The deal includes $35 million ensured, with a maximum value near $61 million, a source said.
Bell, That Has Been coaching in South Florida, confirmed he’d be joining the Jets in a tweet late Tuesday night:
I’m back in the green baby, let us Have It
— Le’Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) March 13, 2019
Bell, who stunned the NFL by sitting out the entire 2018 season in the franchise label after failing to agree to a new contract last summer, officially became a free agent when Steelers overall manager Kevin Colbert chose not to set a franchise or transition tag on him for the 2019 season.
The two wheeled AllPro running straight back, after gaining almost 2000 total yards during the 20 17 season, chosen to eschew the $14.5 million franchise label in 2018 — forgoing roughly $855,000 per game — he can preserve his long term viability for a major contract in free agency this off season.
But the Jets appeared as the frontrunner late Tuesday. Perhaps not needing to bidding against themselves, they held business in their deal, a source told ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
The Jets expect Bell to immediately upgrade a crime that finished 29th in total yards and 26th in rushing yards. In addition they believe he could soon be the ideal backfield partner for quarter back Sam Darnold as a result of his dual-threat skill.
In finishing 4-12 final season, which led to coach Todd Bowles’ ouster, the Jets produced only two 100-yard racing days — either by Isaiah Crowell. He place the franchise single-game record with 219 metres in an October game against the Denver Broncos, but vanished for the remainder of the growing season.
The Jets haven’t had a rusher since Chris Ivory in 2015. They haven’t experienced a runner using Bell’s skillset since Curtis Martin, a massive free agent signing from 1998 to 2005. Bell has said Martin, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, was his idol as a youngster.
This has been a busy free agency period for the Jets, that have reached agreements with four players on offense — Bell, wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Josh Bellamy, also shield Kelechi Osemele (via commerce ).
Bell’s average of 128.9 total yards per game by 2013 to 2017 may be the highest to an NFL straight back over the first five seasons of a livelihood since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. During this interval, he dashed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns while grabbing 312 moves for 2,660 yards and also another seven scores.
Rocky franchise-tag talks within the past two years created distance between Bell and the Steelers. He missed training camp in 20 17 when both sides couldn’t agree to a contract, and he eventually played on a $12.12 million franchise label – racing for 1,291 yards and 9 touchdowns while grabbing 85 moves for 655 yards and 2 more TDs.
After the 20 17 season, Bell revealed his conviction by turning down a five-year, $70 million deal due to what he called a non true guarantee of $17 million, also he was able to miss games because he was and thus not bound into the team.
The Steelers, who saw success in the backfield last season with Pro Bowl selection James Conner and copy Jaylen Samuels, will receive a 2020 compensatory choice for losing Bell that might possibly be worth as large as a third-round collection.
By sitting out the 2018 season, Bell, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, properly bet that the Steelers wouldn’t place an third consecutive franchise tag on him.
Participants were shocked if the all pro tailback did not show for Week 1, even together along with his own offensive line ripping him to the absence. Guard Ramon Foster and center Maurkice Pouncey both branded the move greedy. 1 veteran player told ESPN anonymously:”He f–threatening us.” After tensions cooled, many players believed they had welcome Bell straight back .
At one point , Bell, that turned 27 in February, planned to play to the Steelers. He told ESPN on Oct. 1 that”I Will be fully committed and give you every thing I have” up on returnto”go out there and win a Super Bowl with the Steelers.”
But the Steelers explored dealing Bell ahead of the Oct. 30 trade-deadline, that could have iNFLuenced his plans. No transaction was possible without even Bell’s signature.
Throughout this off season, the Steelers seemed focused more on value more than a expect Bell would play in Pittsburgh again. If asked in November what happens if Bell never contributes into the Steelers, coach Mike Tomlin said simply,”so be it.”