Report: Le’Veon Bell skipped nearly all of final walkthrough of season

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Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell said after the season he “definitely” wanted to be back in Pittsburgh next season.

He apparently did not feel as strongly about their final practice of the year.

Tucked into the end of a season wrap-up by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was news that Bell skipped all but the final five minutes of the Saturday walk-through before last week’s loss to the Jaguars.

He also reportedly showed up later than the deadline set by coach Mike Tomlin for game days, as the coach wants players and staff there two hours before kickoff and he ignored that instruction.

Those kind of things will have to factor into their contractual decisions this offseason. Tagging Bell again will cost them $14.57 million, and there’s no guarantee he’ll show up if that happens. He skipped training camp and the preseason last year, but was second in the league with 1,946 yards from scrimmage.

He’s also threatened to sit out the season or retire if they tag him again, making this a tenuous situation for the Steelers moving forward.

127 responses to “Report: Le’Veon Bell skipped nearly all of final walkthrough of season

  1. I keep reading its a strong RB draft class too. He’s a special RB so the Steelers would be wise to resign him but other backs have been just as successful when he has been out. I bet they wished FA started after the draft.

  2. Who cares about the walkthrough ..beating the lowly Jags was just a formality & then it was on to the highly anticipated rematch with the Pats… uhhh, yeah

  3. Maybe Pittsburgh should move on. His impact has been minimal when the games count (aka playoffs) and at some point he is not worth the distraction nor the hassle. The Steelers have a great gathering of individuals at this point and as long as they keep accommodating people like Bell they will continue to be a bunch of individuals and not a true team.

    On second thought… I hope they resign him and to a big contract so the Patriots can keep piling those digits in the win column against them.

  4. What good is a deadline if you never hold the player accountable?? That is on Tomlin for not having the guts to punish him and Bell for lack of professionalism and being an all about me type person and player.

  5. toe the line or get out. Football is a team sport and the better teams know that fact and jettison POS players and their teams are better for it, in the long run. Tomlin allowed this culture of “player first” to exist so he is ultimately responsible and should face the consequences.

  6. Mike Tomlin runs a tight ship.

    He also respects his players. He allowed Blount to leave the team to go get a super bowl and he did the same with harrison.

    He will be cheering them on

  7. Put this squarely on Tomlin. A real coach would have suspended him to send a message. A “players coach” makes excuses and let’s the players run the team.

    One Superbowl win with a supremely talented team he inherited from Cowher ain’t enough.

    Time to go Mikey….

  8. Bottom line, they don’t want to pay him and he doesn’t want to be there so move on or move out. Tomlin being the fake tough guy he thinks he is once again is allowing distractions from this team reaching its goal. The dude showed up begrudgingly and gave you a full seasons work. You ran him into tue ground (over 400 touches) and he held up. Time to pay the piper, if not you gotta franchise and trade him. That is such a weak sauce move in the Steelers part of they are really going to make him play on the franchise tag again after what he did for the team this year. It’s not the most professional way to go about his business but I can see why he is makin a stink about his contract now.

  9. IgnorantLeftist says:
    January 19, 2018 at 9:23 am

    So Tomlin has lost the respect of the fans and now members of the team. But Todd Haley is the problem.
    =================================
    They are both shoes of the same pair.

  10. .
    I couldn’t imagine any New England player showing up with only 5 minutes left in the walk through prior to a playoff game. Some may recall that it was during the walk through before the Patriots Super Bowl victory over Seattle, that the Patriots rehearsed the play which resulted in the Malcolm Brown interception.
    .

  11. if these things about Bell are true, then it’s as much on the coaching staff as it is on Bell. Some people automatically follow the rules, other people you have to train them to follow the rules. And there are always a scattered few that will never follow the rules.

    I don’t think Bell is in the last category (yet) but he is certainly on his way there. However it doesn’t appear, at least to us on the outside, that the coaching staff has pulled out all the stops on this one. Seems more like they’ve been tippy-toeing around the issue.

  12. I remember when Belichick told players not to say anything about the Jets and Wes Welker made fun of Rex Ryan at a press conference. Bill did not start Wes in the AFCCG. If I remember correctly, Wes did not get on the field until the second quarter.

  13. Belichick would have sent him home from the walkthrough for being late, and sat him the first series or 2 of the game.

    Any GM that gives Bell the kind of contract he’s looking for should be fired for insanity.

