What was once a big headline, has turned out to be a terrible mistake. When Le’Veon Bell first signed with the New York Jets on March 13, 2019after sitting out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute, many had believed that he would be the savior of their offense after struggling so many years. That, unfortunately, didn’t end up being the case.
On Oct 13, 2020, the news had broken that he was being released from the team after they had failed to find a suitable trade partner for him. Bell only played for the Jets franchise for 17 games through two seasons, putting up 863 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards to go along with his four touchdowns. He was never named to a pro bowl nor did he receive an all-pro selection in his time there.
While he was never able to live up to the incredible hype that he was getting after his signing, much of that is due to the Jet’s inability to build around him. Their offensive line has been terrible for quite some time now and wasn’t able to get him any space to run behind. It also didn’t help that they didn’t have any big-name receivers or tight ends to take some of the defensive focus off of Bell, as he was always the opposing team’s primary focus.
To further prove the point that his time in New York was a disappointment, he had totaled 1268 rushing yards and 616 receiving yards with nine touchdowns in only 12 games with the Steelers in 2016. Fans questioned his signing with the team after the announcement had been made. He was a superstar caliber player with many free agency options. He chose to take the biggest contract offer which ultimately proved to be a bad decision.
Now, he will be signing with the reigning Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs. Many have already compared the signing to Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors a few years back. He should be able to flourish in that system and go back to his all-pro self. However, his legacy has been tarnished quite a bit since leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers to go to the Jets. He had been First-Team All-Pro twice and was selected to three Pro Bowls during his five years with the Steelers. At the time, he was being marked as the best running back in the NFL. He even was able to post over 2,000 yards from scrimmage in his 2014 campaign.
But sadly, all good things must come to an end. As everybody was gearing up for the 2018 season, Bell had been in a dispute with Pittsburgh management over his contract. He later ended up sitting out the entire season to ensure his own safety after not getting a guaranteed contract extension. This rubbed a lot of fans and other players the wrong way, which may have hurt his legacy quite a bit. It doesn’t help that he wasn’t able to put up great numbers on the Jets either, not that it was his fault. Unfortunately, people have even been criticizing his latest move to sign with the Chiefs. Some have even claimed that he is “taking the easy way out” and hopping on the best team in the league to win another Super Bowl.