Steelers table Le’Veon Bell contract talks

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Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell wasn’t interested in finalizing a long-term deal based on the team’s artificial deadline for doing so. So the team wisely has abandoned, at least for now, the concept of setting artificial deadlines.

Steelers G.M. Kevin Colbert, speaking to reporters at the league meetings in Florida, made it clear that the Steelers have tabled contract talks with Bell, for now.

“Once you make the tag, you move onto other business that’s more pertinent at this point,” Colbert said, via Steve Wyche of NFL Media. “Then we’ll address it at the appropriate time.”

The most appropriate time continues to be the deadline created by the Collective Bargaining Agreement: July 16. Anything before that isn’t a real deadline, and Bell’s past refusal to get a deal done suggests he’s not interested in doing a deal based on anything but a real deadline.

The Steelers previously wanted to get something done before the two-week tag window opened. When that didn’t happen, the Steelers eventually tagged Bell for a second straight year, putting a one-year, $14.56 million offer on the table. Unless and until Bell accepts it, the Steelers can rescind it.

Last year, Bell accepted the franchise tender as late as possible, showing up on Labor Day and collecting his full $12.1 million salary. But he did so without participating in the offseason program, training camp, or the preseason, to the obvious chagrin of the team.

As PFT Live heads to Orlando for three days of broadcasts, we’re scheduled to be joined by Colbert, among various other General Managers, coaches, and others.

55 responses to “Steelers table Le’Veon Bell contract talks

  1. I don’t blame the Steelers or any NFL team to do the same thing to these players. The players of today feel they are more important than team, fans, city or owners. The game will continue when most won’t remember how to spell these players names. The Steelers offered plenty to a running back that feels they the Steelers are ignoring him when the ownership stood by him in his suspensions.

  2. He isn’t worth 14 million per year. Every dollar you spend on him is one less dollar you spend on another position. A running back that can be signed for 4-6 million per year will certainly produce at a rate of about 75% of Bell, at less than half the price. There are 4 positions every team should spend on; QB, shutdown corner, left tackle and edge rusher. To violate this rule will lead to salary cap issues down the road.

  3. Bell only wants to collect a pay check, not be part of a team. July 16th at 3:45PM EST team should cut him and save $14.56Mil on their cap. That $ could put quite a few weapons in place for Ben to use on offensive.

  4. No one is going to tag and trade for him. His salary demands are ludicrous.
    The talks should be tabled for good. Let him play the year out and get your 3rd round comp pick. Time to move on.

  5. Okay, I don’t know what he is being offered, but Sammy Watkins just signed a 3 year $48 million contract with $30 mil guaranteed. How much production has Sammy been given lately? I don’t get how RBs all of a sudden became so devalued across the league yet we are talking about one possibly going 1st overall this year. Look, very good RBs are should get paid. Those who run and catch touch the ball more than a wide receiver each game and put up the same or more yards from scrimmage and the same or more TDs a year than an elite wideout. If a RB is giving you 1,600 yards plus 10 TDs a year, that’s a lot of production. The David Johnsons, LeVeon Bells, and Todd Gurleys, really any RB that can catch and run the ball are worth it. Yes, Leveon may be trying to break the bank; I’m not sure. Darren Sproles has been a steal over his career. There have been years where he put up over 2,100 yards from scrimmage and not getting paid much. All running backs are not equal.

  6. As long as they have a HOF QB, Bell isn’t indespensible;however, how long will that be the case?

  7. bigroundglobes says:
    March 25, 2018 at 1:05 pm
    He isn’t worth 14 million per year. Every dollar you spend on him is one less dollar you spend on another position. A running back that can be signed for 4-6 million per year will certainly produce at a rate of about 75% of Bell, at less than half the price. There are 4 positions every team should spend on; QB, shutdown corner, left tackle and edge rusher. To violate this rule will lead to salary cap issues down the road.

    _________________________

    That is an old narrative. Teams spending a mint on their QB today as their salaries have grown (from that old narrative) to a ridiculous amount over almost all the players EVEN if they are not all that. The formula for getting to the Super Bowl this year with a back up QB when your MVP QB went down says that is absolutely not true anymore. The Jags, Vikings, Philly, and Patriots all had playoff QB’s that were NOT paid a lot by comparison. And all the other teams who DID pay top dollar for their QB were at home. One or two, or three playmakers short of the SB. And it is going to keep happening. Cause the old formula is no longer proving valid. The running back is absolutely deserving of his money. The problem is too many players are demanding tooooooo much money for THEIR teams to maintain enough playmakers to get to and win the Super Bowl. And it all begins with the QB who are the worst offenders.