  14. rogobrothers says:

    January 19, 2018 at 9:19 am

    He wants to be waived so he can play for the Pats. AB is next.
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    I think he wants to play wherever pays him the most money, and I don’t think that will be with the Pats

  15. He’s very talented and very dumb. Doesn’t he realize this stuff hurts his stock even if he hits free agency? He will be broke shortly after his playing career because he is dumb.

  16. mysterytonite says:
    January 19, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Time to pay the piper, if not you gotta franchise and trade him.
    ————————————————————————————————
    Who in their right mind is going to play a RB 10-12 million a year? Why would you do that AND give up something in trade? It’s ludicrous. it’s not happening. He’s either going to be tagged in Pittsburgh, signed long term in Pittsburgh or hit free agency.

  17. Gut check time.
    Either Tomlin gets rid of him, or Pitt gets rid of Tomlin.
    Clearly there’s something rotten in Pittsburgh and the GM/Ownership needs to stamp it out with either/or both moves.
    And ESPN wrote about the Pats…… SMH

  18. Nice how this just trickles out now. But Brady wears a glove and ESPN has 40 interns tweeting about how he now has a hook for a hand.

  19. Bell has proven he’s not a team player! He’s valuable to the team but can always be replaced. He was overpaid last year and still wants more. It’s time to move on from Bell and let him “shake and bake” someplace else!

  20. Julian Edelman’s misunderstood quote on the Steelers: “Hey, people have different rules, that’s how that team is run. I personally don’t think that would be something that would happen in our locker room, but hey whatever. Some people like red and some people like blue. Some people like tulips and some people like roses, whatever.” This is more of that ‘whatever’ and obviously the results speak for themselves, Bell produced. Bell is a different kind of cat and he has flat out gotten it done, as long as how he is handled isn’t disruptive to the locker room what difference does it make? We as fans don’t appreciate it but there is a natural hierarchy among players that comes with tremendous output and it results in slack getting cut. Lawrence Taylor had a different set of rules too. From the outside this may be a bad look but that room didn’t seem to suffer any divisions from it. It’s worth mentioning that when Bryant started taking the entitled route it wasn’t tolerated and got nipped off quickly. The Steelers team building philosophy is to collect talented athletes rather than guys that fit a mold. That may lead to some ‘issues’ but it’s also led to a lot of W’s. Maintaining that balance is probably Tomlin’s real strength and might account for why the organization values him higher than many of it’s fans.

  21. Good player, but nobody is bigger than the team. Guys that don’t get that by now are never going to get it. If you pay him a boatload of cash on a long term deal, you’ll be validating the fact that the rules of the team don’t matter if you play well. Everyone else in the team will see that. On the other hand, if you tag him he’ll feel like he’s getting screwed and will be even less likely to follow team rules, which will also be noticed. The bottom line is that you can get probably 70 to 80% of his production for about 20% of the pay, and none of the drama. Seems like a pretty obvious choice to me.

  22. Until this team rids itself of Mike Tomlin it is of little consequence who’s at the RB position. The team is poisoned with with lousy work ethic, moronic coaching, poor attitude and ownership that gets weaker by the season.

  23. In the ‘burgh, the inmates do run the asylum! Why, after this type of news goes public, would they NOT fire Tomlin!Bell should have been suspended, most teams do that type of thing.

  24. The Steelers should have traded him to the Browns for several of their high draft picks before the Jags game.

  25. Which would you rather have?

    Leveon Bell
    321 carries, 1,291 yds, 9 TDs
    85 catches, 655 yds, 2 TDs
    3 fumbles
    $12.120m for the year

    or

    James White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee
    391 carries, 1,714 yds, 16 TDs
    119 catches, 912 yds, 9 TDs
    2 fumbles
    $8.74m for the year

    Face it, RBs aren’t that special. I’ll admit the 3 extra roster spots might be an issue, but the Pats RBs can also play on ST. Having the highest priced RB, WR, and a top 10 (in terms of contract) QB on the roster leaves scraps for the rest of the 50 guys that have to make up the roster.

  26. A lot of comments on here are just piling up on Tomlin – saying he should discipline him. I tend to agree, but we have no idea what GM or owner is telling Tomlin to do. It’s hard to sit a guy who is an all world talent. To me, this is a LeVeon Bell issue – and I think you let him walk. The guy is an absolute talent, but for the crap he does – you could get a much less expensive replacement and shore up the line or other parts of your team. I couldn’t imagine being one of the best at something in the world, and not trying to maximize your potential. Sad.

