After holding out for the entire 2018 season, Bell inked a $52.5 million ($25 million guaranteed) contract with the New York Jets in free agency. As for Brown, the star wide receiver's exit largely was a result of sour grapes between him and his longtime quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.
Now, the two ex-Steelers stars will face off twice a year after Brown forced his way out of Oakland to join the New England Patriots.
That brief yet tumultuous stint with the Raiders certainly didn't do anything to help Brown's image, but Bell can relate to his former teammate and still sees him as a "good person." In an interview with ESPN's Dianna Russini, the Jets' new star running back explained why he doesn't hold anything against Brown and even offered some advice for the 31-year-old.
"Sometimes it's kind of hard to overcome, like, when a lot of negative things are happening or people are saying a lot of negative things about you," Bell told Russini. "It's like a snowball effect, right? Even what happened to me, when I had my suspension and things like that, I don't ever want to get too low on myself. I hope Antonio's doing the same thing. If I had to give him advice, that's what I would give him.
"If you know AB personally, you'll know that he's a good person. He's not really trying to harm anybody, you know? Maybe something he wants and he gotta go achieve it, but he might go a different way about it than other people would. But, you know, it is what it is."
Brown is off to a solid start in New England, tallying four receptions for 56 yards and connecting on his first touchdown from Tom Brady during Sunday's win over the Dolphins. With his Pats debut out of the way, AB looks ahead to his first game in Foxboro as a Patriot next week against, you guessed it, Bell's Jets.
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Antonio Brown gets thoughtful advice from ex-teammate Le'Veon Bell originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston