Le’Veon Bell: We’re not coming to a number we agree on

Getty Images

Early in the Steelers’ offseason, running back Le'Veon Bell said that he and the team were closer to agreeing on a long-term deal than they were last year but things have apparently stopped progressing toward that goal.

A report on Monday indicated that the Steelers will use the franchise tag on Bell for the second year in a row and Bell confirmed that a longer deal is unlikely to happen before Tuesday’s deadline for using the tag.

“We’re not coming to a number we both agree on — they are too low, or I guess they feel I’m too high,” Bell said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “I’m playing for strictly my value to the team, that’s what I’m asking. I don’t think I should settle for anything less than what I’m valued at.”

Bell mused about sitting out the entire season if he’s tagged again and told Fowler he’s not backing away from that possibility. Doing so would keep him from earning the $14.5 million salary that comes with the tag and the two sides will be able to continue talking about a deal through July 16.

67 responses to “Le’Veon Bell: We’re not coming to a number we agree on

  1. I would let him walk, but maybe that’s why I’m not an NFL GM.
    But i did stay in a Holiday Inn Express, so there is that.

  2. Le’Veon Bell is one of the very best players in the NFL. He delivers for the Steelers in the running and passing game every week. Pittsburgh’s inability to come up with a decent long term agreement for one of their very best players is very sad. They don’t deserve to keep him.

  3. “I’m playing for strictly my value to the team, that’s what I’m asking. I don’t think I should settle for anything less than what I’m valued at.”

    You’re value is whatever someone is willing to pay you.

  4. No Meveon Bell? No Todd Haley? That offense is doomed. Ben is going to wish he had retired.

  5. Franchise tags should include one more item. A 1/2 injury clause for the player that extends to the following season in the event of any major injury. This might limit the tag being used and also give players more security that they will be given something closer to a 1+a similar signing bonus guarantee in case of career altering injury.

  6. uglydingo says:
    Le’Veon Bell is one of the very best players in the NFL. He delivers for the Steelers in the running and passing game every week. Pittsburgh’s inability to come up with a decent long term agreement for one of their very best players is very sad. They don’t deserve to keep him.
    ===

    Le’Veon Bell is nowhere near the best running back of all time, yet the deals the Steelers reportedly offered him — both last year AND this year — would have made him the highest-paid running back of all time.
    If that’s not enough for him, let him go flip burgers or make amateurish rap songs for a living. We’ll see how long it takes him to realize the mistake he’s making.
    Regardless of what he and every other player before him has threatened, he’s not sitting out the season and losing $14.5 million he will never recoup over a relatively short NFL career.
    Assuming no deal is done, he’ll skip camp and show up just in time to sign the tag and get paid before the start of the regular season. The Steelers hold all the cards.

  7. Great player, but also part of a great offense. Wants to be paid as both RB & WR on a long term deal. Not sure that there is a team in the league that would do that, so maybe the ego needs to take a little rest.

  8. Give your team a whole season of value, then talk.

    If the team can’t get over the hump this coming season, Bell won’t make the difference in future years. Pay him the franchise amount then drop him.

  9. The Steelers have traditionally utilized their cap very efficiently, which is why they are the most successful organization in NFL history – including the SB era (6-2 overall, Pats are 5-5, Cowboys are 5-3, and Niners are 5-1). They may not have that luxury these days in the era of bloated contracts, but I expect them to do the right thing for the team first, player second. Bell getting $14.5 million on a tag with a serious expectation that, if he performs, he will finally get that long-term contract next year…I can’t cry over that, and holding out seems like toddler time to me. They’re not going to break the bank to keep you, nor should you want them to because you could use a ring or two to cement your legacy as well. You don’t do that by crying “Me first.”

  10. Bell obviously feels as valuable as OBJ….and he is said to want 20 per. I would rather have a healthy Le’Veon than a healthy OBJ so I would safely guess 20 million a season is more of what Bell wants.

  11. His smartest move is probably to wait till the week or 2 before the season starts and sign the tag.

    Then next year they probably wont tag him and hopefully hell still be good enough to get a contract.

  12. What most people seem to ignore is that it’s all about the guaranteed money. Let’s say he tears his ACL next season. If he had signed the tag, he has $14.5 million and then would make next to nothing as a FA in ’19 (likely a 1 year prove it deal coming off an injury). And he’d be another year out of his prime.

