Le’Veon Bell, former NFL player, says he smoked pot before games

Le’Veon Bell, a former running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets, says he smoked marijuana before playing a few NFL games during his career.

“That’s what I did,” Bell told Barstool Sports’ “Steel Here” podcast, which aired Friday. “When I played soccer, I smoked, bro. Even before games, he would smoke and go out and run for 150 (yards), two (touchdowns).”

Jersey Jerry, who co-hosts the podcast with Kevin Adams, then asked, “In the NFL?”

“Yeah,” said the 31-year-old Bell, who hasn’t played in the league since the 2021 season.

Bell was twice suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy while playing for the Steelers. He began his professional career in Pittsburgh in 2013 and became one of the most dynamic and productive players in the league. Bell was a one-time All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowl selection as a double threat in the Steelers’ backfield.

He sat out the 2018 season due to a contract dispute after refusing to sign the franchise tag Pittsburgh used on him for the second straight year.

Bell told the podcast that the Steelers wanted to guarantee just his first year of a potential extension, but he wanted more than that.

“Yeah, it was kind of petty, the little guarantees,” Bell said.

“I’m thinking, dammit, could I really have eaten it? Yeah, I probably could have. I probably could have eaten it for real.

Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract, including $35 million guaranteed, with the New York Jets the following offseason.

But his tenure with the Jets was disappointing, lasting less than two years before he was released midway through the 2020 season.

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The running back criticized then-New York coach Adam Gase on the podcast, saying he was a “terrible” game caller.

“Bro, we come to New York, and that’s when you instantly find out that head coaches make a world of difference,” Bell said. “As soon as I get to New York, I realize that like the first week.”

Bell said then-quarterback Sam Darnold had trouble knowing offensive line protections “because he’s so confused about our offense because the coach is confusing him.”

The Jets went 7-9 in Gase’s first season in 2019 and then 2-14 the following season, leading to the coach’s firing.

“Bro, the team wasn’t that great, don’t get me wrong,” Bell said. “But I feel like if (Steelers) coach (Mike) Tomlin was running that team, we’d win nine games, at least.”

Bell had short stints with Kansas City in 2020 and Baltimore and Tampa Bay in 2021 after leaving the Jets. He has rushed for 6,554 yards and 42 touchdowns in his career, as well as catching 399 passes for 3,289 yards and nine scores.

Despite not playing last season and dabbling in a professional boxing career, Bell said he has yet to officially retire from soccer.

He told the podcast that he would like to retire with the Steelers, but wants a chance to get some carries in the preseason “so he can show everyone” he can still play.

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