Kevin Colbert: Le’Veon Bell is hurting himself with holdout

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The Steelers can’t fine running back Le'Veon Bell for skipping training camp because Bell hasn’t signed his franchise tender, but they can try to point out to Bell that he’s not helping himself by missing time on the field with the rest of the team.

That’s the approach General Manager Kevin Colbert chose to employ while discussing Bell on Wednesday. Bell is set to make $12.1 million under the terms of the franchise tag and the deadline to sign a multi-year deal passed last month, leaving Bell with the choice to report, stay away from camp or agree to a different one-year deal.

Such a deal could pay him more money for 2017 or include a clause barring the Steelers from tagging him again, but Colbert suggested that’s not in the cards by saying there’s nothing for him to talk to Bell’s agent about at this point.

“My feeling is there’s nothing to be gained by a holdout,” Colbert said to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The situation won’t change, it can’t really change from our part on a long-term deal. So it hurts him not to be here. It hurts him because he’s not working with his teammates, he’s not getting the conditioning work that he’s going to need to have a great 2017 season. And he’s not working with his teammates to get acclimated to the offense — every year it’s different.”

Colbert said the team would love to have Bell in camp, but “when he’s not here we’re going to look at the other guys.” Rookie James Conner would seem to be a better candidate to threaten Bell’s place in the team than Fitzgerald Toussaint or Knile Davis, but he has been dealing with a shoulder injury and a return to practice on Tuesday ended quickly.

Bell won’t lose any money unless his holdout spills into the regular season and he starts missing game checks, so he can report at any point before that and still receive the full $12.1 million. We’ll see if he agrees with Colbert that there’s still more to lose by not joining the team until that point.

47 responses to “Kevin Colbert: Le’Veon Bell is hurting himself with holdout

  1. Kevin,

    He’s not feeling well. Is using but only for “medicinal” purposes which makes it okay. He has a prescription from Dr. Eugene Monroe.

  2. Colbert, you’re a great GM who has brought us to the promised land, but you’re wrong on this one. I may speak for myself, but as long as Bell is there for snap #1 on Sep 10th, all is good.

  3. Bell is not only the best RB in the game today he is the best conditioned athlete, nice try Colbert the system hasnt and isnt going to change regarding Bells involvement in the offense. looking at the other guys on the roster is all they can do because none of them has the level of talent Bell has. the entire offensive game plan goes through him, he is going to be a workhorse like he was last year.

  4. What Colbert should have said is that there’s nothing for the Steelers to gain in a holdout. Bell can stay in shape and pop into an offense he’s familiar with at most any time, for which he has the right under the CBA. In turn, the Steelers can agree to pay him a higher one year deal with an agreement not to franchise him in the future. It’s certainly okay for the Steelers to refuse to negotiate further, but Colbert should at least be straight forward about it rather than using the usual media-player-blaming doubletalk.

  5. paison says:
    Bell is not only the best RB in the game today he is the best conditioned athlete, nice try Colbert


    Truth is, you have absolutely no idea who the “best-conditioned athlete in the NFL” is.
    Even if Bell actually is that guy, there’s a huge difference between heavy lifting and intensive cardio workouts, and actually playing football and absorbing the pounding that comes with it.
    That’s why so many athletes who miss most or all of camp get injured every season. They’re strong, fresh, and in top cardio shape. But their muscles and joints are not prepared for the repeated and intensive cuts they have to make, or the hits they’ll have to absorb in the heat of battle. That’s why camp and preseason games exist: To prepare you to go full speed in September — not just for one week, but for 16.

  6. Bell is the best player in this team, he knows what he’s doing. Steelers are known To be frugal organization but they are going to have to pay up for this one. The way they ride him into the ground last year after Jen came back shown how special and relied upon that offense is around him. They have 0 chance to win it all unless Bell is there healthy. Colbert open up that check book tight wad and pay tat man hes moneeeee!!

  7. paison says:
    August 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm
    Bell is not only the best RB in the game today he is the best conditioned athlete,
    ______________________________________________________________

    You kidding me? He’s not even in the top 5 on his own team.

  8. You’d think Freeman’s contract would make Bell more realistic. He got 8/yr ave. Highest paid running back in the league. Steelers offered Bell 12/yr. Seems fair to me. And steeler fans talk like Bell is the best in the league, hands down. I would take DJohnson all day. Every bit as productive in the run and pass game, without the baloney.

  9. I hope he doesn’t forget to run during his time off.
    Colbert tagged him. Now he should shut up and accept the consequences like a man.
    Bell should sin the tender the week before game one.
    Missing a training camp might actually extend his career.

  10. mysterytonite says:
    …Steelers are known To be frugal…

    12M is 50% more than the top paid running back in the NFL – I’m guessing you’re on the pro-weed side of the debate. Maybe if he lasts a whole season injury free and suspension free he deserves to talk about a long term deal.

  11. Nothing good ever comes of using the franchise tag. Colbert only hurt himself and the Steelers by using it. He’s a big hypocrite. Bell didn’t choose the tag. The team used a draconian measure to retain one of its best players and then complains when the player acts within his rights by not showing up. He doesn’t get paid if he plays these preseason games and doesn’t have to play then or show, so why should he?

  12. Not a Steelers fan, but this is the only way to work in the NFL. “Here’s the deal … you have zero leverage … you probably want to get in camp soon to have a decent market value next year.”

    The players agreed to that when they agreed to the franchise tag. Change it in the next CBA if you can’t live with it.

  13. well, kevin, the next time you draft someone take into account
    their maturity, football iq and team
    commitment, because that is part of your job.

    if you were smart, you would have quietly dealt him off for a high
    2nd rder in the offseason

    now, with freeman’s deal, dimitrioff has sealed his fate in atlanta, and
    now you are about to seal yours after so many poor drafts on
    defense and drafting very talented, but low character guys on offense.

    enjoy steelers fans…enjoy!!