    If he say, signs a multi-year contract with $30+ mil guaranteed (which he would get on the open market), he has that financial security in case of injury.

    Bell getting screwed here.

  13. If Bell thinks he is the very best back that is in the NFL, then maybe he can answer why he is injury prone and why he can’t carry them to multiple Super Bowl Titles? I would let him walk and see if he gets what he thinks he is worth. probably from a bottom feeder club with money to waste.

  14. ExitStrategy says:
    March 5, 2018 at 5:31 pm
    “I’m playing for strictly my value to the team, that’s what I’m asking. I don’t think I should settle for anything less than what I’m valued at.”

    You’re value is whatever someone is willing to pay you.

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

    If he hits free agency, pretty good chance some team out there will pay him what he wants, or at least closer than what the Steelers are willing to come to. So, if his value is whatever “someone” is willing to pay him, then you’re right.

  15. Teams shouldn’t be able to tag the same player in consecutive years. Get a deal done or let him walk. These one year deals are too risky for the players. Especially players that touch the ball and get hit 20-30 times per game.

  16. You know he will hold out again, then show up a few days before the season starts. He’ll be out of shape for the first month like last year and will continue to be late for practice and walk throughs. Time to move on.

  17. ‘The team thinks I’m too high’ hahaha yup. It’s also amazing how many people on here rag when players complain they want their worth, hoe many of you work for less than your worth by choice before you e received a big pay day? None of you? Ok, that’s what I thought

  18. He is a great player, but not worth what he wants. Stay healty and stop getting suspended!!!

  19. When he jumps ship and ends up with the Browns, running behind a line that’s MUCH better than the Steelers, they’re going to regret being so cheap. Harrison and Bell are perfect examples of the lack of loyalty and respect from that organization.

  20. The excessive amount of money these guys make is crazy. The greed that comes out of their mouths during these negotiating periods is even crazier.

  21. 3 4 Rate This
    whywerule says:
    March 5, 2018 at 6:11 pm
    NFL fans everywhere to Le’Veon Bell…

    Until you help your team actually reach a Super Bowl, and more, get over yourself.
    ————————-
    He did his part and then some. He can’t help it if his defense is weak

  22. I’d let him walk. RB’s are just to easy to find that are sufficient. Yes, sufficient and get convert 3rd and 1 and 2.

    JMO, I’d never pay a RB what he wants…

  23. He can win this negotiations, but he has to go all in. Sit out training out, sit out important games, don’t run receiver routes, and really just be a running back; take more blows or relief during the game. Anything that can be done to change the steelers equation must be done. Right now the team has a guy getting 400 touches per year. Every year at that output reduces his value to the steelers.

  24. .
    We’re dealing with the laws of the marketplace. The 14.5 million is a big number for Pittsburgh. However, it’s a drop in the bucket for a team like Cleveland or the 49ers who have 100 million in cap space. The Steelers are not only negotiating with Bell but against several other teams with money to burn.
    .

  25. By the time Bell becomes a free agent, no team will want to pay a running back his age a big money/long-term deal, especially if he has a subpar final year with the Steelers. The conversation will be all about running backs, their age and “hitting the wall”.

  26. tollisonsmith says:
    He can win this negotiations, but he has to go all in. Sit out training out, sit out important games, don’t run receiver routes, and really just be a running back; take more blows or relief during the game. . . . Right now the team has a guy getting 400 touches per year. Every year at that output reduces his value to the steelers.
    ==

    Yes, every year at that output reduces his value to the Steelers.
    But taking your advice — blatantly and visibly tanking and mailing it in — will significantly reduce his value to every other team when the Steelers are done with him.
    Pittsburgh still holds most of the cards, and Bell isn’t winning anything with that approach.

  27. If I’m the Pitt GM i would make it crystal clear that we will be franchising you every year Le’Veon, until the rules change and be paying you 14 mil per year. Bell should try to get as much up front money as he can now, his career could literally end on any snap given the position he plays. On the flip side, Bell wont be reporting until 2 weeks before the season starts. Bell has no ground to stand on, he can take the deal or retire. Meantime, Pitt can give Connor a bigger load and get him ready to roll.

