The NFL Trade Deadline was filled with smoke but in the end there was little fire.
On Tuesday, Le’Veon Bell’s name came up in trade talks as reports surfaced that the Jets were taking calls on the star running back. Nothing came of it and Bell is still a New York Jet but there were some interesting teams interested, according to Bell, himself.
On his Sirius Radio podcast “17 Weeks”, Bell claimed that the Texans, Packers, Chiefs and his former team, the Steelers were in the mix to trade for him during Tuesday’s deadline:
“There was a lot of trade speculations and rumors about, you know, me getting traded obviously from the Jets to other, multiple teams,” Bell said, via Pro Football Talk. “And they were actually true. There were times where — I found out from my agent, you know, he had talked to the Jets and things like that. But there were teams like Houston, the Packers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and surprisingly the Steelers, were all in the mix of trying to trade for me.”
Bell also claimed that the asking price the Jets had on him was high:
“The Jets were really asking for a high price and a lot for me,” Bell said. “On top of that, my actual contract was kind of tough for teams to deal with, which is understandable. Not too many teams want to pay that high of a price for a running back.
“To be honest, I was not trying to take a pay cut, simply for the fact that I sat out a full year of football to get what I earned and deserved. That would’ve kind of defeated the whole purpose, so I didn’t want to do that.”
Bell also stated that he had a conversation with GM Joe Douglas about the entire situation:
“[H]e took his time out to call me,” Bell said. “He kind of told me that they weren’t really shopping me in a sense but teams kind of inquired about me before the trade deadline. And, you know, he was honest with me, he said he was open to it. But like I said earlier, teams were really asking for a lot and he wasn’t really trying to give me up for something he didn’t feel like would help the New York Jets in the future. And he obviously feels like I’m a player who can help turn this team around.”
The Steelers being interested in Bell is surprising consider the contract dispute Bell faced for two years in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, the Jets signed Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million contract after the Steelers allowed him to leave in free agency following a season-long holdout from Bell.
Bell has rushed 109 times for 349 yards and one touchdown so far in 2019.