Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell to sign $52.5M deal with Jets

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Le'Veon Bell

FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 22: Le’Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts prior to the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the negotiations says the New York Jets and former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell have agreed on a deal.

ESPN first reported the signing early Wednesday morning, and says the deal is for four years and $52.5 million.

The deal gives new coach Adam Gase and second-year quarterback Sam Darnold a big-time playmaker, arguably the best player at his position before Bell opted to sit out all of last season rather than sign a franchise tender with Pittsburgh.

Bell has rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns, and has 312 catches for 2,660 yards and seven scores as one of the most versatile and dangerous offensive players in the NFL. His 128.9 yards from scrimmage per game over his career is the best mark in the NFL since the 1970 merger.

Bell’s career reached a crossroads, however, last year when he declined to sign his one-year, $14.4 million franchise tender with the Steelers and made himself ineligible to play. It was an unprecedented move as Bell — who received the franchise tag in two straight years — skipped a season in his prime to preserve his long-term health and secure a big payday.

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