Steelers need to quit talking about Le’Veon Bell

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Two weeks ago, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn’t want to talk about running back Le'Veon Bell because Tomlin only wanted to talk about the guys who are at camp. Now, Tomlin is talking. As is G.M. Kevin Colbert.

They need to stop.

Bell isn’t a holdout in the classic sense. He has no contract. He’s not an employee. He currently has the right to become an employee for one season, at a salary of $12.1 million. He has that right because the Steelers exercised their right to keep him from becoming a free agent by applying the franchise tag.

Put simply, the Steelers started this. They shouldn’t be able to finish it by griping about Bell in the hope that his inherent desire to please his coach and/or his team — or to avoid rampant criticism from fans on social media — will cause Bell to blink.

If the Steelers want to end this, they have two clear options: They can sweeten the offer that’s on the table, or they can remove it altogether.

While it’s too late to parlay the franchise tender into a long-term deal, the Steelers could offer Bell more than $12.1 million on a one-year deal. The Steelers also could rescind the tender and make Bell an unrestricted free agent.

Really, if the Steelers think Bell is being unreasonable in his financial expectations, they should let the market determine what he’s worth. (The Steelers, based on the language of the CBA, probably would be permitted to sign him to only a one-year deal even after rescinding the tender.)

Regardless of what the Steelers do, the one thing they shouldn’t do is apply pressure to a player who is fully within his rights to not be at training camp. It’s no different than calling out a player who is under contract for not attending voluntary offseason workouts. For Bell, everything is voluntary until he voluntarily signs the franchise tender, which the Steelers voluntarily applied — and which the Steelers can voluntarily remove at any time.

47 responses to “Steelers need to quit talking about Le’Veon Bell

  1. He’s not an employee?? What are you talking about? Florio most of you the things you say are a joke.. Why would they listen to you and why hasn’t a team hired you since you know what everyone should be doing

  2. Obviously not a Steelers fan but sometime, some team has got to step up, bite the bullet and do the following:

    Bell signs right before the start of the season and the organization makes him the 53rd man on the roster. Make him sit on the bench for every game home and away. Don’t let him sniff the field in practice. It is time for teams to start making examples of these guys.

    Sure they have to pay him 12.1 million, sure they were hoping he’d be a big part of their offense this year but once, just once I’d love to see a team smack these guys right in the face and force them to pout on the bench.

  3. Just as Bell is fully within his rights to not be at camp, Tomlin and Colbert are within their rights to answer questions about him when asked.

    Bell could fix this by signing the tender, but then he would have to show up to camp. An offer has been on the table for six months now. He passed up his chance at signing something long term, now he can either sign the one year deal, or sit home all year.

  4. His contract expired. They’ve made him an offer on a one-year contract. He hasn’t accepted it. He’s not an employee. Logic is hard.

  5. Media job to ask questions… If they can get a story out of Tomlin and company making comments that are not smart, good for them.

    I would agree with Florio (wow can’t believe I wrote that)…Just kidding, but really the smart thing to do would be to keep your mouth shut or offer more dollars…

  6. The Steeler’s frustration is pretty understandable though. Even as a fan of one of their key opponents I feel bad for them and wish they werent getting this, They have offered a good paycheck the guy should just take and play. Even with Freemans deal Bell was already up for a sweet one before this. And as far as guys wanting to be the highest paid, as soon as a deal gets signed it just becomes the new target for someone else to top. The RB position, largely because of how brutal it is on the body, is becoming more of a committee thing, or thats emerging as the wiser approach. Thats unfortunate for the really top ones, but just the nature of the game. Its getting too hard to put all the eggs in one basket with one guy getting too much of the cap.

    Also, as far as players we could stop hearing about, Bell is down my list a ways.

  7. I don’t honestly believe that ANY team would offer him what he’s asking for, they might even save money by rescinding…. if they knew he would sign with them once his value is determined. He will be a free agent next year, likely making around 10mil/yr

  8. Damned if they do , damned if they dont . Either way people find ways to complain on either side of the issue . If he shows up after training camp ends and starts the season and gets injured early , we get to hear all about how most players who hold out get injured . If he shows up now and gets injured they will complain about that . Haters are going to hate . Talkers talk , and so on .

