Le'Veon Bell Jan 9, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Le’Veon Bell (6) runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Three-time Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell was once one of the best running backs in all of football during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2013-2017.

Since that tenure in Pittsburgh, he has struggled to find the same success elsewhere, failing to rush for over 800 yards in any of his three seasons away from the Steelers. He played in five games for the Baltimore Ravens and three for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past season, but only recorded a combined 39 rushing attempts for 101 yards.

It has been a steep decline for the 30-year-old running back, and it appears like his career in the NFL may be shortly coming to an end.

Bell announced on Tuesday that he will not play in the NFL this upcoming season, saying he’s shifting his focus to boxing. That comes ahead of his upcoming fight against fellow veteran running back Adrian Peterson later this month.

He made this announcement during a press conference for the upcoming fight held by Social Gloves. He said he plans to make the full-time shift to the boxing ring in the future.

“Boxing is something that, you know, they always say it’s something you can’t play boxing,” Bell said. “Last year, I almost sat out the whole year to try to focus on boxing because I kind of knew that was what I wanted to transition to. This year, I know I’m not going to be playing this year because I want to focus on boxing.”

While this may be a one-off boxing appearance for Peterson, who stated that he still plans to play in the NFL next season, Bell sees their upcoming fight as an introduction to his future boxing career.

“This is, I guess like my introduction to kind of show what I’ll be doing and how I’ll be going about myself. Just an intro,” said Bell.

While this isn’t exactly a retirement announcement for Bell, it is at least him saying that football is not in the cards for him at this very moment.

Many around the NFL world understand the decision considering where he is currently at in his NFL career.

You have to be either all-in or all-out when you decide to perform in combat sports considering the severe circumstances of coming into a fight ill-prepared. It seems like Bell is fully committed to boxing moving forward.


About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.