Latest On Steelers, Le’Veon Bell

Per league rules, Le’Veon Bell has until Tuesday to sign his franchise tag and report to the Steelers. However, based on recently discovered information, Bell is reconsidering whether he will put pen to paper before the Nov. 13 deadline, as Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes. 

It was previously believed that Bell’s franchise tag price for 2019 would be equivalent to last year’s tag if he did not show up for work before the deadline. However, Bell’s camp recently confirmed that his franchise tag price would be unaffected even if he stayed away from the team for the entire year. A third franchise tag would cost the Steelers upwards of $25MM, all but guaranteeing that he would reach free agency unencumbered.

So far, Bell’s stance has cost him $7.7MM in salary. He can still earn $6.84MM if he shows up before Thursday night’s contest against the Panthers, but he’s adamant about being 100% healthy as he reaches free agency and may be willing to forego the rest of his earnings for 2018.

The Steelers would like to get Bell back on the field for their playoff push, but they’ve been doing just fine with James Conner as their primary running back. On Sunday, the Steelers improved to 5-2-1 on the year as Conner ran for 107 yards off of 24 carries against the Ravens. His 1,085 yards from scrimmage sit only behind Todd Gurley, who’s played one more game than Conner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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36 comments on “Latest On Steelers, Le’Veon Bell

  1. snotrocket

    Conner has more yards from scrimmage through this point in the season than any running back in Steelers history. Just cut Bell.

  2. TJECK109

    I get that owners signed the CBA giving players the right to sit out a year and then get a 20% raise if you come back and are tagged again. But has to be one of the dumbest contract rules out there

    • JJB0811

      The players seem to hate a 20% raise. All they do is fight being tagged for some reason. In a league where shelf life is short, make as much as you can.

      • TJECK109

        Give me a tag for 3+ years. I’d be happy with a 20% raise each year especially when you are already the highest paid player at your position.

      • justinept

        like you said , shelf life is short… Why would you take $15 mil for one year with no guarantees after that when you know youll get $45 mil guaranteed if you just stay healthy?

  3. JJB0811

    Pit gets an F for handling the situation. They tied up $15m in cap room for a guy who didn’t want to play for them. He should have been released. Especially after watching Conner run.

    • TheBlueMeanie

      I’d argue Bell and his agent handled this incredibly poorly as well.

    • TJECK109

      That might be the dumbest thing ever. Just release and allow him to sign with any AFC team? Going into the year they had no clue how Conner would do coming off an injury. And maybe just maybe they believed he would return at the end of camp like he did last year. Certainly seems like his agent is the one running this show. Releasing him also costs them a comp pick even if it is only a 3rd round pick.

      • JJB0811

        I said after seeing Conner run. Maybe after week 3 or 4. Pats, Bengals (in their division), & Chiefs are all set at the position. Texans could use an upgrade, but that’s about the only AFC contender that would make a play.

    • graysondecker

      Not only is it stupid to let him go play for another team this season, but it’s also stupid to forfeit the third round comp pick they’re going to receive when Bell walks. We got Conner in the first place with a comp pick. Clearly there’s talent available at that level. The Steelers just need to be patient and wait for the pick.

  4. Ironman_4life

    I don’t have a degree in economics but id say the Steelers are better off with Connor and don’t need Bell’s media attention and drama.

    • TJECK109

      It will be done at the end of the season as long as he doesn’t decide to return on Tuesday

  5. mhdunbar99

    Within 2 years, Bell will not be a sports topic anywhere. RBs are easy to find and replace. Le’Veon Bell will never make up what he lost…both money and reputation!

    • madmanTX

      I tend to agree. This view in the rest of the NFL of Bell as a generational rusher is just people watching his highlights without giving any credit the Steelers blockers. Add Bell’ s own overinflated view of himself as a pass receiver and you’re going to see him overpaid and dubbed a bust when he can’t match his numbers in Pittsburgh next season wherever he plays.

  6. sigdawg25

    sure his only concern is getting paid. He doesn’t care for what team, he doesn’t care about reputation, or productivity.

  7. Julio Franco's Birth Certificate

    So his agent literally just discovered this information?? In other words, his agent made a $14 million mistake here.

    Wow, the brainpower combined of Lev and his agent wouldn’t light the smallest of lightbulbs.

    I’m sure the Steelers will not mind one bit if he stays away all year, saving them more money and avoiding any locker room drama. What exactly did he study at MSU??? LOL

  8. Chris

    I’m torn. In a physical sport with a short shelf-life like the nfl, I can’t blsme Le’Veon for wanting to “secure the bag”. Still this whole ordeal has been hard to take from a fan perspective

    • TJECK109

      Chris I understand too. However he is leaving almost $15 mil on the table this year. He was going to make big money next year as a FA anyway. So let’s say he was going to get $40mil in guaranteed. No one is going to give him $15 mil more to make up for what he lost this year

      • He’s also getting a year of rest, when the Steelers had zero interest in protecting their investment (zero). The Steelers planned to literally run Bell into the ground and stonewall him on a long term contract.

        Treat people badly…

  9. steelman

    Not many guys that were stars in Pittsburgh that left has done real well on their new teams. He is a great back but has a bad agent with bad advice. The Steelers should have traded him After the first tag. Conner is a beast!

  10. braves25

    I don’t understand how anyone can blame Bell or talk bad about him! Football contracts are rarely guaranteed! Yes the franchise tag is guaranteed….but NFL teams can cut most players and get out from under the majority of the contracts! Yes, you can argue that the players agree to these contracts, but not much is guaranteed in the NFL. Him holding out for guaranteed money not just in 2018, but beyond is his right. He did not want to sign a contract the Steelers can just rip up in a year or 2 if they so choose.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Football contracts are rarely guaranteed? Spotrac lists 84 players with contracts that are 100% guaranteed and most contracts are guaranteed to some degree. In football it’s health and performance that can’t be guaranteed.

      • from my understanding Kirk Cousins is the first player to get a fully guaranteed contract which was why it was such big news when he got it.

        Also Steelers offered him i believe 20 million guaranteed with a salary in total with guarantees around 45 for 3 years which was rejected.

  11. crosseyedlemon

    Bell: “I just want to make it clear that I’m adamant…adamant…ADAMANT!…that I’m 100% healthy for free agency”.
    Reporter: “Can I ask you one last question?”
    Bell:” Well, what is it?
    Reporter: “How does someone who works part time at Dairy Queen stay 100% healthy?”


    Since 2015
    With Bell ~ without Bell

    Record: 23-10 (.697) ~ 14-6-1 (.690)
    PTS/GM : 23.9 ~ 29
    Total Yards/GM: 396 ~ 413.3
    Redzone TD pct: 51.9 ~ 68.1

    Don’t let the door hit your behind!

  13. Armaday

    Conner is making Bell look real bad. He is showing the world that in this system, a skilled player can strive in the Steelers offense. Bell may not be so immortal in another scheme. Bell rolled the dice here, but may crap out!
    I think he ruined his reputation. His agent may have hurt him more than he knows.

  14. dust44

    The only clear winner on the whole Bell/Steeler situation is James Conner who has shown he can handle a RB1 load. Now they can let Bell go and find a 4/5th round RB2 and b perfectly content with there background situation.

    They need to draft a LB and CB early and start getting some young OL prospects to groom.

  15. Armaday

    They can get some new cheerleaders to help with their background situation LOL

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