Le’Veon Bell: It’s hard to be a hero in a city that paints you as a villain

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The Steelers say Le'Veon Bell will play in Pittsburgh in 2018, but he sounds like he doesn’t think he’s getting a fair shake there.

Bell tweeted on Thursday afternoon that he thinks he’s been villainized in Pittsburgh.

“It’s so hard to be a hero in a city that paints you out to be the villain,” Bell wrote.

It’s unclear precisely what Bell was referring to, but he may be blanching at suggestions that he’s looking for too much money. This year Bell is due $14.56 million if he plays on the franchise tag, but he hasn’t signed that tag because he’s hoping for a contract that pays him more.

When the season starts, and Bell is scoring touchdowns for the Steelers, Pittsburgh fans will surely cheer him. But in 2019 it won’t be surprising if Bell ends up in a place where he feels more appreciated.

99 responses to “Le’Veon Bell: It’s hard to be a hero in a city that paints you as a villain

  1. No contending team will pay him what he wants. He can go get appreciated on a bad team with lots of cap space.

  2. People keep saying he should settle for what the Steelers are offering him and implying that he’s not worth more, but the Steelers have been pretty adamant about not letting him reach the open market. It’s pretty evident they feel he’d get a better offer or they wouldn’t keep using the franchise tag on him.

    He’s one of the best players at his position, is the centerpiece of the Steelers offense, and the NFL chews up and spits out running backs at a faster rate than any other position. I don’t blame him for trying to maximize his earnings while he can.

  3. I know exactly how he feels. Being dissed is such a drag. Bell is worth a lot. Some of us don’t get the respect we deserve for being good at what we do.

  4. Perhaps, Mr. Bell, the city hasn’t painted you as a villain so much as it merely perceives you as the villain you’ve painted yourself to be?
    You ran for a lot of yards on a football field, for which you’ve been highly paid. You didn’t cure cancer, or pull kids from burning building, or anything else that would make anyone consider you “a hero.”
    The team that didn’t have your services while you were suspended for being a knucklehead who won’t follow the rules is the same one that offered to make you the highest paid runner in NFL history. Twice. That wasn’t good enough for you.
    Mix together your ridiculous salary demands, your boneheaded suspension, your refusal to attend camp, and your constant whining on both social media and in insipid rap songs, and I’d say you’re very much the anti-hero in this scenario.

  5. It’s hard to look up to heros that are narcissistic athletes who constantly get suspended for DUI’s and drug abuse…I think this is the moment where everyone is supposed to feel sorry for Leveon and hold a woe-is-me rally because he’s only making $14.5 Million dollars this year….awwww, poor guy

  6. For Bell,it’s all about money and greed,not winning or being a good team mate. He simply isn’t worth what he thinks he is. If he didn’t fry so many brain cells with weed,he’d realize that.

  7. He’s one of the five overall best players in the league regardless of position. Fans of the 31 other teams who constantly whine about him would take him on their team in a second and he’d instantly become that teams best player. He’s worth every penny and more of what he’ll get paid next year he’s a great blocker and pass catcher in addition to being arguably the best rusher in the league. I understand that success breeds contempt and people are jealous and mad about him, most likely because of how hard he balls on their teams, but objectively there’s no question that what I’m saying is true

  8. Bell is the type of player the steelers are littered with. It’s why they always come up small in big situations and that isn’t changing anytime soon

  9. Self-centered fool…cut him…cut back on the weed.

    I know you’d all be he first to settle for less and take the hometown discount. Give me a break. RB careers can be fleeting and he is hands down the best one in the league. He’ll play another year under the tag, and either the Steelers or someone else will sign him to a record-setting RB contract next year.

  10. praveen says:
    March 29, 2018 at 6:03 pm
    No contending team will pay him what he wants. He can go get appreciated on a bad team with lots of cap space.

    ************************************************************************************

    Bell might not care about contending. If the guy just wants to get paid (which is why most Americans work), then moving to a crap team that’ll pay him what he wants may not be an issue to him.

