But he might lack a little awareness. Speaking recently with USA Today, Bell spoke to the Jets' low expectations for 2019 — and how he's hoping to prove all the doubters wrong.
“Even before I got to Pittsburgh, you always got to look somewhere to find that chip on your shoulder for motivation,” Bell said. “So when I got to Pittsburgh, I used that from the draft. I remember all the teams that passed on me. ‘I’m going to make you regret it.’ Then I got to Pittsburgh and we had the whole contract thing that happened. It didn’t work out in Pittsburgh. I’m out of Pittsburgh. And now I’m in a new city, a new team, and a lot of people haven’t even given us a chance ‘cause they don’t like our roster. They think we don’t have the talent. I’m thinking I’m going to show everybody."
All fair points, Mr. Bell.
But he wasn't done there.
"I’m going to show people that, look, Pittsburgh had something special and they let it go," he continued. "That’s what I’m going to go out there and do.”
How exactly did the Steelers "let" Bell go? The Steelers offered Bell a five-year, $70 million contract before franchise tagging him for the second consecutive season in 2018. Bell essentially said, "Nah, not good enough" and elected to turn down the offer and sit out the entire season. Then, he signed a four-year, $52.5 million offer with the Jets in March. The Steelers offered to make him one of the highest-paid players at his position. He wasn't totally satisfied, and he eventually signed for less elsewhere, albeit with more guaranteed money reportedly built-in from the Jets.
Still ... I'm not sure a five-year, $70 million offer is letting anyone go. That's a real, reasonable attempt to lock down one of the best players in the game. And while Bell eventually settled for less with the Jets...
“I would do everything the same,” Bell told USA Today of taking the year off with the Steelers. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”