  9. I would love to see what his market value is if they released him. I seriously doubt it would be even close to 12 mil. Save your $$ Steelers and move on, a really good running game shouldn’t cost this much

  10. .
    If they rescind the franchise tag and make Bell a free agent, guess who’s waiting with a substantial one year offer? That’s right, the Patriots. Belichick has fawned over Bell like he’s an offensive Ed Reed for years. They also have plenty of cap space available.
    .

  11. “If the Steelers want to end this, they have two clear options: They can sweeten the offer that’s on the table, or they can remove it altogether.”

    Fake News – that is not true at all. They could also trade him to Cleveland and teach him a valuable lesson. There are many options that don’t include the Steelers bending over for a spoiled brat that is listening to bad advice…

  12. The guys who really need to never call him out are the teammates who make more money than he’s been offered. If they think he needs to be at practice, then they should restructure their contracts so the team can pay him what he thinks he’s worth. If they don’t think he’s worth what they’re worth, then they should understand why he’s not putting in the effort they are.

  13. Florio Say:

    His contract expired. They’ve made him an offer on a one-year contract. He hasn’t accepted it. He’s not an employee. Logic is hard.
    _______________________

    I don’t always agree with you Florio, but no one can really argue with that logic. I don’t understand why; when teams exercise their rights under the CBA, players are supposed to understand that it’s just business. But when players exercise their rights under the CBA, teams get all personal and fans get all emotional. Yes 12 Million is a lot of money, but one knee injury and that could be the last lucrative contract he see’s. I don’t understand whats wrong with a player wanting to make sure they exhaust all means that they have to get that long term guaranteed future money. That’s smart business too!

  14. Cmon Mr Florio. Tomlin is not walking up to the mic and beginning his statement with “Well first I would like to say that Bell needs to be here……” The reporters are asking everyone within earshot what they think about the situation.

  15. Mike Florio says:
    August 11, 2017 at 11:16 am
    His contract expired. They’ve made him an offer on a one-year contract. He hasn’t accepted it. He’s not an employee. Logic is hard.
    ————————————————–
    I’m glad you brought that up. Is it logical to hire a certain baggage-laden, average, unemployed former QB and risk losing your fanbase?

  16. They don’t have to quit talking about him. Why? Just because you have sympathy for players? His options this year are to play for Pittsburgh or play for nobody and not get paid. Steelers have all the leverage.

    If the players want that changed, they should think about their futures and strike a harder bargain in collective bargaining instead of worrying about their next paycheck. That would be easier if they quit buying million-dollar houses, quit paying for every family member/girlfriend with a handout or every dude selling doobies. The players have settled for this system in the CBA so they need to live by their agreement.

  17. I’ve tried commenting on almost every Leveon Bell article…and for some reason it inexplicably never gets past the moderator…

    Just wanna say Mike Florio is correct on this one…

    Bell has busted his tail to become a top 3 RB. Pittsburgh did not wait for Big Ben or Antonio Brown to become free agents B4 extending them…they made Bell play out his contract, then determined he’s worth $12 million a year!!! If this organization is as righteous as they claim to be, either pay him what you decided he is worth or release him…

  18. how exactly did the Steeler’s start this? by not caving and giving Bell a ludicrous contract? Bell has a far more than reasonable offer sitting on the table he refuses to sign – to me that sounds like he’s the instigator.

  19. Florio Says:

    His contract expired. They’ve made him an offer on a one-year contract. He hasn’t accepted it. He’s not an employee. Logic is hard.
    _______________________
    I don’t always agree with you Florio, but no one can really argue with that logic. I don’t understand why; when teams exercise their rights under the CBA, players are supposed to understand that it’s just business. But when players exercise their rights under the CBA, teams get all personal and fans get all emotional. Yes 12 Million is a lot of money, but one knee injury and that could be the last lucrative contract he ever see’s. What’s wrong with a player wanting to make sure they exhaust all means that they have at their disposal per the CBA to get that long term guaranteed future money. That’s (smart) business too!

  20. Bell has great but has missed 30% of his NFL career due to injuries and suspensions. I think the Steelers offer of $12M a year was reasonable. Especially since they can tag him this year ($12M) AND next year for $14M. A lot of money but they’ll have him in the prime of his career and do not have to carry any signing bonus for several more years. If they tag him this and next year he’ll become a free agent at age 27 with a lot of mileage. Steelers need him but the double tag will mean he will never get the WR contract he wants.

