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When will Le’Veon Bell show up for the Steelers?

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With exclusive-rights free agent (i.e., not a free agent at all) Alejandro Villanueva unsigned but nevertheless showing up for offseason workouts, exclusively-tagged running back Le’Veon Bell hasn’t. The question becomes when will he?

Under the rules of the labor agreement, Bell can stay away until only days before the regular-season opener in Cleveland and still collect the full $12.1 million he’s due to earn under the franchise tag. The Steelers can’t do anything about it, with one exception.

At some point, the Steelers can rescind the tender. It would make Bell a free agent, and the longer the Steelers wait to do it the harder it will be for Bell to get anything close to a deal that averages even $10 million per year. The running back market remains well below what Bell will earn this year, and even a star player like Bell would be hard pressed to cash in, especially after offseason workouts or, if the Steelers wait to rescind the tender until September, after training camp and the preseason.

By then, depth charts will be set and budgets will have been exhausted and the oft-injured and twice-suspended Bell would potentially end up with a one-year deal at best that would fall far short of $12.1 million.

In the interim, the Steelers will get to see what other running backs can do in an offense with a solid line and a potent passing game. Whether it’s Fitzgerald Toussaint or Knile Davis or rookie and fan favorite James Conner or someone else, the Steelers could decide to save millions by severing ties with Bell, if they believe that the others will be close enough.

To date, there’s been no indication that the Steelers would do it. A year ago, there was no indication that the Panthers would rescind cornerback Josh Norman’s tender, either.

When these decisions happen, they’re made and executed swiftly, given the possibility that the player will catch wind of it and pounce on the tender. For Bell, whose end game may be to reluctantly take the $12.1 million after the July 15 deadline for signing a long-term deal comes and goes, the risk that the tender will be withdrawn lingers until he accepts it.

If he ultimately decides to exercise his right to not show up through training camp and the preseason, that risk will necessarily grow.

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32 Responses to “When will Le’Veon Bell show up for the Steelers?”
  1. tokyosandblaster says: Jun 4, 2017 11:08 AM

    Deep question. I mean, he doesn’t have what it takes to carry his team…he breaks down because he’s glass, and he uses drugs. So I don’t know if he’ll ever “show up.”

    >

  2. statlaw says: Jun 4, 2017 11:17 AM

    Didn’t you just troll steelers.com for their similar argument about why Cullanueva should agree to terms on a new contract sooner rather than later?

  3. steelerdeathstar says: Jun 4, 2017 11:19 AM

    Le’Veon Bell is a great talent. However, he’s been coming off as more greedy and self-absorbed the last year or so, than he has a ‘team guy’ who puts winning above all else.
    The Steelers have shown great patience and understanding with Bell, through his suspensions and injuries, pretty much overlooking the fact that he has not both started and finished the same season since he’s been in the NFL.
    I think that many might agree that this sort of arrogant, me-first behavior has contributed toward the Steelers falling short in the postseason of late.
    An old adage in sports goes something like if you take care of your business on and off the field, the money will take care of itself. Le’Veon seems not to have gotten the memo.

  4. ocgunslinger says: Jun 4, 2017 11:20 AM

    Oh he will show up the question is whether he is capable of playing 16 regular season games and then be available for the playoffs.

  5. xlxvxlx says: Jun 4, 2017 11:37 AM

    He don’t care, he has weed.

  6. nhpats says: Jun 4, 2017 11:42 AM

    Just another guy the Patriots “broke”….. Like Andrew Luck, the Seahawks and many others….he will never be the same

  7. donbat67 says: Jun 4, 2017 11:49 AM

    What had happened was . I was goin to the airport but I got high .

  8. Nofoolnodrool says: Jun 4, 2017 12:08 PM

    Just another guy the Patriots “broke”….. Like Andrew Luck, the Seahawks and many others….he will never be the same

    1 1

    Like a moth to flame this appears to post in the first group on EVERY Steeler thread….not a problem except he is a snarkie troll.

    Bell will be there when it counts ….and you’ll be able to thank AB and Ben.