  27. One of Tomlin’s problems is he is a wanna-be NFL player. Every season he’ll bring-up his glory days at William & Mary. Time to get over it. You can’t be both boss & bro.

  28. “You don’t know when any Patriots players show up to walkthroughs, you’re not there and the team does a better job at not letting the media have access.”

    Actually we do. Belichick sends players home if they’re late, even if its because of a snowstorm. Players like Revis and Vince Wilfork were both sent home and it was announced by the team they were sent home for being late.

  29. I have said it many times, the problem with this team starts with Tomlin, and the culture he has allowed to fester. The Steelers have changed in many negative ways under his watch, and as a lifelong Steelers fan, it is, quite frankly, embarrassing. I want another no-nonsense coach like Chuck Noll. Bill Belichick had tremendous respect for Noll, and if you look at their coaching styles, to me they are very similar. An authoritarian is what the Steelers need RIGHT now. If you tell me that a coach would allowed ANY player, much less a key component to get away with this stuff, he needs fired immediately on that basis alone.

  30. iamthegreatcornflorio says:
    January 19, 2018 at 10:13 am

    The Steelers should have traded him to the Browns for several of their high draft picks before the Jags game.

    ———————————

    Colbert and Tomlin think they are the smartest people in the room, so that would never happen.

  31. youngnoizecom says:
    January 19, 2018 at 9:57 am
    You don’t know when any Patriots players show up to walkthroughs, you’re not there and the team does a better job at not letting the media have access.
    —————————-
    Actually not true. The press portion of the practice is mandatory to all teams, the Patriots cannot and dont skip that. (Although no doubt would if could). At those practices the press counts every player and even examines each carefully especially the key ones (look at the scrutiny on Brady right now). The press has always been on top of any player Belichick sends home for even being a minute late (and he does, on the Patriots Bell would not have been allowed to join the last 5 min of anything). And in any event, aside from noticing the absence in practice they would certainly notice the team response. Belichick NEVER lets those things slide. Depending on the player and the history the response would vary from time off during the next game to a trade to the Browns to a flat out release. Belichick will take a short term hit before he even begins to let that stuff start up on his team. He sees the short term hit as the the thing that hurts the team less.

  32. rogobrothers says:
    January 19, 2018 at 9:19 am
    He wants to be waived so he can play for the Pats. AB is next.

    ————————
    He has probably done more damage to his chances of becoming a Patriot than he has to his chances if staying a Steeler. Not that either looks too goid right now.

  33. Is he really that good? He has a hall of fame qb(probably), the best wr in the league and a really solid o-line. I’d like to see what he does on a team that isnt as stout.

  34. 38 3 Rate This
    youngnoizecom says:
    January 19, 2018 at 9:40 am
    He performed on game day though and had a heck of a game, fake news.

    ———————
    He played like a gifted player, which he is. But as far as functioning as a component of a team those disconnects were noted even before this news came out. Functioning with your team only comes of practice.

  35. Steeler fans crack me up, nobody is bigger than the team lol. You think in terms of high school, this is the pros and it’s a business. It’s not a Tomlin thing it’s a management thing. Bell sulked through the last walk through because that was the exact time the story broke that they will franchise him again. As a rb you have one chance to earn your not as a player on that 2nd co tract and he wants his shot at it. The Steelers are doing him a disservice by franchising him. I understand why they did it last year due to his off field issues but he gave them a great season and they rode him all year. Keep in mind Steeler fans he is also your 2nd best reviever in addition to being the best running back in the game and if you think he won’t make more than 12 million per season let him go and we will find out soon enough. Bell is worth every bit of 15 million per season due to his unique skill set. If you think John Connor + committee can replace his output you are out of your minds.

  36. grumpysal says:
    January 19, 2018 at 10:13 am
    Which would you rather have?

    Leveon Bell
    321 carries, 1,291 yds, 9 TDs
    85 catches, 655 yds, 2 TDs
    3 fumbles
    $12.120m for the year

    or

    James White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee
    391 carries, 1,714 yds, 16 TDs
    119 catches, 912 yds, 9 TDs
    2 fumbles
    $8.74m for the year

    Face it, RBs aren’t that special. I’ll admit the 3 extra roster spots might be an issue, but the Pats RBs can also play on ST. Having the highest priced RB, WR, and a top 10 (in terms of contract) QB on the roster leaves scraps for the rest of the 50 guys that have to make up the roster.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Definitely one of the most informative and thought provoking posts i have ever seen on PFT.
    Well done!

