The Jets are looking for their first win of the season on Monday Night Football at MetLife Stadium against the Cleveland Browns.
Running back Le'Veon Bell says he already won in one sense, though.
Via a snippet of a conversation he had with ESPN, Bell discussed is highly-publicized hold out from a year ago with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In that regard, Bell said he did, in fact, win.
"I won. I'm happy," Bell said to Dianna Russini. "I got the opportunity to hit free agency, which is what I ultimately wanted to do. I got a guaranteed contract, which is what I ultimately wanted to do. And I got to play for a great city and a great organization like I ultimately wanted to do. With the hold out, there's nothing I would do different."
Bell, in the prime of his career at 27, signed with the Jets this offseason. His deal was a four-year contract worth $52.5 million with $35 million guaranteed. That came on the heels of a 2018 season that was lost for Bell. He held out, refusing to sign a $14 million franchise tag, which would have been the second-straight season he was playing under the tag.
Bell also added he doesn't believe he lost any money while holding out.
"People always talk about (how) I lost $14 million ... I didn't lose it, it wasn't mine, I didn't sign the contract," Bell said. "So, all of the hits on my body that I would have gotten for the $14 million, it could have jeopardized me getting a real contract and extension."
Bell is certainly going to have to earn his contract with the Jets in the coming weeks, starting Monday. The running back will likely be the focal point of the Jets' offense with quarterback Sam Darnold now surprisingly sidelined for the next several weeks due to mono. The two-time All-Pro selection isn't the worst workhorse to have, but winning by ground-and-pound is easier said than done.
Bell did sustain a shoulder injury Wednesday in practice three days after the Jets' season opener, a 17-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills, but will be good to go for the prime-time Browns matchup.
Earlier this offseason, Jets head coach Adam Gase referenced his excitement in seeing what Bell has to offer as a playmaker. This is the perfect time to find out.
"I'm excited when we get the opportunity and it's go-time for him," Gase said in August. "I can't wait to see what he does on a Sunday. Watching him in practice, that's fun enough. You can tell the guy's a special special player. To see him on Sunday, that's going to be fun."