Le’Veon Bell: No rush to sign “if I feel I’m worth more than” offered

Getty Images

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell’s first response to the passing of the deadline for him to sign a multi-year deal with the Steelers before the end of the 2017 season was to say “I guess I just gotta get better” on social media.

He expanded on his thoughts about the failure to agree on a deal a bit later, but not into the specifics of any offers that he received from the Steelers in recent weeks and months. It was enough to say that whatever was on the table wasn’t particularly compelling for a player who feels like his entire position is undervalued around the league.

“It’s a little frustrating, but it’s a business,” Bell said, via ESPN.com. “I’m not in a rush to sign for something I’m not valued at if I feel I’m worth more than what they are offering me. … The running back market definitely took a hit, and I can’t be the guy who continues to let it take a hit. We do everything: We block, we run, we catch the ball. Our value isn’t where it needs to be. I’m taking it upon myself to open up some eyes and show the position is more valuable.”

Bell said he “definitely” doesn’t want to play for anyone else and referenced his initial comment by saying he plans to have his best year before heading back to the negotiating table with the team. He did not share his plans for signing the tender and reporting to work with the Steelers, but said “all it’s going to take for me is a few practices and some game action” to be at full speed because of the way he trains during the offseason.

47 responses to “Le’Veon Bell: No rush to sign “if I feel I’m worth more than” offered

  1. Insisting on being more valuable and actually being more valuable to a team in a salary cap league are two different things.

    It’s not personal Le’Veon, it’s just business.

  2. Unfortunately, it looks like they will never get a long term deal done. Bell is a very good player when he is able to play, very talented. But he needs to realize he is not the only or the main player on the team. Bell doesn’t seem like he wants to compromise on a deal, and the Steelers have other players to worry about signing coming up soon including Tuitt, Shazier and Valenueva among others. It takes a “team” to win, and they can’t give Bell a fortune considering his history and the current value of RBs. If the Steelers have him for 2 more years, fine. It’s a business. And the Steelers will be a great team long after Bell is gone.

  3. I hate the Steelers and would not care one bit if he gets hurt. The lesson of “one in the hand is worth more than two in the bush” is still a valuable lesson to learn and shouldn’t be forgotten. Yes running backs, do it all on the field, they also get hurt – a lot. Their skill set also isn’t all that rare. He’s never going to get the same $ as Antonia. Whoever is giving him financial device is taking a huge gamble.

  4. The running back position isn’t as important as some of the other positions, but the career is much shorter, so RBs should have an adjusted wage scale. But that would be like asking the player’s union to represent the players, and that just doesn’t happen. Le’Veon Bell is more valuable than most RBs, so he should be making around $15 million per year, as long as his production is where it is right now.

  5. Bell is likely one of the top 3 backs in the league.

    But he’s still not worth 12 mil a year.

    The RB position just isn’t valued as high as he thinks.

    He and his agent are lying to themselves.

    Bell would be smart to sign the tender and move on.

  6. He can def be worth more then the Steelers offered…. FOR ANOTHER TEAM… i cant stand greedy players like this … Antwaan Randle El made more with Wash b4 he came back to Pitt with his tail between his legs… Let this motivate James Conner EVEN MORE… Bell has been a DISTRACTION EVERY SINGLE YEAR hes been in the league!!!

  7. Then just a few games to get hurt & not contribute…..
    Training is a YEAR LONG job & commitment….. To believe he just needs a couple practices to & games to be at full speed just shows you how clueless this guy really is….

  8. His position can be appreciated but having a star player and team leader not being present at camp puts too much focus on individualism which hurts any team. Blame can be shared between the individual and management and fingers can be pointed but at the end of the day, this isn’t good for the Steelers.

  9. He’s missed 14 games in the last 2 seasons (partly injury, partly 2 drug suspensions), so Steelers shouldn’t have even offered a long-term deal to a guy yet to prove himself fit after surgery for the groin problem that dogged him last year and able to show up drug-free for a whole season.

  10. “The running back market definitely took a hit, and I can’t be the guy who continues to let it take a hit. We do everything: We block, we run, we catch the ball. Our value isn’t where it needs to be. I’m taking it upon myself to open up some eyes and show the position is more valuable.””

    Well this is a recipe to lose money. The running back market is where it is because you can draft someone and get 80 percent of the production of a veteran on rookie wage scale. He is one of the best running backs in the NFL but the way the game is played today he will never receive top dollar.