  37. I have said it many times, the problem with this team starts with Tomlin, and the culture he has allowed to fester. The Steelers have changed in many negative ways under his watch, and as a lifelong Steelers fan, it is, quite frankly, embarrassing. I want another no-nonsense coach like Chuck Noll. Bill Belichick had tremendous respect for Noll, and if you look at their coaching styles, to me they are very similar. An authoritarian is what the Steelers need RIGHT now. If you tell me that a coach would allow ANY player, much less a key component to get away with this stuff, he needs fired immediately on that basis alone.

  38. He’s a great regular season player. Unfortunately he hasn’t played or done enough in the playoffs to justify his price tag. Throw in all the other BS and he’s kryptonite to any team with SB aspirations.

  39. Whenever Bell has missed games….whoever Pitt had as a fill-in did just fine behind that o-line. Keep putting money into the o-line, save a ton of money at RB and put the rest of the money into the defense. I would never make Bell the cornerstone of the franchise….

  40. Great player who has the team by their short-hairs. Give him one yr franchise tag, run him for 400+ plays, & turn his high-mileage butt loose after ’18.

  41. Again….more evidence Tomlin has no control of this team….this doesnt happen on teams where the coaching leadership is sound. Life-long Stillers fan here…..Mike needs to go. Culture change is needed to achieve potential.

  42. A running back who’s got 3 good years left at best, playing on a reconstructed knee. Let someone else marry him and find a cheap running back in the draft. That position is easily replaced and cheap to do so.

  43. youngnoizecom says:
    January 19, 2018 at 9:57 am
    You don’t know when any Patriots players show up to walkthroughs, you’re not there and the team does a better job at not letting the media have access.

    =================================

    well we know when they show up late, because they get sent home, even if theres a foot of snow and youre randy moss. tomlin needs to grow a set.

  44. a correction. The walk thru before the Seattle superbowl was significant because the Pats staff put in the play that turned out to be the game winning TD to Edelman. To my knowledge they didn’t practice against the pass play that Butler picked. That play WAS practiced a lot during the week

  45. rogobrothers says:
    January 19, 2018 at 9:19 am
    He wants to be waived so he can play for the Pats. AB is next.

    You already got a used-up Harrison. By the time the Pats would get these 2, Brady would be a member of AARP.

  46. gohawks7 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Your coach trips players running down the sideline. How disciplined can the rest of the team REALLY be??
    ————————-

    Tomlin has never tripped a player.

  47. That’s a problem for Mike Tomlin to address. These things can’t be happening to the team and the head coach should know this. That’s why your paid to be the head coach. The steelers still need to sign Leveon Bell this offseason. You don’t let players like that walk.

  48. Oh SteAlers….it’s like you didn’t even make the playoffs. Better fix the D because a setting records for total points in a playoff game isn’t a good look, especially against Bortles.

  49. Good for you for skipping that walk through, Bell. We’re all glad you were thinking of yourself.

    -Jaguars

  50. How can you have a guy like that on your team. That’s unprofessional and a terrible thing to do to your teammates. Whoever signs this guy, buyer beware. In another year he’ll be complaining about how he wants more money.

  51. Tag him… try to arrange a sign and trade and if that doesn’t happen, wait until free agency has hit it’s lull point and then dump him just before week one cutoff.

    If he doesn’t want to sign with the Steelers, or if he isn’t willing to find a trade partner and agree a contract which he signs with the Steelers before the trade… then he’s obviously going to play hardball and thinks he knows best. Steelers won’t have any cap hit and good luck to Bell in trying to get anything like what the Steelers would be prepared to give him. The guy is a bigger diva than most WRs around the league.

  52. He’s nuts if he leaves the Steelers. No other team gets away with holding as their offensive line does and that helps him be as patient as he is. He goes to another team his whopping 4.0 yards a carry will drop to just over 3.0 yards a carry with a lot of baggage on the side.

  53. He’s kind of like OBJ – showy talent, but the team keeps not getting over the hump, so who cares?

    Bell isn’t the limiting factor on this team – coaching is, clearly – so paying him big bucks isn’t going to change the fortunes of the team for the better.

  54. When you produce in a game where the amount of money you make is contingent on your health, the idea is to make as much as you can before your body wears down on you. These people have families to feed and short career spans, who are ya’ll to tell Bell how much $$$ he’s worth? A player of this magnitude, it would be best to keep happy, if you can’t do right by him on the business aspect of things, what’s the point of him doing right by you on the field? With that being said, he still almost had 200 yards of total offense in that playoff game, so his missed walkthrough clearly wasn’t the issue.

