Sounds like you missed the whole reason for him sitting out, which was all about the guarantees. He didn't take the $14 MM but he also didn't get hurt and now he has $35 MM guaranteed. Bell did no worse than breaking even and he succeeded in his overall mission.
"“It sucks having to sit out football,” Bell told Fowler when many—including Bell—still expected he might play in 2018. “I want to play. I want to win games and the playoffs. But I’ve gotta take this stand. Knowing my worth and knowing I can tear a ligament or get surgery at any time, I knew I couldn’t play 16 games with 400 or more touches.”