    RBs in general, particularly those that get the kind of usage Bell gets, don’t last forever. So, I can’t fault Bell for wanting to get paid, just as I don’t fault the Steelers for not wanting to break the bank on him. They have conflicting motives. Doesn’t mean one or the other side is at fault.

  11. If Le’Veon wants to be celebrated, he would sign a 4 year 40 million contract. Sadly, any player who maximizes their worth are the first target to be shed and criticized by management and fans alike.

  12. I’m a Steelers’ fan and I love to watch him play, but it’s also mighty hard to see him as a victim here. Despite his great talent, he comes with a lot of baggage . . . his past drug use and his immaturity are two items that come right off the top.

  13. He has a chance to be a hero in the AFCCG against the Pats. He got smacked in the mouth a few times he took himself out of the game

  14. Most adults wouldn’t put a statement like that out without explaining it somewhat. If Le’Veon Bell needs attention that much maybe he should call a friend.

  15. People who keep arguing that careers and short and he’s just going for market value don’t get it.
    Most of us understand that a player’s career is short, and when he has leverage he should use it to make what he can — to a point. However, some of you guys are contradicting yourselves.
    In the case of LeVeon Bell, he’s already turned down two offers that would not only have made him the highest-paid runner ever, he would have made millions more per season than any other current runner in the league today.
    That means — stay with me now — he’s already been offered FAR ABOVE HIS MARKET VALUE as an NFL running back in 2018.
    There’s a difference between getting what you’re worth — or as some of you put it, “market value” — and blaming others because they won’t just hand over whatever ludicrous amount above market value that you demand. THAT is the problem many of us have with Mr. Bell.
    The fact that he is not trustworthy and is one suspension away from being banned for at least a full season is all the more reason for the Steelers not to cave in.

  16. greymares says:
    March 29, 2018 at 6:07 pm
    If you think your getting more than 14 mill you should have learned to play QB.
    __________________________________________

    Some of us have learned to play QB, at a very high level. Despite that, there are some that still want us to convert to WR.

  17. Way to escalate things, Le’Veon. Those that didn’t see you as a villain already most certainly will now.

  18. Did he seriously refer to himself as a “hero”?? You get paid millions of dollars to a play a game! These players are getting more ridiculous every day….getting hard to continue being a fan

  19. Man i used to think i liked this guy. Get over yourself LB. Amd let this be a lesson to the young kids out there, if you want to get paid in the NFL, don’t be a running back. The most replaceable position in major league sports

  20. People keep saying he should settle for what the Steelers are offering him and implying that he’s not worth more, but the Steelers have been pretty adamant about not letting him reach the open market. It’s pretty evident they feel he’d get a better offer or they wouldn’t keep using the franchise tag on him.

    He’s one of the best players at his position, is the centerpiece of the Steelers offense, and the NFL chews up and spits out running backs at a faster rate than any other position. I don’t blame him for trying to maximize his earnings while he can.

    Except he plays one position and wants to be paid to play two. Also, Roethlisberger is the centerpiece followed by Brown and then Bell. He’s a great player but he’s not twice as good as the next highest RB nor is he nearly as valuable as a top 5 receiver.

  21. It seems that he never hast the security that most in his position would want. And yet when it is time to play, time to be a teammate, he shows up and puts out. I have seen a lot of greedy players, I don’t put him on that list. Confused as to why there is Bell-hating here, I think he deserves respect for showing up on game day and having the world’s fair dumped on his shoulders.

  22. There is something weird about the culture in Pittsburgh. Bell and Brown are amazing players, best at their positions, carry the workload way beyond what the average star does, play with injuries in big games. Find me others who don’t play qb and do what they do for their teams. And yet…there always seems to be plenty of folks in the hate-line. What is with the culture in Pitt?

  23. tylawspick6 says:
    March 29, 2018 at 6:34 pm
    sweet draft pick

    lol

    10 9 Rate This

    He’s a lot better then that 4th rounder tight end the Patriots drafted back in 2010…… Aaaaaaaaaaron

  24. the bad injury luck could have been easier to stomach if he didn’t add in the drug suspensions.

    he’s missed a ton of playoff games, and realistically cost his team at least some afc titles.

    and can’t pay someone who is one failed test from a year-long suspension.

    le’veon has wasted a ton of opportunity for the entire steelers nation.