  11. I agree with Le Veon that running backs are way too, undervalued. They have the shortest career span, take the most punishment and usually are the “do it all – workhorses” for their offenses, such as Le’Veon Bell. I am a Steeler fan however, I do not blame him one bit for bulking at a bad contract.

    He is in the prime of his career and his market value is not going to get much higher! I hope my team does the right thing because he is the catalyst for that offense.

    I hate to see football players continue to get lowballed (other than quarterbacks) while NBA role players are breaking the bank, getting 100 million dollar contracts like handing out $20 bills.

  12. Must be tough to swallow your pride and sign a 12 million dollar 1 year contract. Some of these athletes really don’t get how blessed they are.

  13. Take note for those wanting more than minimum wage…

    Your talents will take you as far as you want, but you have to earn it. Now does the market allow $50+ million for the average joe? Of course not, but if that’s your craft and the going rate in your trade, more power to you.

  14. Guess he wasn’t paying attention in business 101 when they explained the whole something or in this case someone is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

  15. Sherman going around trying to start a falsification on how players should be paid. Telling them to “go on strike” for more money. No joke, if these guys could, they would want all the money for themselves. They actually think that it’s justification. They believe that the owners of these teams should make less than them! No joke!!! They actually think the game they play is bigger than what surrounds them!!!

    Do you hear these guys making a pitch for the ball boys? The grounds crew? The ticket crew? Food Service? Are you making a pitch for THEM to get a pay raise too? Of course you aren’t. You and your agent are out living in this fantasy world.

    There’s a reason why LeVeon Bell, and Richard Sherman aren’t running any successful, billion dollar businesses. They wouldn’t even know where to start.

  16. From an outsider looking in…they will run bell to the ground this year…and no matter how well he does they wont want to pay him…its james connor time next year in pittsburgh ladies and gentleman the kid from pit is a beast…dont fret pit fans we overpaid chris johnson and did if too late in his career…let him walk…monster season or not…sigmed titans fan

  17. Like I said before, win the sb and stay healthy for once and help the Steelers in the playoffs for once instead of being on the bench every year. Then you may see that long term contract.

  18. “I agree with Le Veon that running backs are way too, undervalued. They have the shortest career span, take the most punishment and usually are the “do it all – workhorses” for their offenses, such as Le’Veon Bell. I am a Steeler fan however, I do not blame him one bit for bulking at a bad contract.

    He is in the prime of his career and his market value is not going to get much higher! I hope my team does the right thing because he is the catalyst for that offense.

    I hate to see football players continue to get lowballed (other than quarterbacks) while NBA role players are breaking the bank, getting 100 million dollar contracts like handing out $20 bills.”

    1. The value of the running back is not created by punishment they take but by the supply and demand for their skill set.
    2. Football players do not get lowballed as a matter of fact they receive about 50 percent of NFL revenue which is on par with the NBA. Baseball players only get 40% of league revenue. Keep in mind there are only 12 players on an NBA team and 52 on an NFL team, that explains the difference.

  19. Value is what value is. It comes from what people are willing to pay, not what we think we bring to the table. Don’t get me wrong I think the way positions are valued is historically flawed. Just because you touch the ball and get to score the points doesn’t mean you should be earning 100% premium over the left tackle that enables you to stay on your feet in the first place, but this isn’t the case to try a new format. Stay on the field (number one) and play your tail off and you will get paid. Not no $12 million in all likelihood but you will get paid relative to the rest of the league in your position.

  20. The Steelers are smart.
    They’ll move on from him if he prices himself way too high.

  21. lordliftedme says:
    Jul 18, 2017 8:46 AM
    I agree with Le Veon that running backs are way too, undervalued. They have the shortest career span, take the most punishment and usually are the “do it all – workhorses” for their offenses, such as Le’Veon Bell. I am a Steeler fan however, I do not blame him one bit for bulking at a bad contract.

    ————————–

    They are also the most easily replaceable, interchangeable position on the field. Look at the Patriots and how much production they typically get from their RBs. Now ask yourself if Belichick would pay any one of them 12 mil per season?

    Their entire cap hit for 2017 for all of them combined is less than Bell’s ($11.7 mil vs. $12.1 mil). Their top 4 backs have a combined cap hit of only $10.4 mil. Call me crazy, but I’d much rather have Gilleslee, Lewis, White, Burkhead over Bell and his shortened seasons any day.

