell also touched on the most controversial moment of his career in his post.

”obviously, I (we, whoever) wish things would’ve played out differently in 2018, like if I legit had a time machine to go back to 2018… for so many reasons but I don’t.”

Le’Veon Bell admits regret about sitting out 2018 Steelers season

For anyone who has forgotten, or Steelers fans who wiped the disaster from memory, 2018 was the year that Bell sat for the season, after refusing to sign the franchise tag that the team placed on him. He was in the prime of his career, coming off of an All-Pro season in which he rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns, while hauling in 85 receptions for 655 yards and two more scores. He also led the NFL in carries (321) and total offensive touches (406).

In hindsight, Bell was poised for a massive contract extension that offseason. He had just received his second, first-team All-Pro honors in a five year span, and he was the spark plug in that Steelers offense. He was also, however, slightly ahead of his time.

Positional markets in the NFL have undergone massive change in terms of demand over the last two-to-three years, a movement that Bell’s 2018 holdout certainly had some influence on. Ahead of the 2022 season, there are only eight running backs in the league with an average annual value greater than $10M. One of those eight, Ezekiel Elliot, signed his contract (6yr/$90M) in 2019, and the other seven signed in 2020 or later.

Le’Veon Bell and his representation were so committed to resetting the running back market in 2018 that they elected to hold out of the most pivotal season of his career, and it seems now, that Bell is finally admitting that it was the wrong move to make.


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