    Now Bell got paid last year. He should understand, the Steelers goal is to WIN the super bowl not just field a good team. Until Ben, and the three B’s understand how the patriots are really kicking their tails every year, they are going to struggle. The patriots beat them cause their QB and other playmakers don’t get paid like the three B’s are demanding. Just saying.

  8. Michael LaRocca, Business Editor says:
    March 25, 2018 at 1:40 pm
    If the Steelers do Bell like Gettleman did Josh Norman, I will laugh and laugh. #KeepPounding
    ________________

    Yeah, like that was an epic fail for Gettleman and the Panthers. Set them back 3 years! And that is why Gettleman got the can. Epic mistake.

  9. 80/20 rule should be in effect here. Sign a running back (or two) that can give you 80% of Bell’s production at 20% of his projected cost.

    It absolutely can be done (think about washed-up old DeAngleo Williams during one of Bell’s several drug suspensions).

  10. They should give him the opportunity to negotiate with other teams and do a tag and trade.
    ————-
    Great idea, except the Steelers try to create the impression he’s not valuable and worth big money, but they won’t dare trade him. They need him,that offense revolves around him. They need to just pay him, or say good bye to him for nothing next year.

  11. LOL all these nerds in the comments acting like Leveon Bell isnt the key to the entire hopes of the Steelers season. “Just draft a guy in the 5th round for $500k and you’ll get 85% of the same production hurrr durrr durrr”…..Cruester is the only one here with a smart comment, and I’ll go as far as to say that RBs should form their own separate players’ union because theyre really getting screwed in today’s NFL.

  12. charliecharger says:
    March 25, 2018 at 1:05 pm
    Same as last year and everything turned out OK.
    —–

    If by OK you mean getting knocked out in their 1st playoff game then yeah….sure it turned out great.

  13. Look..he didn’t show up for training camp. He’s a whiner and crybaby. When you make that kind of money, you show up for every meeting, every training session. Goodell has created enough distractions in the NFL. Steelers should dump him and let somebody else deal with his mental problems.

  14. Bell is not your typical running back. Too many people play video games or watch sportscenter highlights and think that means they know who is important to a team. Bell is a stud!!!! Pitt didn’t do squat in the playoffs because of tomlin not because of Bell or Brown. Leveon Bell is the Steelers second best receiver. Bell could easily play receiver on half of the teams in the league. Bell plays basically 2 positions but the Steelers want to pay him for one. For perspective…Jarvis Landry rejected the fins offer of 14.5m per and Bell is getting that this year under his second year of the tag. Landry isn’t even half of what Bell is. You can’t get mad when a player wants to get paid. If they earn the power to negotiate that type of coin why do fans get so upset.

  15. He is tagged right? So I wonder if their intention is in dact to just trade him. Sure they would love to keep such an incredible player but at some point, when they are putting all kinds of money on the table just to hear him say “more please”, they have to start asking themselves if it would be better if they get a big enough package of picks and let someone else play this game with him. And if they did and the other team cant close anything with him either they can always come back at him next year with the same strong offer if he wants to return.

  16. Bell the guy who turned down a contract that would have paid him more in the first 2 years then the FT would have. A contract that would have paid him 42 million in the first 3 years. Turned it down as he said it undervalued him. Sounds like this guy has overvalued himself in his own mind.

  17. Thetruthis says:
    March 25, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Which of the teams you mentioned are paying a running back 14.5 million per year?

    Crickets…..

    “That is an old narrative. Teams spending a mint on their QB today as their salaries have grown (from that old narrative) to a ridiculous amount over almost all the players EVEN if they are not all that. The formula for getting to the Super Bowl this year with a back up QB when your MVP QB went down says that is absolutely not true anymore. The Jags, Vikings, Philly, and Patriots all had playoff QB’s that were NOT paid a lot by comparison. And all the other teams who DID pay top dollar for their QB were at home. One or two, or three playmakers short of the SB. And it is going to keep happening. Cause the old formula is no longer proving valid. The running back is absolutely deserving of his money. The problem is too many players are demanding tooooooo much money for THEIR teams to maintain enough playmakers to get to and win the Super Bowl. And it all begins with the QB who are the worst offenders.”

  18. Bell and every other tagged player have fulfilled their contract. It is the team that decides to keep them after the contract has expired. To do this, teams pay dearly, as they should. If I was Bell, I would do the same thing. If Pitt don’t like it, remove the tag, and try to sign him to a new contract, along with everybody else.

  19. jackedupboonie says:
    March 25, 2018 at 1:58 pm
    Steelers need to move this guy. A second rounder is better this. Dealing with this another year. He’s due for a 4-6 game injury.