  25. hes just crunching numbers. 14 mil barely covers his weed habit. hes gotta eat too. geez give a guy a break here

  26. spartanlegend says:
    March 29, 2018 at 6:24 pm
    He’s one of the five overall best players in the league regardless of position. Fans of the 31 other teams who constantly whine about him would take him on their team in a second and he’d instantly become that teams best player.

    //////////////////////////////

    Best player?
    NE Brady
    GB Rodgers
    49ers JG
    Atlanta Ryan
    Saints Brees
    Minnesota Cousins
    Detroit Stafford
    Seattle Wilson
    You see a pattern here. Bell would not become the best player on any team. The QB is the best player and always will be paid the highest. Bell is a stoned RB. Sorry to disrespect your boyfriend.

  27. First- the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the name on the back. Second- bell and Steelers goals are not aligned. Bell wants max pay while Steelers want to win a championship. Steelers offered a ridiculous amount last year that Bell rejected. Bell is probably the best RB right now. The question is how much incrementally better than the alternative. What Bell is demanding is good for him and bad for the Steelers chances of winning the Super Bowl. By demanding a higher share of the salary cap, it reduces options in other areas. He is also one failed test or camp hold out of being less effective and not worth his demands. Steelers should draft RB at 28- Chubb, Guice, Michel. Then immediately rescind bells franchise tag. Then immediately add a couple more free agents to help win the Super Bowl. They will receive the best 3rd round compensatory pick for Bell next year. Plus bell will have difficulty getting a big contract since most of the big money is already spent. Then next year, Steelers will have even more salary cap space.

  28. jackericsson says:
    March 29, 2018 at 8:24 pm
    Steelers should draft RB at 28- Chubb, Guice, Michel. Then immediately rescind bells franchise tag. Then immediately add a couple more free agents to help win the Super Bowl. They will receive the best 3rd round compensatory pick for Bell next year. Plus bell will have difficulty getting a big contract since most of the big money is already spent. Then next year, Steelers will have even more salary cap space.

    *********************************************************************************

    Steelers have spent time with Guice, but I’d bet my left arm they don’t draft him unless everyone else is off the board at that point.

    If the issue was solely about Bell, I’d agree. Issue is, that team has tons of needs on the defense (OLB, ILB, safety — even NT lower on the ballot) and even other needs on offense (TE in particular, WR potentially). They have Bell under contract for one more year, and RBs pick up pretty quickly. If they want to get an RB high, my guess is they go for it next year once it’s confirmed Bell is definitely going to bounce.

  29. Dude, you’re in a blue collar town and you’re constantly whining about having to settle for 14 million a year like you’re being punished. Get a clue.

  30. If he gets $17 Million next year, maybe he’ll break a 30 yard run!

    Bell has lost a step, is injury prone, and is in the NFL drug program. He’s overrated (most of all in his own mind). The Steelers should rescind the tag and let some sucker team like the Redskins grossly overpay him.

  31. It’s gotta be nice when a team is willing to pay you $15 mil for one season. But I totally get feeling disrespected by such an awful salary (rolls eyes)

  32. Billionaires have somehow convinced a moronic fan base that young men trying to maximize their compensation from very short careers are the greedy ones.

  33. mmmpierogi says:
    March 29, 2018 at 6:31 pm
    RBs in general, particularly those that get the kind of usage Bell gets, don’t last forever. So, I can’t fault Bell for wanting to get paid, just as I don’t fault the Steelers for not wanting to break the bank on him. They have conflicting motives. Doesn’t mean one or the other side is at fault.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I don’t think anybody is faulting him for wanting to get paid. What people do seem to take issue with is how much he thinks he should be paid. The Steelers gave him offers in consecutive years that would have made him the highest paid running back in history…and he scoffed at the offers. Combine that with his antics, attitude and multiple suspensions and most reasonable fans conclude that the offers by the Steelers were quite generous.

  34. A winning championship team can’t pay the quarterback, wide receiver and running back 20 sum million a year or you won’t have any money for the rest of the team. The Steelers would be better off trading him or let him go in free agency after this year and then draft another running back to replace him.

