Le'Veon Bell reveals the 2 reasons he's glad he sat out the 2018 season

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."

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Le'Veon Bell at Jets training camp
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Le'Veon Bell at Jets training camp
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell participates in a practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Florham Park, N.J., Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Jets' Le'Veon Bell, left, talks with Elijah McGuire during a practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Florham Park, N.J., Friday, July 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell participates during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Florham Park, N.J., Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JULY 29: New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) during New York Jets Training Camp on July 29, 2019 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, NJ (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JULY 29: New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) falls to the ground while performing a drill during New York Jets Training Camp on July 29, 2019 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, NJ (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JULY 29: New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) catches a pass during New York Jets Training Camp on July 29, 2019 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, NJ (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JULY 29: New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) carries the ball during New York Jets Training Camp on July 29, 2019 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, NJ (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JUNE 05: Sam Darnold #14 hands the ball to LeVeon Bell #26 of the New York Jets during day two of mandatory minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on June 5, 2019 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JUNE 05: LeVeon Bell #26 of the New York Jets during day two of mandatory minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on June 5, 2019 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JUNE 05: LeVeon Bell #26 and Quincy Enunwa #81 of the New York Jets walk on the field during day two of mandatory minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on June 5, 2019 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
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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.

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