    ——————-

    ….or another drug suspension

  20. The Steelers are already overpaying him under the tag but they’re smart enough not to cough up the 17-18 mil a year he wants for a longer term contract.

    I expect he’ll play out the tag this year, become a free agent next year, discover no team will pay him as much as the Steelers did this year and then cry on twitter that he can’t get someone to massively overpay for a RB, even one as talented as he is.

  21. A trade is not going to happen. Bell would have to sign the franchise tag to be traded. He is not going to sign a franchise tag unless he has a deal with another team first. And that is not going to happen.

  22. “Guy definitely voted for Hillary and hates capitalism. Probably apple pie too.”

    And if you voted for Trump you are pro fascism, anti-democracy, what’s your point? That you still like apple pie?

  23. The same people saying trade him are the same people saying they should have run it more against the Jags. He’s the most important player on that team.

  24. His agent is doing the same thing a Kirk Cousins agent did! Next year he’ll joint the Vikings and he and Cook will become the most devastating duo in NFL history!

  25. harrisonhits2 says:
    March 25, 2018 at 2:54 pm
    “Guy definitely voted for Hillary and hates capitalism. Probably apple pie too.”

    And if you voted for Trump you are pro fascism, anti-democracy, what’s your point? That you still like apple pie?

    ————

    I don’t think you know what fascism is if you believe that. But why don’t you give us some specific examples of Trump’s “fascist” policies? And throw in a few examples of his “anti-democracy” policies while you are at it as well….

  26. No Super Bowl Titles with this crybaby on the team. All he cares about is me, I. He isn’t worth the money he wants. I would wait until the last possible moment and remind the offer and put his crybaby self on the market. Let him infect another teams locker room with his antics. He should be careful with all his injury problems because he might hurt his vocal cords with his stupid.

  27. So we just think that any old running back can replace the Barry Sanders and Marshall Faulks of the world? Barry Sanders carried that entire Lions offense on his shoulders and was the only offense and people still couldn’t stop him. And LT with the Chargers was amazing and had great vision. Look we all know that all RBs aren’t created equal. That is why after the first 4 to 5 RBs in fantasy football are gone, you are already dropping down another tier of quality. But you can just grab anyone and through them in there right? According to that logic, every team should have a great backfield all of the time, but that is not reality.

  28. 3 3 Rate This
    harrisonhits2 says:
    March 25, 2018 at 2:54 pm
    “Guy definitely voted for Hillary and hates capitalism. Probably apple pie too.”

    And if you voted for Trump you are pro fascism, anti-democracy, what’s your point? That you still like apple pie?

    ————————-

    Mmmmmmmmm! Pie.

  29. 25 3 Rate This
    kneedeepinthegame says:
    March 25, 2018 at 2:15 pm
    Bell is not your typical running back. Too many people play video games or watch sportscenter highlights and think that means they know who is important to a team. Bell is a stud!!!! Pitt didn’t do squat in the playoffs because of tomlin not because of Bell or Brown. Leveon Bell is the Steelers second best receiver. Bell could easily play receiver on half of the teams in the league. Bell plays basically 2 positions but the Steelers want to pay him for one. For perspective…Jarvis Landry rejected the fins offer of 14.5m per and Bell is getting that this year under his second year of the tag. Landry isn’t even half of what Bell is. You can’t get mad when a player wants to get paid. If they earn the power to negotiate that type of coin why do fans get so upset.

    —————————
    If Pittsburgh had been lowballing I might agree with you. But they have been more than generous with their offers and at some point have to consider if he is just unattainable and that they are better served grabbing his stud value if draft picks.

    Another option if they are in win now mode would be to just run the miles off of him this year to see what they xan turn that into, and then let whatever is left hit free agency.

  30. harrisonhits2 says:
    March 25, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    “Guy definitely voted for Hillary and hates capitalism. Probably apple pie too.”

    And if you voted for Trump you are pro fascism, anti-democracy, what’s your point? That you still like apple pie?

    ________________________________________________________________________

    LOLZ. You might want to look up the definition of Fascism and then Anti-Democracy.
    I know the first definition is ..”Noun” Names that Democrats call republicans after they lose an election, But Eventually you’ll get to the real ones.

  31. Pitt can’t trade him as he hasn’t signed his franchise tender. He can’t negotiate with any other team or it would be tampering. The only thing that can happen is come the July deadline he finally signs the tender and shows up to play. Before that, the team could recind the offer and allow him to hit the free agency market right after the draft when everyone is basically set in their rosters. That would make the market less attractive for Bell but would still result in his signing elsewhere. With only 4-5M in current Cap Space, things are tough for Steelers. The fact that they signed 2 UFAs and only lost 1 right now means they would not gain a 3rd rd comp pick if he left right now. Based on the current situation, clearly waiting is the only option for both sides.