  35. Call me old fashioned, but paying someone fourteen million dollars and change to carry a football in a town like Pittsburgh seems a pretty decent payday.

  36. lol. Enjoy that Steeler fans. 12.1 million for 2017 and 14.5 million for 2018.
    If Kevin Colbert had any math skills, he could’ve offered Bell a contract before
    the 2017 season with that much as a signing bonus and the stoner Bell probably
    would have jumped on it. No wonder the Steelers are always up against the cap
    or over it.

  37. The best move for Bell is to get a muzzle !! Not so he quits talking to the media, but so we don’t have to be punished anymore by his AWFUL rap music !!!!

  38. He must read this message board because the comments are exactly the reason he should feel that way. People want to control his money and tell him what’s “enough” compensation for him, in a league where the don’t give a damn about you as a player, only what you can do for them and as soon as they feel you aren’t worth it they will cut you and never speak about you again. You know what, get over yourselves cause if put in the same position you would be doing the same thing. You all said the same thing about AB.

  39. By the time Bell is a free agent…he’ll be 27 years old…and that will be his fist and last big contract he’ll ever get… thanks to the classless Steelers… it’s no coincidence the Steelers aren’t perennial contenders like they used to be…it starts at the top… and perennial contenders don’t franchise tag RBs… especially 2 years in a row…

  40. Probably think he is a villain, because on the other side of town some of the Penguins top players took “hometown discounts” during contract negotiations to keep team together. No surprise the Pens have won 3 championships and are ramping up toward another playoff run since the last time the Steelers won the Lombardi.

  41. The situations with Bell and Cousins highlight the primary issue with the franchise tag – once a team tags a player it (usually) raises their perceived value beyond what the team wants to pay for a long-term deal.

    Washington could’ve/should’ve signed Cousins to a long-term deal well before the tag was necessary, and same with the Steelers and Bell.

    I really hate the PR games teams play with player contracts. The NFL makes boatloads of money (remember, Goodell gets ~$44 million per year) and the income equation favors the owners more than the players. The players get paid a lot of money to play a game that BRINGS IN a lot more. My point is that teams agree to these contracts and in most cases cut players well before the contracts are completed – remember that, all you “he signed a deal and should honor it!” folks out there. If the teams always (always!) play hardball with contracts, why shouldn’t the players?

    However, I see this as Bell getting bad advice from whomever his advisers are. RB is a rough position. Yes, he’s fantastic – and he’s also a great receiver – but the current NFL mentality is that what he’s asking (and currently getting paid) is overpaying him.

    Now, a receiver can get paid similarly to Bell and we can all say “well, that’s what a top WR gets paid” – but Bell has far more touches per game than any WR. So my question is, if the Pittsburgh offense runs through Bell, is he then worth more than your average top RB who doesn’t feature as heavily in the passing game?

    I don’t know. I think he should take what the Steelers are offering, because he’s NOT going to get more than the franchise tag per-year in free agency…BUT, I can see where he’s coming from and I do think he’s being demonized (as evidenced by the comments here) – as pretty much ALL players are – when they’re playing hardball for more money.

    Of course all of the people saying Bell is a bad guy don’t bat an eye when teams cut players a year in to their 3/4/5 year contracts. It works both ways – or it should. It’s a business – and neither side should be seen as “the bad guy” because it’s a harsh, cold business. Teams should be held to the same standard, and knowledgeable fans should also speak out about owners who won’t spend, giving them tons of unspent salary cap money. That’s them being “greedy”, too, if you want to look at it that way.

  42. First of all, for everyone who’s saying he’s “the best in the league,” I can name 3 guys off the top of my head who would make great arguments against that. IMO Todd Gurley holds the #1 spot, so this whole “he’s the best, hands-down” crap is BS. He’s certainly top-5, and he MIGHT be the best, but there are guys legitimately challenging him for that label. And none of them are making that kind of cheese.

    He’s not even the best player on their team. Ben and Antonio Brown have to take the #1 and #2 spots in PIT.

