Free-agent running back Le'Veon Bell has agreed to sign with the New York Jets, the team announced.
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported on the deal Tuesday. Bell signed for four years and $52.5 million. The deal has a max value of $61 million and includes $35 million guaranteed. Bell expressed his excitement following news of the deal.
The former Steelers tailback sat out the entire 2018 campaign after holding out for a new contract. Pittsburgh had franchise-tagged Bell for a second consecutive year, a move that would have paid Bell $14.5 million last year. Bell forfeited eligibility to play after choosing not to sign a franchise tender ahead of a Nov. 13 deadline.
The Steelers reportedly considered placing the transition tag on Bell, enabling them to match any offer he received. Instead, Pittsburgh elected to allow him to enter unrestricted free agency.
Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, theJetswere in the mix to sign Bell ahead of the free-agency period's start. It was additionally reported by Fansided's Matt Verdame that the Raiders were nearing a deal with him.
Bell, a two-time All-Pro, last played in 2017, when he rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns. He also recorded 85 catches for 655 yards and two scores.
Among active players, Bell is currently third in career rushing yards per game (86.1). His 137.5 yards from scrimmage per game since 2014 ranks as the most in the NFL.