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Le’Veon Bell says a trade was “close,” and that his contract was a “huge part” of the talks

Jets RB Le'Veon Bell discusses how he handled all the trade rumors at the deadline, his patience with the rebuild in New York and more.

Nearly two weeks ago, Jets running back Le’Veon Bell disclosed that the Chiefs, Texans, Packers, and Steelers spoke to the Jets about a potential trade, prior to the October 29 deadline. On Tuesday, I asked Bell how close he came to making an in-season switch.

“Honestly, it was close,” Bell said. “I mean, obviously, it was at the time just hearing everything out and seeing how it plays out. Obviously, I didn’t want to get traded but if it did happen I was ready and I would do what I had to do but, yeah, I just understand from the Jets perspective if they were to trade me and they got some value out of it, I understand where they’re coming from.

"[I]t’s a business -- strictly business -- and I understand that whole business-decision thing, so I didn’t take too much offense to it. I just kept my head down and once the trade deadline went by I was ready to put my head down and get back to work.”

When Bell spoke about the situation after the trade deadline, he hinted that a new team would have wanted Bell to restructure his contract to take less money.

“That was definitely a huge part,” Bell said. “I understand how things work and everything, but the fact that I had actually sat out a whole year to kind of get to where I wanted to get to today, I definitely couldn’t like retract on it. I’m still trying to set myself up and my family up down the line so I’ll make sure that everything tries to stay intact we both would have, myself and whatever team got me, would have both became winners, not just them.”

Bell has a very pragmatic, non-emotional approach to the business of football, and that attitude serves him well. Indeed, based on how the current season ends and in light of the needs of the various NFL teams come March, trade talks could once again happen. Look for Bell, as he always does, to approach business decisions in a businesslike manner, calmly and dispassionately and applying the same kind of strategic thinking that teams always employ when making their own business decisions.