Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell recently announced at a promotional event for his upcoming boxing match against future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson that he would be skipping the 2022-2023 NFL season in order to focus on his new career in the boxing ring. Bell took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce this to his followers, and took time to reflect on his football career, in particular his decision to sit out of the 2018 season in pursuit of a better contract.
“The NFL has done great things for me, & I truly appreciated every single year of my NFL journey … obviously, I (we, whoever) wish things would’ve played out differently in 2018, like if I legit had a time machine to go back to 2018, that would be soo litttt 🔥 for soo many reasons but I don’t … all I can do, all WE can do is keep moving forward with life,” Bell said on Instagram.
Bell infamously sat out for the entirety of the 2018 NFL season at the height of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, in an attempt to land a long term contract. Bell finished the 2017 season with nearly 2,000 scrimmage yards and with 11 total touchdowns, as he rounded out one of the league’s best offenses, anchored by quarterback Ben Rothlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown.
After sitting out for 2018, Bell signed a 5 year contract with the New York Jets, but failed to match the production numbers he saw with the Steelers. He saw short stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Bell’s best days on the gridiron were behind him.
But, according to his Instagram statement, Bell is moving onto the next chapter of his life and leaving the past behind. The chapter begins when he faces off against Peterson in the boxing ring on July 30.