  55. gohawks7 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:04 am
    Whenever Bell has missed games….whoever Pitt had as a fill-in did just fine behind that o-line. Keep putting money into the o-line, save a ton of money at RB and put the rest of the money into the defense. I would never make Bell the cornerstone of the franchise….

    —————

    Couldn’t agree more. Deangelo Williams was old and washed up in Carolina, but behind that o-line there was barely a drop in production when he subbed for Bell. I’m sure they had to do some different things, but that surplus 10-12 mil per season would sure come in handy when they start to fix that swiss cheese defense.

  56. anyone whose followed football longer than 1 season knows, in today’s game, runningbacks are a dime a dozen

  57. Maybe Bell should have a talk with Mike Wallace. Wallace was the guy in Pittsburgh … at least in his own mind. He was so good he could afford to sit out and take plays off. He was so good Pittsburgh would have to pay him buckets of money or lose him. Well, Pittsburgh let him go and he hasn’t done anything meaningful since. Meanwhile, his replacement, Antonio Brown, is the best receiver in the league. Brown gets on my nerves with some of his antics, but he doesn’t take plays off, and he does work harder than just about anyone else on the team.

    Bell is a unique talent, but if he’s not willing to put his talent to work for the good of the team–whether it’s Pittsburgh or some other team–he’ll wind up an afterthought just like Wallace.

  58. Le’Veon Bell is a big-time drama queen, it’s all about Le’Veon to him dudes extremely selfish. I would much have Elite All-Pro RB/WR David Johnson over Bell. Not only is Johnson a better back (putting up more TD’s in his 1st 2 seasons than Bell did in his First 4 seasons) as healthy Johnson is the best & most complete back in the NFL doubling as an elite #2WR slash route runner with size n speed at 6″2/225pds with 4.48 40 speed, but he is a heavy-duty Christian who is just an Excellent person who puts others, his teammates & the team before himself, unlike Le’Veon Bell who is a drama queen that is all about himself. With Johnson you also don’t have to worry about him getting suspended due to drug use, as being a Christian & Family man David Johnson doesnt smoke or drink. With his wrist now fully healthy & that injury behind him, next season he is going to break more records on his way to comeback player of the year & easily put up 1000YDs rushing/1000YDs receiving w/ around 20-22TDs as the center piece of his offense. I’d take Johnson over Bell 7 Days a week and Twice on Sunday.

  59. One question does he not see all the young RB’s coming into the league and having instant success? I know he is a special talent, but what team would want to put up with the headaches when you can look to a couple young talented backs for 1/4 of the price?

  60. bobthebillsfan says:
    January 19, 2018 at 9:48 am
    I remember when Belichick told players not to say anything about the Jets and Wes Welker made fun of Rex Ryan at a press conference. Bill did not start Wes in the AFCCG. If I remember correctly, Wes did not get on the field until the second quarter.
    ________________________________

    If this was the time he went on making foot/feet references Belicheck may have punished him, but no way he didn’t laugh at it! That was hilarious!

  61. mysterytonite says:
    January 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Bell is worth every bit of 15 million per season due to his unique skill set.
    ———————————————————————————————-
    How is he “worth” it? They haven’t even made it to the SB since he showed up in Pittsburgh.

  62. Somebody needs to ask Tomlin what time he showed up for the game. He showed up at 11:15 in his $700K Conquest Knight SUV. FACT!

  63. Ok so let me get this straight, you want a coach who came onto the field and tried to intentionally trip Jacoby Jones to prevent a TD on a kickoff return to maintain discipline.
    I cannot believe he is still a head coach in the NFL after that stunt.

  64. Steelers are perfectly happy keeping a coach who pulls a player’s hair. All the staff are a bunch of dirty cheaters.

  65. Great RB, sure, but that kind of attitude just sucks the life out of a team. No one’s gonna pay him $14 mil a year with that kind of attitude – and who’s to say he’ll straighten up once he gets paid?

    No way.

  66. Someone here did a comparison to the trio of running backs in New England. That was eye opening!
    Can help but think that Bell is really just great for Fantasy football.

  67. Bell already has a lot of carries, and has maybe 2-3 great years left if even that. Plus he runs so high, that his knees are always exposed and he is injury prone on any given play. He reminds me of a faster version of Matt Forte but also stronger, but runs too high and takes punishing hits. Forte blew out his knee in college and fell to round 2 but had a really good career, but Bells career may be shorter.

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