Le'Veon Bell has his priorities straight -- football before weed.
"Marijuana is not an important thing for me," the Steelers running back told ESPN. "It's something I easily can set by. If I wanted to do it later on down my life, I'll enjoy it later on. It's something that got me in trouble. Football is what I love. I love the game of football and nothing will come to jeopardize that."
Such wasn't the case back in August, when Bell was charged with marijuana possession and DUI. As part of a program for first-time offenders, he is serving 15 months' probation and eventually could have his legal record cleared.
However, the offense might not go away so easily as far as the NFL is concerned. In April, the league handed Bell a three-game suspension in connection with the incident, a decision he has reportedly appealed the suspension.
"I did everything that they needed me to do and I did it quick. So eventually that's going to be off my record," Bell said of the legal side of the situation. "Obviously, like I said, I still have to do my time that they gave me, but if [the league] were to look into that and all the community service that I did and the classes that I had to take in eventually getting it off my record, that should be something that maybe they consider and help me knock off some time."
Bell emerged as a key weapon in the Steelers' offense last season, rushing for 1,361 yards and eight touchdowns and catching 83 passes for 854 yards and three touchdowns. His absence will certainly be felt in Pittsburgh.
"I made a mistake. I'm going to just have to do my time, whatever the final decision may be," Bell said. "Get past it, and get ready for next season and continuing to be the great football player I know I can be."