Le’Veon Bell: Antonio Brown is one of my closest friends despite bad decision-making sometimes

Buccaneers running back Le’Veon Bell says he was too focused on the game to notice when his teammate Antonio Brown quit on the team on Sunday, but once he found out he felt compassion for his longtime friend.

Bell, who played with Brown for five seasons in Pittsburgh, said he and Brown texted briefly after the game and will remain close, even though Brown obviously did not handle Sunday’s incident well.

“I found out when we got into the locker room after the game, I instantly sent him a text real quick, he texted me back,” he said. “He’s still one of my closest friends. You won’t hear me talking bad about AB at all. Things happen, but he’s one of my closest friends that I’ve been around, close teammates. Overall good person. Obviously some bad decision-making sometimes, but he’s human, he’s not perfect, and we’ll continue to move on without him and keep moving forward.”

Bell was excited to sign with the Bucs in the middle of the season in part because of Brown. Now they’re no longer teammates.

“It’s tough. When I came over here I was happy to be reunited with him. Unfortunately it was only two games. But I wish the best for him outside of football or whatever’s next for him. He’s still one of my closest friends,” Bell said.

Bell caught three passes for 30 yards on Sunday, and with Brown now done, the Bucs may turn to Bell more in the passing game, meaning Brown’s departure may be good for Bell in one respect, even if Bell wasn’t happy about it.