The star running back announced the song’s release on social media.
— Le’Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) May 26, 2018
In the track titled “Target,” Bell, who has stayed away from the Steelers’ offseason program and organized team activities after being franchised for the second straight year, raps that he’s not the “bad guy” that he’s made out to be by his critics.
The song references him being tagged, the way his critics have turned on him during his contract dispute, people saying he’s out of shape by skipping team workouts, and his drug suspensions. He points out that he never failed a test and never violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Bell’s 2016 suspension for violating the substance abuse policy (which was reduced from four games to three after appeal) was for missed tests. His three-game suspension in 2015 under the policy was after an arrest for marijuana possession and DUI in 2014.
A sampling of the lyrics, via Genius.com:
“Wonder why they treat me like the bad guy/You say I ain’t the best, but that’s a bad lie …
“… If I don’t do what you want, then you want me gone/I must say, you being real aggressive/The way you switch up on me real impressive …”
“… You can see I’m doing shows, so you think I’m out of shape ..”
“… All these people wanna trade/I’m the one they wanna hate/So to me, I’m a target …”
“… I think that I need a break/You know that I wanna stay/Some people just can’t relate/Just look at my point of view/I don’t have the time to waste …”
“… You think if I sat out, I’d be sluggish/You think they won’t pay me ’cause a drug test/Fun fact, I ain’t never failed one, that’s on me/You so worried ’bout the weed, what ’bout those PEDs …”
Bell has also addressed his critics via social media this offseason when he tweeted in March about being portrayed as a “villain” in Pittsburgh.
Bell earned $12.12 million on last year’s tag and would earn $14.5 million this year unless both sides reach a long-term deal. The deadline to reach that deal is July 16 at 4 p.m. Bell waited until Sept. 1 to show up last year after talks stalled. He told ESPN in March that he won’t agree to a contract that averages less than $14.5 million annually.
In 2017, Bell finished third in the NFL in rushing (1,291) and added a career-high 85 catches for 655 yards in 15 games.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.