  28. I have no dog in this fight. That said, If I’m PIT, great as Bell is, I wouldn’t give him that money. I think they’re talented and loaded enough on offense to be just fine without him.

    For a team that looks to compete for a Lombardi each and every year it is tough to do so when you pay your WR/RB 14+ million/yr. I certainly don’t blame Bell for wanting what he’s worth – I’m pro player more so than pro rich old man sitting in the stands – but the cap is what it is and in order to compete every year teams need depth, something that can be hard to come by if multiple players are getting market value. Sucks, I know, but such is life in a capped sport.

  29. I hope the steelers non-exclusive tag him
    And then trade up and grab a rb ,then pull the plug on the tag at the last minute when teams already spent their cap money

  30. Bottom line you ran him into the ground last year and he did his job. If you aren’t going to pay him let him go to a team that will pay him. I would sit out too and I don’t like how the Steelers are doing this guy. By the time he hits free agency nobody will want him. They aren’t using him like two players with all the wear and tear but don’t want to pay him like one. I’d withold my services until they had a deal in place for a sign and trade. No way that team wins without him.

  31. By the time Bell becomes a “free” agent… he’ll be 28 years old…and won’t get the same offers he’d of gotten last year or maybe even this year…Just an absolute classless CLASSLESS classless move by Pittsburgh…Btw…this type of behavior is not how championship caliber organizations operate…

  32. I dont begrudge a player getting what someone wants to pay them. Get as much as you can.

    That said, if he sits out a season, hes an idiot. He will never get a contract big enough to recoup $14.5 million lost dollars.

  33. Antowain Smith, Corey Dillon, Lawrence Maroney, Legarette Blount.

    These are basically the guys that Tom Brady went to his Super Bowls with, and none of them were as good as Le’Veon Bell. When is the last time a running back led his team to a Super Bowl? John Riggins?

    Work on his replacement now. If he doesn’t accept the tag—wave bye bye.

  34. Bell IS good, very good.

    But he’s not as good as he thinks he is.

    His longest carry last year was 27 yards. And that was just one of THREE carries all season he had go for more than 20 yards. 26 other running backs had more carries go for 20 yards than Bell did.

    Now, he does catch a lot of passes, but he’s far from a real wide out. A big majority of his receptions were check downs from Ben. Bell averaged 7.7 yards per catch, that’s not the production of a receiver (which he’s said he wants to be paid for too, in addition to being paid for being a running back).

    Again, this dude IS good, very good. But many backs break longer runs (again, 26 backs had more runs for 20 yards than he did last season so it’s not so rare, that’s almost 1 per team on average).

    OK, he average 4.0 yards per carry. Not bad, but not great either. 15 percent of his rushes went for NO YARDS OR FOR NEGATIVE YARDS.

    Now, add in his rushes that went from zero to 3 yards to the 15% of his rushes that went for zero or negative yards and we’re up to 39% of his rushes.

    So, basically 4 out 10 times he ran the ball last season, it went for 3 yards or less.

    He deserve a good deal, lots of dough as he is talented, but WHY break the bank for that? Especially when plenty of other backs can get yards for much cheaper.

  35. I would just like someone to explain to me how Le’Veon Bell isn’t worth the same kind of contract that Davante Adams just got. I understand the longevity argument, but he’s only 26.

    It is amazing to me that 18 receivers make over $10M a year and Bell is the only back to make that much. If they Steelers don’t want to pay him, they should either trade him or let him walk.

  36. Just tag him. All those yards haven’t gotten us any closer to a title, and Weedeaters always repeat their crimes anyway. Too much of a risk.

    1 more year, then move on

  37. The idea that a player’s value is worth only what a team is willing to pay is not quite true when teams have the option of applying the franchise tag on players.

  38. Bell is overrated. He’s very good, but he’s not head and shoulders better than the rest of the top 5 – 10 RBs in the league. Plus, he’s slow for a RB, injury prone, and has a ton of mileage. The Steelers could use the 14.5 million to patch the holes in the middle of the defense. Bell can go to whichever sucker team overpays him.

  39. They should make contract negotiations into a reality TV show. I would love to see the amount of money they turn down because they think they are worth more. Would give A New Perspective on certain players. Would also love to see the teams that try to lowball and then lose good players

  40. They need to take that money and sign a high caliber ILB or safety. Bringing Bell back with that same sorry defense will be like throwing money down the drain. I bet they would end up with better record letting him go and using money on D vs retaining him and making no big moves.

