On Wednesday, March 13, former Pittsburg Steelers running back and all pro Le'Veon Bell signed a 4 year, $52.5 million contract with the New York Jets. It was a surprising amount of money for a guy that sat out for all of 2018, but nevertheless, it was a good contract for the Jets since many people expected a bigger deal. What the Jets also got was a lot more positives out of his contract. Here's why.
One reason this deal should be great for everyone involved, is that Bell is an amazing talent. From 2014-2017, Bell has averaged 1,119 rushing yards, 565 receiving yards, and 7 touchdowns. He has continuously shown an amazing ability which is to make plays with all of the patience he has. Bell knows when to strategically wait from 3-5 seconds before making a play. Most importantly, Bell's all around skills as a running back have contributed to wins. In 3 out of Bell's 5 seasons in the NFL, he rushed for 1,000 yards. In those 3 seasons, the Steelers won their division. Bell will most likely bring all of those qualities to the Jets.
Bell is the kind of player who will make the other players on the offense around him better. He is someone who, despite being the great player he is individually, can also improve certain areas of the offense, Throughout his career in Pittsburgh, Bell has improved their running game, passing attack, and pass protection. For a Jets offense that already has a young core of talent in quarterback Sam Darnold, running back Elijah McGuire, wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson, and tight end Chris Herndon IV, this is a major improvement regarding talent and reliability.
The final reason is because Le'Veon was a polarizing figure in Pittsburgh, he's in need of a fresh start in New York. In his final 2 seasons with the Steelers, everyone knew that besides playing for individual and team success, Bell was also playing for a new contract. After 2016, he rejected a 5 year contract extension which forced the Steelers to place the franchise tag on him to prevent him from entering free agency. After 2017, the Steelers had to tag him again. However, his agent reported that 2018 will be Bell's last season as a Steeler. What Bell also did surprised lots of players, fans, and analysts: he sat out for the entire season. Now that Bell has a fresh start with a team with lots of potential, his team placement won't be as stressful as it was in Pittsburgh.
So not only did the Jets simply get a great player in Le'Veon Bell, but they got a guy who makes others around him better, knows how to win, and will be in a better situation than he was earlier in his career. Jets defensive tackle and Bell's former teammate in Pittsburgh Steve McLendon perfectly summed up Bell's qualities back in December saying, "If you get him in here, I know one thing about him. When he steps foot in this building, you're going to get 100 percent from this guy." He continued by saying that people should, "just know that he's going to bring out the best out of so many people. Just imagine: He'd be the Jamal Adams on offense. Loud. Energetic. Confident. And you know he's going to make plays." As things stand now, we know the fantasy has become a reality and hopefully, that reality will translate into one of greatest moves ever made by the Jets.