Steelers Actively Shopping Le’Veon Bell; Eagles, 49ers Interested

Last week, reports that the Steelers were listening to trade offers for running back Le’Veon Bell became the latest development in the long and winding Bell saga. Today, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link) reports that Pittsburgh is actively shopping Bell and is not simply waiting on calls from rival clubs.

In addition to the obvious complications to finalizing a Bell trade — which Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk laid out again today — Rapoport says that the Steelers’ asking price is reportedly too high for other teams at the moment. RapSheet indicates that Pittsburgh is currently asking for a second-round pick and a player in exchange for Bell, which another club is almost certainly not going to give up. Bell’s talent doubtlessly merits such a return, but the fact that he will effectively be a one-year rental — and an expensive rental at that — will limit what the Steelers can get in a Bell swap.

Right now, however, it appears that Pittsburgh is not in any rush to lower its demands. As Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports points out, the trade deadline is still a month away, and the Steelers are currently willing to let the market develop. La Canfora adds that the Jets and 49ers have made “exploratory calls” to Pittsburgh, though San Francisco’s interest in Bell may no longer be very high after the team lost starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the season.

The Eagles, though, are also interested, per La Canfora. The Eagles are obvious contenders and have suffered a number of injuries to their backfield that could prompt the ever-aggressive Howie Roseman to get creative in his push for back-to-back titles. Philadelphia would of course need to clear some cap space in order to acquire Bell, but there are ways to do that (like jettisoning backup QB Nick Foles).

La Canfora writes that the Steelers would be willing to deal one disgruntled star for another by sending Bell to the Seahawks in exchange for safety Earl Thomas, but there has been no contact between Pittsburgh and Seattle at this point.

Indeed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that no team has been aggressive in pursuing Bell thus far. That jibes with a tweet from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who says that there is minimal trade buzz surrounding Bell at the moment.

Schefter also notes that, the longer Bell stays away from the Steelers, the more he could lose on his 2019 pay. For instance, if any team were to use the transition tag on Bell next season, the tag number would be 120 percent of this season’s salary, so the more 2018 game checks Bell misses out on, the lower the tag number would be. Of course, Bell could appeal such a matter to an arbitrator, but his holdout is becoming riskier with each passing week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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39 comments on “Steelers Actively Shopping Le’Veon Bell; Eagles, 49ers Interested

  1. JJB0811

    A high pick, good player, and $17m in cap space for RB? Any GM going that route should be fired.

  2. Connorsoxfan

    The Patriots would be an interesting matchup if they send some cap out.

    • bostonbob

      No, no, no. Pats do not value rb’s that highly and that highly paid. NEVER HAPPEN

      • Connorsoxfan

        I know they haven’t in the past, but if they lose today they’re 1-3 and the narrative of the wheels falling off would become legitimate. The offense appears to be lacking explosive playmaking, and Bell would give them that. I understand the way they have operated before, but the league is going through an RB Renaissance.

    • tylerall5

      The Steelers would not trade him to a team that could prevent them from the afc super bowl spot.

        • redbeard87

          Dude, don’t be the chicken little type. The Pats are 1-2 and you really think the sky is falling? Sad

          • K3vin

            Pats play against the Jets, Bills and Dolphins twice a season while Steelers division is no easy task. Just saying Steelers haven’t played well overall and are lucky they are 0-3.

          • K3vin

            Pats play Dolphins, Jets and Bills twice each and Steelers have a tough division. Big differences

  3. steelerbravenation

    Eagles could be interesting. They could trade Foles to say 49ers for a 2nd round pick then move that pick and say a higher priced guy not producing to level expected for Bell.
    With Ajayi’s injury they may feel they have to get somebody to step in while the window is open.
    I don’t think the 49ers are a realistic choice unless they feel they eould absolutely resign him and I can’t see that guarantee for them.
    I think the sleeper team would be the Jets because I think them or the Browns will be his landing spot next year more than likely the Browns though.
    He is an Ohio kid, they have the money & Todd Haley will more than likely be the coach soon enough.
    The Jets were his team growing up if I am not mistaken and NY is to music what Hollywood is to movies do with his hip hop career that may make sense. Going to be interesting just get him the hell out of Pitt

    • aarongill

      No way Niners would trade a high second round pick for Foles. The way the roster is constructed they still wouldn’t be a playoff team with Foles

      • madmanTX

        Good luck with Savage then or whoever is on unemployment that you sign. Of course, niners could negate this if they sign Kap.

        • tylerall5

          The 49ers were going to have trouble making the playoffs with Jimmy G, they’re not going to move a high pick for a backup just to push for a wildcard.

        • Why would they sign a player who wasn’t effective three years ago, and has been out of the game since? Going that route why not just see if Joe Montana or Steve Young want to suit up?

      • Brad

        Thought Bradford for one first rounder was crazy. How many does he have on his belt now? Never say never.

    • Clark K

      I’ll be honest the whole Foles to the 49ers and then Bell to Philly is beyond stupid, the article literally says 49ers are interested so why I’m the world would they help another team acquire him? Think before you post

      • steelerbravenation

        I don’t care what the article says no way the Niners get Bell anyway. He wouldn’t sign there and he would only be a rental where Foles would play this year and give the fan base the feeling that at least the team isn’t giving up on the season and giving the Niners a capable place holder for next year if it takes Jimmy G a couple more weeks to be ready
        It helps Philly by clearing cap space so yes the scenario makes sense I can’t help it if you are not smart enough to see it
        Think before you reply

    • Connorsoxfan

      Presumably the team would have discussions with Bell before dealing for him. An extension could be part of any deal that happens.

      • tylerall5

        He can’t get extended until the end of the season so it’d have to be a “handshake” deal and those are far from being done deals.

  4. madmanTX

    I love the way my Steelers are handling this. Let other teams injuries or need for a great RB make them commit an extra 2nd or 3rd to the Steelers and maybe a depth player who can start for Pittsburgh immediately. Win win for both teams.

  5. Clark K

    Packers make the most sense out of any team especially if they lose today

  6. steelerbravenation

    Packers make the most sense as long as they are accepting they are making a push this year no way Bell resigns there on either end for the money Bell wants no way a team can afford 2 contracts like a Bell/Rodgers and still have enough money to pay other players.
    In a Packers scenario I would want a 1st either theirs or NO’s or else no deal for them to want Bell they would be desperate only question would they be desperate enough to do that.
    A team like Philly gets him Packers will not be a favorite in NFC

    • jessethegreat

      Packers have two young rb’s on the roster they drafted just last year. They’re not giving assets for a player that would take multiple weeks to learn their playbook.

  7. steelerbravenation

    Philly losing start panic mode make the deal Howie before Green Bay offers up a 2nd to make it happen

  8. crosseyedlemon

    I would love to hear the sales pitch the Steelers are using on teams after having bad mouthed Bell for past several months….lol.

    • nutznboltz

      If he had a career ending injury this year I guess $18 million he would make wouldn’t last in the rest of his life? That’s a joke.

  9. mo75

    Packers need to get interested and for once acquire a big name they didn’t draft.

  10. victorg

    it would be epic to see bell sign with the ravens
    I do not think they would pay him tough very few teams put that kind of money in RBs.

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