Roethlisberger laments Le’Veon Bell’s absence from OTAs

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Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell currently doesn’t have a contract. Which means that he can’t, absent a rarely-used (by veteran players) letter of protection, participate in offseason workouts.

That hasn’t stopped quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from publicly lamenting Bell’s absence.

“I’m not worried about the chemistry, but I wish he’d be here just because he’s one of the pieces to our puzzle,” Roethlisberger told reporters, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I know he can’t participate because I don’t think he’s 100 percent healthy, but it would be nice to see him here just in terms of the chemistry and learning and being a part of this process. But obviously, it’s up to him.”

It’s not entirely up to him. The Steelers haven’t signed Bell to a long-term contract. So Bell currently has no contract, since he hasn’t signed his franchise tender, which will pay him $12.1 million in 2017.

As Bell tries to get a long-term deal, his only leverage comes from the withholding of services. Which is what he’s doing.

Which is why he may not fully appreciate getting pressure from a guy who has gotten paid, on multiple occasions, to give up that leverage and show up for offseason workouts.

44 responses to “Roethlisberger laments Le’Veon Bell’s absence from OTAs

  1. Big Ben needs to keep his pie hole shut….he knows its a contract dispute and the unwritten rule is mind your own bees wax when other players holding out over contract disputes.

  2. Umm, it is entirely up to Bell if he wants to be there or not. You walk to the practice field, you enter. Bell’s choice. His rights. He made his choice. Entirely on his own…

    Your bias towards players over franchises has caused you to misspeak.

  3. Roethlisberger didn’t say anything wrong.
    He is just saying he wishes Bell was there. Nothing wrong at all with that.

  4. Wow… Just heard former Seahawks DT Cortez Kennedy passed away at only 48 years old. Way too early.
    He was a great player and just got elected to the Hall of Fame a couple of years ago.

    RIP from all NFL fans, Cortez.

  5. Same diva who was contemplating “retiring” for half the offseason (aka:pay me more soon or I’ll take my ball and go home) is whining by about a guy who has no long term contract not showing up for OTA’s? If he gets hurt Ben, you going to cover his future salary out of that 100 million contract you’re apparently not happy with? Just wondering…

  6. Hey… the poor guy had to deal with the trauma of
    keeping clean for the 4-20 period. I’m sure he is just
    making up for lost time.

  7. As long as Bell is inshape, and isn’t caught rolling blunts does anyone care if he misses the entire preseason. They should be worried about keeping him healthy.

  8. The Steelers should not be worried that Bell will refuse to play this year for the 12 million—-a large amount in a league that seems not to value the running back position. I really don’t get the leverage angle.

  9. He was all set to show up and do great things … but then he got high.

  10. I can understand Bell’s not wanting to do any physical training if he isn’t protected under any contract, especially when coming back from injury, but not all the OTA is physical. He could repair/upgrade his reputation by taking part in any meetings, walkthroughs, or just bonding with newbies etc, that might help the team, and possibly help him too.

  11. Hey, I’ve seen this movie before.

    He can start early, or arrive late, work real hard in the preseason or lie on his couch, but you know and I know that Tomlin will run him into the ground and make sure he is injured when they need him most.

  12. trollaikman, I suggest you ask your 8th grade English teacher to help you with his comments. Then, maybe you would alter your reaction. Minding your own business might also help you in daily living.

  13. Bell and Little Ben. Could there be a more dysfunctional pair in the history of football? Faking injuries, hiding injuries, scandals, criminals! What a hot mess!

  14. Did you people even listen to the interview? He wasn’t whining or calling Bell out. They shoved a microphone in his face and ask him for his thoughts. He stated them politely and with respect toward Bell.
    If Bell has a problem with this, it’s on him. Nothing to see here…….move along. A non-story.

  15. Meet the new coach of the Pittsburg Steelers! Ben? Lol! Careful Mike, your replacement is in the house!

  16. Ben=Drama ….should of retired because Mr Garrett is the new Sheriff in the AFC North……..

  17. So the guy who is talking about leaving the game is talking down on a guy who wants a better deal.

    Sounds about right.

  18. In fairness, he was asked a question and I think he just wants his guy there. I think he understands the contract situation and he probably could’ve answered it more along the lines of: ” he has to do what’s best for him”. But the guy gets asked tons of questions all the time so you can’t expect him to be perfect.

    On a sidenote regarding Rothlisberger’s ‘I may retire this year, I may not’ comment, don’t expect his last NFL game to come without at least a couple of months of warning. Expect some type of retirement tour. 🎉

  19. Business is business. Any player that is either unsigned, playing on a tender year contract or entering his rookie option year that engages in OTA’s is taking an unsound risk.

  20. All things considered, Roethlisberger is a lousy teammate. From being a self absorbed diva, to begging out on injuries other guys would play through, to not working hard enough to get in shape or learn the playbook, to squabbling with coordinators, to threatening retirement because he’s unhappy, to criticizing a teammate who’s trying to get paid, which isn’t done.