  32. “LOLZ. You might want to look up the definition of Fascism and then Anti-Democracy.
    I know the first definition is ..”

    No you need to.

    Fascism is the demonizing and banning of an entire religion for political gain, that further results in a significant uptick of hate attacks against those who practice that religion

    Fascism is relentless attacks on a free and independent press, and calling numerous documented things you have done and said as “fake news”

    Fascism is relentless attacks on a free and independent judiciary every time a decision is rendered that is opposite to what you want

    Fascism is demanding personal loyalty oaths from those who by law give their oath of loyalty to the country, not a given politician

    Fascism is praising totalitarian dictators as good people and glad they are in power in the contries

    That took about 5 seconds there are many more things Trump and his cronies have done that fall under the fascist-anti democracy umbrella. The Trump sheep are saying the same things many Germans in the 30s did and you don’t even know you’re doing so.

  33. Turn him loose and go find some talent for the back-end of the ‘D’. Ten Bells won’t win us a championship with the miserable defense that Colbert and dipstick Tomlin put on the field. Fourteen million would buy us a bit of talent in the backfield and we have sufficient talent at RB and WR that Bell is expendable. Bye Le Avon-Calling. Don’t let your eye makeup get mixed with your hash. Might give you a ‘fuzzy’ outlook on negotiations!

  34. Bell is lucky to be making 26+ million over 2 years under the franchise tag. No NFL RB besides him makes 10+ million a year.

    NFL RB is a young man’s position. Bell can want a 5 year 70 million dollar deal but he will never get it.

  35. At this point he’s not signing long term. So I stop ALL negotiations with him leave your last offer with his agent and be done with it. You look at RB in the draft and move forward with Conner and whoever you draft. If you get a good RB in the draft maybe you trade Bell after he signs his contract if not you run him into the ground this year and let him be someone else’s problem next year

  36. harrisonhits2 says:
    March 25, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    You just described Bill, Hillary, and Barak.

  37. Bell is making what comparable RBs would have made in 3 years over these two years. I would say he is doing pretty good for himself. I dont know why he is complaining. He is damn good but not as great as he thinks he is. He lacks breakaway speed that would keep a safety back to protect against th elong run. He has had injuries and suspensions.

  38. If I’m steelers management I play a game of chicken. I sit and wait and wait and at the last moment I rescind the unsigned guaranteed tag and let him walk looking for another team – at that point on the calendar almost no teams have any cap space left…especially 14.5 million. SOMEONE will kiss your ass le’veon…but it will be for 1/3 if the money you would have been guaranteed to be paid. Get lost. We are sick of the drama. We want team players.

  39. kneedeepinthegame says:
    March 25, 2018 at 2:15 pm
    Bell is not your typical running back. Too many people play video games or watch sportscenter highlights and think that means they know who is important to a team. Bell is a stud!!!! Pitt didn’t do squat in the playoffs because of tomlin not because of Bell or Brown. Leveon Bell is the Steelers second best receiver. Bell could easily play receiver on half of the teams in the league. Bell plays basically 2 positions but the Steelers want to pay him for one. For perspective…Jarvis Landry rejected the fins offer of 14.5m per and Bell is getting that this year under his second year of the tag. Landry isn’t even half of what Bell is. You can’t get mad when a player wants to get paid. If they earn the power to negotiate that type of coin why do fans get so upset.

    This is the smartest post here. Bell is a MASSIVE part of the Steelers offense, and he wants paid as such. He’s getting 30 touches a game, and producing at an extremely high level. They’re going to rag out his body, and he knows it.. it makes sense for him to get all he can. Really.. the team doesn’t give a crap about his body, so why should he care about their cap? He gets more total yards than Brown every year, and gets tackled 10x as much. I really think people lack perspective on this issue.. and instead write, “He’s a team cancer” or “That’s not the Steeler way” well.. to them I say.. the man had only one body, which he’s destroying for the team, and you want him to work cheap (for his craft) so your “team” (which you are not actually a member of) can get a lot of wins. When truthfully.. if you were in his shoes, you’d do the same thing. How can you come home to your family and tell your wife, “Hey honey, I could’ve made us 14 mil this year, but bc I love the Steelers I took 8.” Be real.. you wouldn’t. Get off your high horse.

  40. This shows how chaotic the Steelers’ organization is and why this team is imploding before our eyes. They let Bell take the team hostage and the result was a double beatdown by the Jaguars. If they can’t keep one player under control, they are doomed and with a role model like Little Ben as their franchise mascot, they are really doomed.

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