    And nobody’s going to pay him more than $14M/yr to play RB. Nobody. You can’t absorb a cap hit that big in just one RB. Maybe you invest that kind of money in an entire RB unit, when you have a guy as good as Bell. But not just in one guy.

    He should have already signed the solid long-term deal they offered him, because a RB playing on the franchise tag is just stupid. For QBs it’s fine. And maybe for WRs or o-linemen or DBs. But Bell’s career could end on any single play. His greed could cost him tens of millions of $$$s. Huge gamble.

  43. He’s one of the best players at his position, is the centerpiece of the Steelers offense, and the NFL chews up and spits out running backs at a faster rate than any other position. I don’t blame him for trying to maximize his earnings while he can.

    220 185 Rate This

    ———-
    185 people down voted the truth…

  44. sammievee says:
    March 29, 2018 at 7:47 pm
    There is something weird about the culture in Pittsburgh. Bell and Brown are amazing players, best at their positions, carry the workload way beyond what the average star does, play with injuries in big games. Find me others who don’t play qb and do what they do for their teams. And yet…there always seems to be plenty of folks in the hate-line. What is with the culture in Pitt?

    ————–

    He plays with injuries? Remember the AFCCG against the Pats where he took himself out?

  45. inallsincerity says:
    March 29, 2018 at 6:58 pm
    greymares says:
    March 29, 2018 at 6:07 pm
    If you think your getting more than 14 mill you should have learned to play QB.
    __________________________________________

    Some of us have learned to play QB, at a very high level. Despite that, there are some that still want us to convert to WR.

    Us? which team did you play for? Perhaps you would have been a higher level of WR than QB. You entitlement guys are so entertaining.

  46. He is right. Teams consistently trash players in the media during contract disputes. It works everytime. Fans want players to be loyal to the team, but dont care that a team will cut a player when its financially better for the team.

  47. afwhigs says:

    ” However, I see this as Bell getting bad advice from whomever his advisers are.
    RB is a rough position. Yes, he’s fantastic – and he’s also a great receiver –
    but the current NFL mentality is that what he’s asking (and currently getting paid)
    is overpaying him ”

    His agent agreed to last year’s offer, and urged LeVeon to take it because it was
    a fair and generous offer. His agent and his immediate family wanted him to sign.
    This year, LeVeon wants what Antonio makes. That is $17mil/ yr.
    LeVeon, himself, is his worst advisor

    He should look at what’s happening to the Safety position, and how their compensation
    has collapsed. He should worry he doesn’t get left out in the cold, like they have.

  48. Were I the steelers brass , I would do nothing until draft day . At that point at pick 28 if guice or michel are on the board at 28 I would rescind the tag let bell walk and move on with the rookie and james conner resign stevan ridley as well. I don’t think the steelers can trade him as he hasn’t signed the tag it would make bell an UFA he can go sign elsewhere and the steelers get the pick 97 in 2019 draft . The other option is to work out a sign and trade on draft day .Then look to add royce freeman rashad penny or kerryon johnson – turn the page! He has been a terrific piece of steelers offensive success but has priced himself out of their future plans. The huge workload likely means he has more good years in the rear view mirror than in the windshield. Thank you mr bell best of luck in all your future ventures !

  49. Like almost every Steelers’ fan, Bell is learning that it’s easier to shift the blame than win playoff games. Mr. “one and done” has done nothing to lift this team up. Look at all the times he was injured during the post season. He’s already been suspended once. Now that he’s finally in a playoff game, he lays a humongous egg on his own field as Jacksonville delivers an easy beatdown. Hahaha.

  50. So a qb with a 5 GAME RESUME is made the highest paid player in the history of the nfl and no one bats an eye. Meanwhile, one of the best players in all football, a player the Steelers would barely be relevant without is greedy and narcissistic for wanting to be paid as one of the best players in the league. The Steelers know his value because they won’t let him walk. i know folks are going to say the rb position is not valued that way, but I promise you, eventually, he will get paid what a bell-cow running back should. The reason rb’s aren’t getting paid is because 90% of the backs in the league complimentary, incomplete rb’s. They are either 2-down or 3rd down specialists only, Most are useless in protection or catching passes. You can’t compare Le’Veon to them.

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