    It’s lunacy to pay this guy (or any other back) this much money per season. It’s the kind mismanagement that prevents teams from winning championships.

  22. While we don’t know what the Steelers offered him, how anyone can say, the RB position is undervalued at $12M per year is an idiot. All of these athletes are grossly overpaid for playing a game. He hasn’t played a full season yet and for him to say he is worth more than they are offering, whatever that number is, is actually ridiculous.

  23. The guy is an awesome player……but, he thinks he is going to be the person that corrects the market value for RB. HMMMMM…..I think he picked the wrong team to try to do that with. The Steelers will not over pay for his talent.

    He’ll get $8-$10M per or he’ll need to move on. It’s real simple…..

  24. It’s not that RBs are undervalued, it’s that their skill set is not unique.

    Talented as he is, Bell needs to realize he’s not irreplaceable. The Colts dumped Marshall Faulk in his prime and actually got better.

  25. motleytrap says:
    Jul 18, 2017 10:28 AM
    It’s not that RBs are undervalued, it’s that their skill set is not unique.

    Talented as he is, Bell needs to realize he’s not irreplaceable. The Colts dumped Marshall Faulk in his prime and actually got better.
    _____________________

    Terrible example. The Colts traded Faulk because they knew they would land either Ricky Williams or Edgerrin James 4th overall in the upcoming draft. They also had a second year QB named Peyton Manning who would go on to have a decent career.

    Unique RBs have unique skillsets. Bell comes with off-field baggage, but he is 240 lbs and moves like Shady McCoy. He also runs routes and catches passes like a WR. He deserves to be the top paid RB in the league, which he is (for this season). Something tells me if he had the off-field track record of Larry Fitz that he would have already been offered a long term contract he was happy with.

  26. bkostela says:
    Jul 18, 2017 10:55 AM
    motleytrap says:
    Jul 18, 2017 10:28 AM
    It’s not that RBs are undervalued, it’s that their skill set is not unique.

    Talented as he is, Bell needs to realize he’s not irreplaceable. The Colts dumped Marshall Faulk in his prime and actually got better.
    _____________________

    Terrible example. The Colts traded Faulk because they knew they would land either Ricky Williams or Edgerrin James 4th overall in the upcoming draft. They also had a second year QB named Peyton Manning who would go on to have a decent career.

    Unique RBs have unique skillsets. Bell comes with off-field baggage, but he is 240 lbs and moves like Shady McCoy. He also runs routes and catches passes like a WR. He deserves to be the top paid RB in the league, which he is (for this season). Something tells me if he had the off-field track record of Larry Fitz that he would have already been offered a long term contract he was happy with.
    …………………………………………………………………………………
    That was a perfect example,the Colts moved on to another just as or close to as talented as Faulk for less money

  27. Some running backs are better than others, Bell is one of those backs and deserves to be paid like one.

    And though I understand about how the market dictates players salaries, I also understand that a team shouldn’t let the market dictate how they treat one of the three most valuable pieces of their organization, (Ben and Brown being the other two).

    Lastly, I appreciate the transparency and simplicity in the way Bell has expressed his feelings on the matter. Stating simply, “…I feel I’m worth more than what they are offering me…” Whether or not the team agrees with him, any man should be able to respect those words.

  28. Would think it’s hard for a RB to pass on a long term deal. Going year to year at that position is a recipe for disaster

  29. I really hope the Steelers let this guy walk after this year, or if they can, trade him for a pick(s) this year. Why, exactly, would a team pay through the nose for him? In general, RBs don’t last that long, and given his suspension/injury issues, no way would I open the vault, risking the teams overall future for one player. The Patriots are a prime example…they don’t overpay for any one player.

  30. @sbmcintosh36 my point was, rookie RBs are no slam dunk, especially at what you have to pay one as a high first round pick.

    You’re potentially ditching the best RB in the game for Trent Richardson, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Knowshon Moreno, Darren McFadden, Thomas Jones, Ron Dayne, etc.

    ^All were top-12 picks

  31. How did the Steelers do in the AFCCG ?well I checked,they lost but most players got them a smooth $42,000 for the game.Looks like they done pretty good to me.

  32. Well Le’MEon, if the Steelers could trust you not getting suspended or playing the whole season, they might put some more money on the table.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.