Ramon Foster understands Bell’s absence, appreciates Villanueva’s presence

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Two prominent Steelers currently don’t have contracts for 2017 or beyond. One isn’t attending offseason practice, even as an observer. Another one is showing up and practicing without a deal. Steelers guard Ramon Foster supports both of them.

“When you’re a superstar, you do what you want,” Foster joked regarding running back Le’Veon Bell, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Saddled with the exclusive franchise tag worth $12.1 million for 2017, Bell hasn’t attended practice, although he reportedly visited the team’s facility last week.

“I haven’t seen or heard much about his situation,” Foster said. “It will be good to see him. I heard he’s in town.”

Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva definitely is in town, because he’s participating in practice without a contract.

“We’re happy to see him,” Foster said. “[The contract] will get done eventually. Kudos to him. He doesn’t have to be here. . . . I’m not sure what kind of agreement they have, but he’s choosing to be here, and that’s what I appreciate about him. He’s the ultimate team guy. Hopefully that shows in his pay increase.”

A pay increase is likely coming, eventually. The question becomes whether he’ll get more than the relative peanuts the Steelers are compelled to pay him, and ultimately whether another team would sacrifice up to a first-round pick for a potential crack at Villanueva if/when he becomes a restricted free agent next year.

6 responses to “Ramon Foster understands Bell’s absence, appreciates Villanueva’s presence

  1. I don’t blame the Steelers for waiting this one out. He needs to show them that he can stay healthy and on the field when they need him because $12M is already as much as he’s worth.

  2. Probably not pertinent to their current contract situations, but Villanueva is a bronze star recipient with 3 tours in Afghanistan and Bell is probably one big payday away from failing his 3rd drug test. Those two guys should not be compared in any way. Villanueva will probably go every day until his body says he can’t, Bell will go until he gets paid and fails another test.

  3. @jm91rs
    They should be compared. One is a shining light the other a dim bulb, a hero versus a druggie.

    I salute Mr Villanueva for his service and his honor in working without a contract. I also respect just how good a player he is. — A Patriots Fan (but still an American)

  4. I agree with pastabelly. As great a player as Bell is, it’s a real crapshoot to sign him long-term. And paying a RB big money in today’s NFL may not be worth it. I think they drafted that kid from Pitt, who I like, for a reason.

  5. Bell has no respect for the team and why should he? The fact that he’s committed felonies and is made of glass doesn’t seem to matter to a team that keeps Little Ben on the roster.

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