  41. This drama queen always puts himself before the team. He may be a good RB, but I can think of a few who are better than him,and they aren’t whining about money. Bell needs to remember that RB’s are easily replaced in today’s NFL.

  42. Paying a RB that kind of cash is stupid in this league. Aside from Lynch playing with that great Hawks defense, no team has won a superbowl with an elite back since Marshall Faulk in 1999, unless one counts Corey Dillon at the twilight of his career.

    The days of elite backs being central to the team winning a championship are gone.

  43. I do not have any concrete idea on how much L’veon Bell is worth, as many point out its how much someone is prepared to pay him but that comment misses one kind of crucial caveat. There are 32 teams out there he can play for but in truth he can only negotiate with one because there is no way any team is giving up two first rounders and his salary to have him on their team that leaves one. The Steelers.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people on here want to criticize the players for getting as much as they can whilst they can. I guess the more money you earn the more “righteous” you should become. Funny how we do not apply that logic to other high earners like CEO’s, actors and actresses, music icons etc.

    I wish the guy good luck he is probably at his peak right now and he needs to maximize his earnings just like the rest of us albeit at a much lower level.

  44. It’s Salary Cap problem for Pittsburgh. They only have around $6 cap space. 1st they have to restructure some deals or release players. And that’s factoring $177.2 cap + rollover.
    Shazier is 8.7. Joe Haden is 11.9. only 3.8 against dead cap

  45. It actually cracks me up how delusional and unknowledgeable some people are. Here are a few takeaways to consider:

    1. We don’t know what type of deals the Steelers have offered. What is market value?? He was the highest paid RB last season and will crush last year’s number under the new tag. Bell has an incredibly inflated idea of what he is worth and it’s presumptuous to say another team would pay him what “he” deems he is worth.

    2. There’s a salary cap. Rumors are swirling around Ben wanting a new deal to potentially play 3 more seasons. It’s incredibly difficult to find a franchise QB and it’s more important than anything to keep that guy as long as he’s productive. Aside from Ben, AB is the second most important player and he’s paid as such. There simply isn’t enough room in the budget to break the bank for all 3 of them and then fill out the roster with competent players who can compete for a championship.

    3. Bell has a lot of miles on his tires. If Bell were a vehicle you’ve owned for several years (an exotic sports car nonetheless) and you drove the crap out of that car…it was a good car and still could be for another year or two (maybe more), would you be willing to buy THAT car AGAIN for the HIGHEST PRICE anyone’s ever paid for ANY CAR EVER, let alone THAT car?

    Ironically, whatever deal the Steelers offered him would make him the highest paid RB in the history of the NFL. And that’s still not enough.

    I feel for Bell in some weird way. But don’t feel sorry for him if he ends up playing for ONLY 14.5 mil this season. I’d be willing to bet when it’s all said and done we find out he had a long term deal offered with eye popping guaranteed cash – for a well used car, with only 1 owner, that’s been smoked in.

  46. Over 700 touches the past 2 seasons and you fanboys say he isn’t worth what he is asking lol. Don’t be mad when he starts making 2 to 3 business decisions per game. You know he isn’t coming training camp cause it’s not worth it. See ya week 1.

  47. cjweber5187 says:

    March 5, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Teams shouldn’t be able to tag the same player in consecutive years. Get a deal done or let him walk. These one year deals are too risky for the players. Especially players that touch the ball and get hit 20-30 times per game.
    _________________________________

    The difference being that Bell will have earned more in 2 years on the tag than any other RB will have made in 3 years total. And remember, Bell refused last years 30 mil over 2yrs and 42mil over 3 deal.

  48. isithockeyseasonyet says:
    March 5, 2018 at 6:24 pm
    ‘The team thinks I’m too high’ hahaha yup. It’s also amazing how many people on here rag when players complain they want their worth, hoe many of you work for less than your worth by choice before you e received a big pay day? None of you? Ok, that’s what I thought
    _________________________________________________
    Umm… That’s pretty much the definition of an internship and it happens all the time in the corporate world.

  49. Bell won’t be satisfied until he plunges the Steelers into salary cap hell. Oh, wait. They’re already there with Little Ben Garbage Time.

Leave a Reply

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