Le’Veon Bell made headlines last year when he extended his training camp holdout for the entire 2018 season, choosing not to play for the Steelers unless they gave him the contract he felt he deserved or traded him to a team that would.
This offseason, Bell was dealt to the New York Jets, who made him the second-highest paid running back in football with a 4-year, $52 million deal to be the bell cow behind Sam Darnold entering his second season as quarterback. In his 5-year career, Bell has rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns, as he carried a heavy load in Pittsburgh’s offense. After sitting out last year, Bell vows to be back to his uber-productive self in New York, going so far as to offer fantasy football players an apology and promise to produce at a spectacular level after last year’s holdout.
While Bell will be on the field this season, a pair of other high-profile backs are following his lead and currently threatening to sit the season if they aren’t paid their value. Melvin Gordon of the Chargers and Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys are both still not with their teams as they look to get a deal on par with the likes of Bell. Gordon seems the most likely to sit out the full season like Bell or get traded, as the expectation is the Cowboys eventually come correct with an offer to Elliott. Still, Bell is thrilled to see other young backs seeking out their worth early on in their careers, using whatever leverage they have to get paid at a position that is brutal on players and often sees top players deteriorate at a faster rate than others.
Bell recently spoke with Uproxx Sports on behalf of Madden 20 as they launch their new Superstar KO mode, which he got the chance to demo in New York, and spoke about his excitement for this season, feeling healthier than ever after a season off, his full support of Elliott and Gordon, and his thoughts on the Jets and his new QB, Sam Darnold.