  21. All things considered, Roethlisberger is a lousy teammate. From being a self absorbed diva, to begging out on injuries other guys would play through, to not working hard enough to get in shape or learn the playbook, to squabbling with coordinators, to threatening retirement because he’s unhappy, to criticizing a teammate who’s trying to get paid, which isn’t done.

    As usual not one fact presented to backup this comment. So you are are entitled to your opinion, which I should add has been frequently shown to be worthless ranting by a biased Pat’s troll.

    Ben is no angel but he is far from the lying diva that Cheating Tammy Brady is yet this commentor doesn’t see or rather turns his biased eyes away….that’s why they are called fanboys….or young male fanatics.

  22. why in the world would you give a long term contract to a short term player? hasn’t this cream puff missed more games than he’s played?

  23. Careful – I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Glass gets injured signing his tender.

  24. He’d be nuts to do anything physical right now. Remember the Washington Husky DB first-round prospect who popped his Achilles in a pre-draft workout… Teddy Bridewater grenading his knee in a non-contact drill… on and on. The guy is on the cusp of a fortune that’ll set up generations of future Bells… he needs to be smart. So I say good for him.

  25. Lol drooly. I’d respond, but I could never top the Depends comment from last night. Kudos maust.

  26. Question: Has a team EVER in the entire history of the NFL failed to score a touchdown when they had a running back rush for 170 yards?

    Answer: Yes. The Steelers failed to score a touchdown in last season’s playoff game against the Chiefs while Bell was running wild for 170 yards.

    That’s just how good Big Ben is.

  27. Lol drooly. I’d respond, but I could never top the Depends comment from last night. Kudos maust.

    Sorry I missed that gem lying Teddy it must have been deleted for its lack of appropriate content like the one drunk idiot comment at Fenway Maustard submitted. Men acting like boys as usual for Pat’s troll’s.

    Looking forward to Ben having a great year and injuries derailing the Cheatahs.

  28. Big Ben makes a comment about his running back and the haters go to work. Too funny! What’ he supposed to say? He’s still a 2 time sb winner people with a 3rd on the way and that’s not going away.

  29. Far be it for me to defend Roethlisberger, who I think has squandered his talent and underachieved in the playoffs, but you’re forgetting 1 important fact. They WON THE FB GAME.
    5 out of the last 6 have been 18 pts or less. They won 3 of those gms. 4 were on the road. 5 were against excellent defenses.

  30. Let’s look at this thing in it’s entirety…..

    Bell is not here because of his groin injury. Or so he says. Bell hasn’t finished a season healthy yet in his pro career. We drafted James Connor because Bell can’t finish a season healthy.

    So the leader of the team wishes Bell was there for camaraderie purposes if nothing else. That’s what he’s saying. I don’t see anything wrong with the Leader of the team wishing a player were there to support and (if nothing else) learn of any new wrinkles..if any.

    To me, Bell should be aware of his injury proneness and be there to be at least in the class room.

    I think Ben is right. You can’t always, every year, be hurt and think you’ve got leverage.

  31. You can see how frustrated Ben is, his voice getting high, smirking like he wants to say about 1000 things about it but knows better, contradicting himself. As a football fan it’s a shame since it would be fun to see what this offense can do with Brown, Bryant, Bell and Ben on the field at the same time.

    However it’s a two way street. Bell wants his money and although he is not only an injury risk but a bonehead to boot, the Steelers are reluctant to give it to him. So Bell is using his leverage to see if they will cave.

    I love it because I’m a Bengals fan and seeing fat Ben but-hurt is fun and the Steelers front office angry. Yes they are angry. The Steelers usually don’t play games with players. They don’t negotiate unless you are in the building working and if a player was as big a PITA as Bell, he would’ve been booted yesterday. However not only the FO, but Bell realize he is a special talent and despite the injuries/ issues in the past, he is worth the bs.

    The Steelers want him to play on the franchise tag hoping Bell will use it as motivation to get his payday next year and give the team his best season. If he does they/someone else will pay him. Bell and his agent know that this is the Steelers year and Ben is starting to piss and moan about retirement and this will probably be the last year that all four will be together so they have to make the move now. Bell is playing this the right way. I would sit out the absolute max into the season. If the Steelers still don’t budge, it might not be a bad thing as Bell would be subjected to less wear and tear early into the season and may be just hitting his stride come playoff time.

  32. I don’t think “lament”, or by its definition “a passionate expression of grief or sorrow”, is the right word to use here.

    Yes, Ben is incorrect about Bell not being able to participate because of injury rather than saying it’s because of his contract situation. But what’s the big deal? This team should have a special offense and the more they can all practice together, the better they can be. Ben knows this and so of course he wants Bell there.

    I doubt Ben was “passionately” commenting about this. How is this post not an example of taking someone’s comments and trying to change the context of those comments to make it seem like there’s some kind of intriguing controversy?

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