Le'Veon Bell-watch was one of the biggest stories of the 2018 NFL season, and he didn't even play a single snap.
The back-and-forth, will-he-or-won't-he contract dispute between Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers caused the three-time Pro Bowler to sit out the entirety of the year when he believed he wasn't being offered what he was really worth. Players around the league praised his decision, calling it a "game-changer" and "well-thought-out decision" that encouraged others in the league to stand up for themselves and what they want.
Bell ultimately signed a four-year, $25.5 million deal with the New York Jets in free agency.
"I don't regret anything that I've done," he told Steve Smith Sr. from the Jets training camp.
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Bell explained that his decision to sit out the entire 2018 NFL season was twofold: He wanted to be paid what he was valued at, and he wanted to rest his joints so he can play football longer — at that higher salary, of course.
"I play a rough position," the running back explained. "I didn't want to have to have another 400 touches on my body without being compensated for it."
Bell's deal with the Jets makes him the fourth-highest-paid running back of 2019, behind LeSean McCoy, Todd Gurley and David Johnson.
"I did what I did, and I loved it," he said. "I'm here, I'm getting compensated for my touches. Now, if they want to give me 500 touches ... I'm open and willing."
The effect of Bell's holdout is already apparent in the league. Two star running backs, Melvin Gordon of the Los Angeles Chargers and Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, are both no-shows to their respective training camps while they take part in ongoing contract negotiations.