  21. Ok Florio, so now employers have no rights whatsoever according to you. The players who have accomplished little, if anything, outside of football, are supposed to tell multi-billionaires how to run their business.
    THIS is why the country is so screwed up. The tail is wagging the dog, and when the dog gets caught by the dog catcher, the tail blames everyone else but himself.
    Players = tail

  22. The contract they offered him, if I’m recalling correctly, was MUCH better than what Freeman signed, and gave him some long term security. Not too shabby for a back, although a special player, who can’t stay on the field due to injury (or other things…) when they need him the most. They didn’t JUST offer him the one year deal…

    Also, if history has taught us anything about this camp holdouts, my money’s on him, at the very least, pulling a hamstring and having it nag him for the majority of the season. That’s if he’s lucky. This guy’s a dope, and that’s from a Steeler fan.

  23. The Steelers will make a deal with you, Florio. You stop talking about Kaepnernick and they’ll stop talking about Bell.

    I give the odds on one of those things happening to the Steelers.

  24. tylawspick6 says:
    August 11, 2017 at 12:07 pm
    Colbert is finished. And, I am not sure why Tomlin just got an extension.

    3 3 Rate This

    Ty, if you had a brain you would grasp that Tomlin has earned an extension. You don’t so sorry you remain clueless again.

    Tomlin is just answering the questions as a professional should unlike grumpy cheating Belicheat who gets his kicks being a rude jerk to the media. Jerk coach and jerk fans….a marriage of jerks.

  25. Bell may not be under contract. However, he accounts for over $12M against the Steelers 2017 salary cap. What ever you want to call it, the Steelers have a relationship that should justify them speaking their mind about the situation.

  26. 6ball says:
    August 11, 2017 at 11:29 am
    .
    If they rescind the franchise tag and make Bell a free agent, guess who’s waiting with a substantial one year offer? That’s right, the Patriots. Belichick has fawned over Bell like he’s an offensive Ed Reed for years. They also have plenty of cap space available.
    _____________________________________
    Belichick is not going to pay any RB $12 million a year, EVAH!

  27. matt2calvin says:
    August 11, 2017 at 11:30 am
    “If the Steelers want to end this, they have two clear options: They can sweeten the offer that’s on the table, or they can remove it altogether.”

    Fake News – that is not true at all. They could also trade him to Cleveland and teach him a valuable lesson. There are many options that don’t include the Steelers bending over for a spoiled brat that is listening to bad advice…

    25 29 Rate This
    —–
    People are so dense. Trade him to Cleveland how? He’s not currently a Steeler. Do people even read these articles before commenting?

  28. The Steelers and all teams have the right to talk about any player staying away from camp getting 12,5 million dollars for 16 games. If teams would stand together and these players who feel above the game no one sign them… where do they go then to the NFL channel and stutter and stammer through a broadcast.

  29. I agree with Mike F, Tomlin needs to talk about what is happening on the practice field and in the locker room. Any questions outside of those topics need the Bill Belichick treatment.

  30. The frugalness of this organization is showing through. Why shouldn’t bell accept what he feels is a substandard deal? If Pitt don’t want to pay him, cut him or trade him. See what would happen if they let him walk, 25 teams wouldn’t be tripping over themselves to upend their salary cap to get this guy in their fold. Steelers fans you think it’s so easy to replace bell you afe clearly ignorant. Pay him or blow.

  31. Steelers front office made a very generous offer to Bell.
    Bell wants to be some kind of Pied Piper for all RB’s and
    raise their collective compensation.

    While the rest of the Steelers are going through the process
    in their quest for another SB, Bell has been distancing himself
    from the team. He is not a Steeler. He is proving himself as
    an independent, butt hurt RB looking to be over-paid, and
    will soon be looking for a new team to play for.

    Loved watching Le’Veon run the ball, but his greed and
    over inflated ego will have him looking for a new
    (overly generous) team to play for soon.

    Best of luck Le’Veon, you could have become one of
    the all time greats.

  32. The Steelers have every right to call him out. If he is going to eventually sign the franchise tender, than he is only hurting the TEAM. Francis him again next year….then let him walk.

  33. I’m sorry, I must have said something offensive when I called bull on Bell when he said he’s taking a stand for all running backs! Bell’s for Bell and no one else. To think otherwise is foolish.

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