When Le'Veon Bell entered free agency this offseason, he always had the Jets on his list of desired teams. And once GM Mike Maccagnan came calling with the right offer, he knew he had to pull the trigger.
"The Jets (were) just kind of the team I had in the back of my mind where I wanted to go," Bell told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano over a conference call after the Jets made the signing official Thursday night.
But the numbers Bell agreed to came under heavy scrutiny. The Steelers offered him a five-year, $70 million deal, but after sitting out a year to keep his body fresh and hopefully increase his value on the market, he agreed to a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets.
So was it worth sitting out the full year?
"I think the decision I made was (one) I'd do all over again," Bell said. "I don't regret anything that happened. Who can say what would happen? If I go out and play on a one-year franchise tag, if I get hurt would I be in this position today?"
Bell did admit, though, that it was tough watching the entire 2018-19 season from the couch. However, it paid off as he says "at the same time in December and January it was the best my body felt in my entire life."
The Jets are getting an in-shape Bell, and he is excited to start working with his new offense. We all know the type of impact the 27-year-old had with the Steelers, and he is hoping to be the "security blanket" young QB Sam Darnold needs to flourish next season.
"I know he has a lot of potential," Bell said about Darnold. "I'm looking forward to coming in and being his security blanket, a guy that he can rely on. ...I obviously think he has a high ceiling and his potential is through the roof.
"Seeing a guy like him so young and so talented. Maybe he just needs another weapon. You never know what he can do with another weapon. He definitely was a valuable reason as to why I chose to come here."
Another key youngster in Jamal Adams was also a major impact on Bell's decision to join Gang Green. Adams was all over social media trying to recruit Bell this offseason, and the running back admitted he was even texting him, too.
Adams' persistence managed to sway Bell to the team.
"I was on my line constantly," Bell explained. "Texting me, tweeting me, Instagram. He was doing everything to get me here. ...He made it happen. You've got to give him a lot of credit."
As he put the pen to paper and donned the green and white Jets hat, Bell was all smiles as he said "big things coming." Everyone from the front office to the fan base will be holding Bell to those words when the season starts.
For now, though, they are happy they landed their dynamic weapon this offseason. And Bell knew it would be a match made in heaven.
"When the season ended, the stars kind of aligned for the Jets," he told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano over a conference call as the Jets made the signing official. "It was my favorite team growing up. They needed a running back. Everyone was talking about it. In my head, that's where I wanted to go."