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Bell admits to being 'petty' in contract dispute with Steelers

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Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell recently admitted he shouldn't have left the team in 2019.

"I didn't want to leave Pittsburgh because, at the end of the day, that's where I was at," Bell said on the "Steel Here" podcast. "That's where I got drafted. Especially after going to different teams and seeing how it is, it's like when the team has their guy, you're their guy. I was Pittsburgh's guy."

Bell added that he only wanted to guarantee the first year of a potential extension but that the sides couldn't reach an agreement.

"Yeah, it was a little petty, the little guarantee stuff," Bell said.

Despite leaving the Steelers with some animosity, the former second-round pick said he'd like to return to the franchise and take some preseason carries before retiring.

"I'm going to try to retire with Pittsburgh," Bell said. "But before I do that, I might be like, 'Hey bro, let me get a couple of carries in the preseason so I can show y'all (I still have it).'"

Considered among the top backs in the league during his time, Bell racked up 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns over five seasons with Pittsburgh. He also proved to be an asset in the passing game, hauling in 312 receptions for 2,660 yards.

Bell earned his third career Pro Bowl nod after posting a league-leading 321 rushing attempts to go along with 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns while playing on the franchise tag in 2017. Pittsburgh again placed the franchise tag on Bell ahead of the 2018 campaign.

The two-time first-team All-Pro opted to sit out the entire season instead of signing the one-year tender in an attempt to negotiate a lucrative long-term contract.

But Bell became an unrestricted free agent in 2019 after the Steelers decided not to put the tag on the star tailback. He ended up signing a four-year, $52.5-million contract with the New York Jets, failing to reset the market for halfbacks that he had initially set his sights on.

Bell lasted just under two seasons in New York before getting released in October 2020. Following his Jets tenure, he had stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since taking his last snap in 2021, Bell has moved over to boxing and beat former NFL All-Pro Adrian Peterson by TKO last September.

Bell admits to being 'petty' in contract dispute with Steelers
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