  9. peytonwantsaflag says: Jun 4, 2017 12:08 PM

    When will he show up? Not really sure but I know when he won’t show up- the playoffs.

  10. midnightcusk says: Jun 4, 2017 12:10 PM

    That’s what his teammates were asking last year against the pats in the playoffs.

  11. Dunkin says: Jun 4, 2017 12:18 PM

    They are waiting until the Patriots have exhausted their cap space before rescinding that tender.

    Except this is probably not neccesary because even if they had the shot Im not that sure the Patriots would take him. Regardless of his great talent the drugs and ‘me first and pay me’ way of operating would not fly well for Belichick.

  12. Nofoolnodrool says: Jun 4, 2017 12:52 PM

    peytonwantsaflag | Jun 4, 2017, 12:08 PM EDT
    When will he show up? Not really sure but I know when he won’t show up- the playoffs.

    A Bengal fan talking about showing up in the playoffs…..now that is rich indeed.
    25 years and no playoff wins and you are talking about Bell showing up…..you are a drooling fool.

  13. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 4, 2017 12:57 PM

    Well he disappeared before the AFCC last playoffs and hasn’t been seen since.

    No way any team will pay a RB 12 mil a year on the open market given its current state. Might not get even half that.

    And the longer he stays away from OTAs and camp the more poorly conditioned he’ll be even if he’s working out on his own which I would think he is. Players that hold out seem to be injured by the 3rd or 4th game of the season at a very high rate.

    Not to mention 12 million is 240 times what someone who makes 50k a year makes, ie what the typical American makes. He should take the money and be grateful, and he’ll either be tagged for another huge payday next year or a large FA payday.

  14. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 4, 2017 12:59 PM

    “They are waiting until the Patriots have exhausted their cap space before rescinding that tender.”

    I think Bill is quite happy with the RB group he has. The two FAs he signed were the 2 most efficient backs in the league last season per the various metrics sites, and bringing back White and Lewis on top of those 2 guys I don’t think he’d pay Bell big money.

    The RB slot in Belichick’s cap model does not allow for more than 3 or 4 mil year max most years for any given RB.

  15. qbarrel says: Jun 4, 2017 1:06 PM

    RB’s are expendable commodities in 2017, especially for teams that possess a vertical threat. Ask yourself what Belichick would do.

  16. nopepper12 says: Jun 4, 2017 2:25 PM

    Big Ben is on the borderline of quitting, AB is a “fat cat” now with his new contract and Bell just sitting on all that greed. This seems to be a recipe for an upcoming disaster.

  17. Nofoolnodrool says: Jun 4, 2017 2:25 PM

    RB’s are expendable commodities in 2017, especially for teams that possess a vertical threat. Ask yourself what Belichick would do.

    Why ask when we already know what Belichek will do……cheat if he can….again.

  18. 6thsense10 says: Jun 4, 2017 2:40 PM

    qbarrel says:
    Jun 4, 2017 1:06 PM
    RB’s are expendable commodities in 2017, especially for teams that possess a vertical threat. Ask yourself what Belichick would do.
    ——–
    Sigh…..Superstar running backs are not expendable commodities. The Steelers don’t make the playoffs last season without Le’Veon Bell’s monster production down the stretch.

    The Cardinals were carried offensively almost entirely by David Johnson. Sure they finished 7-8-1 But they would have been a lot worse without Johnson. Besides we don’t say Drew Brews is a commodity or his efforts were somehow diminish because his team as a whole failed to reach the playoffs despite him putting up top 5 QB stats.

    Star running backs are not commodities.

  19. pointtwopsiistheissue says: Jun 4, 2017 2:56 PM

    So no drool says he knows what Bill would do, well we all know what Tomlin would do too…trip someone !

  20. mysterytonite says: Jun 4, 2017 2:58 PM

    Bell has to break the bank now, his leverage with th Steelers will never be higher. Thanks to Ben crying about possibly quitting this has opened the door to the window closing very fast. Bell feels he can play hardball with the team. He is right, the Steelers don’t want to dish out big bucks to a guy who is Undependable with his behavior off the field and his nagging injury history. Bell wants his money now and he knows he won’t get a long term deal if he shows, they win the super bowl and Ben rides off into the sunset. Everybody gets what they want but Bell. He has to make this play now.

