Le'Veon Bell got what he was after in free agency: guaranteed money.
The star running back's contract with the New York Jets will see him make $25 million in guaranteed salary, and now that everything is all said and done, Bell took the time to address why he didn't take a deal from the Steelers after all.
According to Bell himself, the Steelers gave him a "take it or leave it" type of deal with limited guaranteed money. Bell complained that while the cash-flow and average annual value of the deal was on point, the lack of a guarantee is what led him to sit the year out.
In an interview with ESPN, Le’Veon Bell elaborated on turning down the Steelers’ five-year, $70-million deal last offseason because of issues with the team’s guaranteed money structures. pic.twitter.com/Kad4HNhF1F— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 17, 2019
Bell also went on to mention Steelers' linebacker Ryan Shazier, who has missed the majority of the past two seasons dealing with a serious spinal injury. The 26-year-old running back understands the risk of playing in the league and wanted compensation that would allow him to earn money, even if he suffers a career-ending and/or life-altering injury.
Ultimately, Bell found that the Jets were the team most willing to meet his demands. He got a stable contract with enough guaranteed money, and will also be able to get a bigger pay-day through various incentives in the deal.
We've gotten our hands on the full and complete Le'Veon Bell contract, and here are the full, accurate, and triple-checked details of the deal https://t.co/QfiqeiES0m— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 17, 2019
Bell claims that he likely could have negotiated a deal with any other team, except the Steelers were unwilling to fork over the guaranteed money he desired.