  14. Maybe he’s working on another hiphop album or he’s waiting for the reefer to get out of his system, but if he gets injured (again) and his injury is linked to not being in shape, he is not going to get a contract after this year, at least from the Steelers. If he happens to test positive again, he’s not getting a contract from ANY team. Bottom line: stay straight and in shape.

  15. Running back is a disposable position nowadays. Vastly overplayed his hand. He will likely have a poor season and get hurt when he reports. The Steelers will say they have had enough and cut him after the season

  16. Oh come on. He knows the offense. He’s not a rookie. Every time he runs the ball, be it in a game or in practice, takes a toll. He’s in shape – he can arrive after the last preseason game and start Week 1 without missing a step.

  17. Whatever. Emmitt Smith held out until the 3rd game of the season in the 90s and came back to help lead them to a superbowl. Joey Boss’s holdout was supposed to doom his rookie season. Bell will be alright.

  18. Pretty soon Colbert will restructure his contract and continue to kick the can down the road, as is tradition

  19. Colbert speaking publically is a lose-lose situation. Le’Veon understands the shelf life of an NFL running back and if they aren’t going to fork up the money to keep the best tailback in football, then holdout and find a new team next season. At the end of the day, it’s a business and you have to take care of what’s best for you and your family.

  20. It’s not a holdout at this point because he can’t get more right now.
    He’s just protecting himself from injury. Should be no issue for a guy of that talent to just show up week 1 and be ready. Plus… you get long looks at Davis and Connor. Not a bad thing.
    Shut up GM!

  21. As long as he is there for Game 1 he still gets paid $12.1 mil.
    Colbert is basically saying, “hey, why don’t you come work for free for the next 4 weeks?”

    If your boss asked you to work for free for a month, would you do it?

  22. There can be no new one year deal, as the deadline for new contracts has passed. Bell is simply holding out to avoid training camp which increases his risk of injury.

  23. I disagree with this notion that he should just protect himself from injury and show up for gm 1. He’s getting paid for 2017. That should include training camp. There is some value to being around teammates and getting reps. I don’t care how hard he’s working out. When he comes in, he won’t be in ‘FBshape’. Then they’ll have to manage him so he doesn’t get hurt again.

  24. Deangelo Williams was the leading rusher at one point without Bell.

    $12 million is outrageous. lol

  25. tylawspick6 says:

    August 9, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    well, kevin, the next time you draft someone take into account
    their maturity, football iq and team
    commitment, because that is part of your job.

    if you were smart, you would have quietly dealt him off for a high
    2nd rder in the offseason

    now, with freeman’s deal, dimitrioff has sealed his fate in atlanta, and
    now you are about to seal yours after so many poor drafts on
    defense and drafting very talented, but low character guys on offense.

    enjoy steelers fans…enjoy!!
    _____________________________
    Oh you can’t report my comments and runaway anymore. You do realize the Steelers still have control over Bell next year and Freemans deal does nothing but help them? The Steelers barely use free agency yet are for the most part always contenders. Now if you don’t bring in FA yet are still competitive where are those players coming from? The Steelers defense had to be totally rebuilt and it looks like the rebuild is about complete. Burns is going to shock people this year. He has been man to man with Brown and they are dead even on catches and non catches. The defense looked like a totally different animal once Dupree came back and now we have a shadow again for a corner and corners to run man. This defense is young, hungry, and super fast everywhere. I can’t wait to play the Pats this year and if the Steelers have all 4 Bs on the field they will win. The Pats have never faced more than 2 of them at a time.

  26. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the Steelers get tired of waiting for him and resind the franchise tag, doesn’t he become a free agent immediately, with the ability to negotiate a multi year deal with a club, other than Pitt? I wouldn’t say that’s “for nothing”. If they wanted him there for training camp, they should have paid the man.

  27. thesteelhurtin says:
    August 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    …. I can’t wait to play the Pats this year and if the Steelers have all 4 Bs on the field they will win. The Pats have never faced more than 2 of them at a time.

    Should be a great game. BTW, Real Steeler fans don’t make excuses.

  28. srg608 says:
    August 10, 2017 at 2:51 pm
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the Steelers get tired of waiting for him and resind the franchise tag, doesn’t he become a free agent immediately, with the ability to negotiate a multi year deal with a club, other than Pitt? I wouldn’t say that’s “for nothing”. If they wanted him there for training camp, they should have paid the man.

    ——————-
    They aren’t going to pull the offer. That would make no sense. Having an extra 12 million right now does nothing. Plus it’s sets the precedent that all a player has to do is hold out to get what he wants. You can bank on them using the franchise tag on him again next year. The way the first two years were set up in their offer is the exact same amount as the tag for those two years. Two years from now who knows what he will have left in the tank

  29. They aren’t going to pull the offer. That would make no sense. Having an extra 12 million right now does nothing. Plus it’s sets the precedent that all a player has to do is hold out to get what he wants. You can bank on them using the franchise tag on him again next year. The way the first two years were set up in their offer is the exact same amount as the tag for those two years. Two years from now who knows what he will have left in the tank
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Granted, they are NOT likely to pull the franchise offer. But if they did, he’d be a free agent. The Steelers used the resources provided to the them under the CBA and he is using his. For the GM to talk publicly about Bell actually using his resources, is a little hypocritical, to say the least. I repeat, if they wanted to ensure that he was in camp, they should have paid him. He has no incentive to sign it now and attend camp, where all he can do is get hurt. If they want him there, negotiate in good faith.

  30. OMG. People need to stop it with the so-called weed jokes. It was never funny and it’s just stupid. Get over it! Everyone makes mistakes.

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