  21. PFT loves the Steelers says: Jun 4, 2017 3:05 PM

    The Steelers. Players holding out, dirty coaches and players, multiple players testing dirty for drugs, coaches getting arrested, players holding out, diva “alleged” rapist QB threatening retirement…etc. Any other team would get called out for the dysfunction.

  22. Greenlargo says: Jun 4, 2017 3:59 PM

    I pretty sure he will show up any year now. Hes been coming for a long time.

  23. stillabengalsfan says: Jun 4, 2017 4:04 PM

    He should at least be there for his team. If I were a Steeler fan, I’m not sure I’d want him participating much, with how injury prone he has proven to be. With his contract future up in the air, im sure leveon is thinking the same thing.

  24. stupidloginrules says: Jun 4, 2017 4:04 PM

    Dunkin says:
    Jun 4, 2017 12:18 PM

    They are waiting until the Patriots have exhausted their cap space before rescinding that tender.

    Except this is probably not neccesary because even if they had the shot Im not that sure the Patriots would take him. Regardless of his great talent the drugs and ‘me first and pay me’ way of operating would not fly well for Belichick.
    ——————

    LeGarrette Blount

  25. nhpats says: Jun 4, 2017 4:27 PM

    Nofoolnodrool says:
    Jun 4, 2017 12:08 PM
    Just another guy the Patriots “broke”….. Like Andrew Luck, the Seahawks and many others….he will never be the same

    1 1

    Like a moth to flame this appears to post in the first group on EVERY Steeler thread….not a problem except he is a snarkie troll.

    Bell will be there when it counts ….and you’ll be able to thank AB and Ben.

    ———–

    He will be there when it counts? Like in last year’s AFCCG? That’s a good one!!!

  26. 3wordanswers says: Jun 4, 2017 4:28 PM

    All Burficts’ fault…….

    He just tackles Bell too damn hard.

  27. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Jun 4, 2017 4:29 PM

    When was the last time he played 16 games in a season?

  28. Nofoolnodrool says: Jun 4, 2017 5:05 PM

    He will be there when it counts? Like in last year’s AFCCG? That’s a good one!!!

    One of the dumber comments of the day from the daily troll. The guy was instrumental in the Steelers getting to the game fool. He gets injured during the game and from your couch you are mocking him….? Only a Pat’s fanboy would be that obtuse.

  29. styro1 says: Jun 4, 2017 5:10 PM

    Nofoolnodrool says:
    Jun 4, 2017 12:08 PM
    Bell will be there when it counts ….
    ____________________________
    Like he was in the AFCCG? 6 carries, 20 yards rushing, 3.3 yards per carry, HA!
    Serious though, I like Bell and think he is a great back, both running and catching true ball, but the market for $10+ million contracts for RB’s is pretty low in the league. It’s mostly a passing game now.
    The Bills LeSean McCoy, 2nd highest salary behind Bell this year, will be making $8 million, $4.1 million less than Bell.

  30. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says: Jun 4, 2017 9:05 PM

    This is hilarious. Bell is already spitting in the face of the NFL’s most dysfunctional franchise. How come Little Tiny Ben isn’t passing on his words of wisdom that he learned from the bathroom stalls?

  31. steel420 says: Jun 4, 2017 9:45 PM

    The Steelers could also trade for Tom Brady after they sever ties with Bell . Why not, huh? I just love wild speculation.

    Bell was at team facilities last week, btw. He’s rehabbing from surgery. That’s real news.

  32. mmmpierogi says: Jun 5, 2017 9:29 AM

    Dunkin says:
    Jun 4, 2017 12:18 PM

    Im not that sure the Patriots would take him. Regardless of his great talent the drugs and ‘me first and pay me’ way of operating would not fly well for Belichick.

    **************************************************************************

    It flies enough that they employed Blount for a few seasons.

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