Le'Veon Bell was once the most dynamic running back in the NFL. Prior to his highly publicized holdout with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell was an excellent all-purpose back who put up yards every week. Bell also admitted he smoked marijuana before games.
"Looking back, that's what I did," Bell said. "When I was playing football, I smoked. Even before the games, I'd smoke and I'd go out there and run for 150, two (touchdowns)."
Bell had a dominant run with the Steelers from 2013 to 2017, racking up 5,336 rushing yards, 2,660 receiving yards, and averaging 5.2 yards per touch. He earned two All-Pro selections and had three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Bell sat out the 2018 season due to a contract dispute and signed a four year, $52.5 million deal with the New York Jets in 2019.
Bell's time in New York was a disaster. In his one-and-a-half seasons with the Jets, he recorded just 863 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns while averaging 3.27 yards per carry -- all last in the league among the 16 running backs who logged more than 240 carries since Bell started with the Jets in 2019 up until his release from the team in October 2020.
Bell has since had short stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He hasn't played professional football since the 2021 season, but says he's not retired from the league. Bell hasn't had a run of 20-plus yards since Christmas Day in 2017.
Even though Bell had a major fallout with the Steelers, he wishes he would have handled the situation differently.
"It literally was the guarantee. They weren't budging off of it and I wasn't budging off of it. I didn't want to leave Pittsburgh," Bell said. "At the end of the day, that's where I was at. That's where I got drafted at. Especially after going to different teams and seeing how it is, when a team has their guy, you're their guy. I was Pittsburgh's guy."
When Bell does retire, he wants it to be with Pittsburgh. He hopes the Steelers give him one more chance to prove he can still play first.
"I'm trying to retire with Pittsburgh," Bell said. "But before I do that, I might be like, 'Hey, let me get a couple carries in the preseason so I can show you all something.'
"I would not do that anywhere else. Because I don't even think about playing, it literally would only be in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is where I'll retire."