Jerome Bettis urges Steelers, Le’Veon Bell to work things out

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The Steelers and running back Le'Veon Bell have 12 days left in their second annual effort to work out a long-term deal that replaces the franchise tag. Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis thinks they should.

“Neither one of you are as good by yourself as you are together,” Bettis said, via

Bettis had specific advice for Bell, who refused the team’s best multi-year deal a year ago and who has yet to accept the team’s best offer in 2018, whatever it may be.

“Le’Veon, you’re not going to be as good going somewhere else because they’re not going to have the offensive line, they’re not going to have the quarterback, the receivers that they have in Pittsburgh,” Bettis said. “You have a full complement around you that allows you to be as great as you want to be.”

Of course, Bell helps make the offensive line, the quarterback, and the receivers that they have in Pittsburgh look better, just as he would do if he had a chance to sign with any other team. The Steelers for two straight years have blocked his ability to do that by using the franchise tag.

Absent a long-term deal by 4:00 p.m. ET on July 16, Bell could hit the open market in March 2019. By rule, the Steelers would have to apply the quarterback franchise tender in order to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent a third time, bumping his one-year pay from $14.5 million to roughly $25 million.

Before that happens, the Steelers would have an exclusive window from the end of the 2018 regular season into late February to try one final time to get Bell signed. At that point, however, Bell will hold all the cards, since he’ll just be weeks away from getting a chance to consider whether another team has the offensive line, quarterback, and receivers to allow him to be as great as he wants to be.

31 responses to “Jerome Bettis urges Steelers, Le’Veon Bell to work things out

  1. A a Steeler fan, no thanks. What he wants is a ludicrous number for a RB with the amount of miles he has on him. It will cripple the team long term. Not to mention his mediocre production last year out of the backfield. Great player, completely tone deaf – but time to move on after this year.

  2. No, Bell isn’t worth what he thinks. IMO he seems to be the kind of player who will get paid, then suck for the remainder of his contract.
    The Steelers can find find another RB, plus Bell is close to 30, and he’s a pothead so there would be a ton of risk for the Steelers.
    If I were Colbert, I’d offer about $9 million for 3 years. I would tell Bell that his age and love of weed are major factors and unless he is willing to a clause that allows the Steelers to seize his signing bonus if he gets suspended again (for ANY reason) then we could do a deal. if not, then he is free after this season.

  3. Let another team overpay him and deal with his antics which are already at a high high drama level. His patient running style will only work behind an elite offensive line and the team that signs him won’t be able to afford good lineman to hold those blocks he’s been getting in Pittsburgh. Grab your popcorn when he throws first temper tantrum after getting paid QB money and a rookie RB takes over his starting job

  4. I hope he is happy to sign with the Steelers.

    I agree with Bettis. Both sides are better off with him on the team. Sure, he may find the best market offer is also a talented offensive team, but more likely the big dollars will come from a team like Miami or the Jets or slt. He will pocket the change. Like Wallace, Saunders, Wheaton. But I doubt he will have a relevant career. The interesting choice for him is New England. Belechek drools over him. But. I doubt they offer more than the Steelers.

    And. All the talk that Running backs are cheap and can be low rounders. Uhuh. How many elite backs are there. How long would Ben last now that Heath Miller is retired and if Bell left? No disrespect to the other tight ends and backs in the black & gold but Bell is a once in a lifetime relief valve for the 36 year old QB. And. He is a top five running back. Yeah, you can always get a back in the 4th and claim one on veteran minimum.

  5. This guy is a yearly distraction.

    I WOULD NOT want him in my locker room.

    Sadly… le’veon’s style of “veteran teaching” is doing this b.s. every year.

    ALL SAID… the media treats him unfairly when compared
    to other pittsburgh off-season miscreants (ben/haley/porter/.

    GOOGLE: pittsburgh steelers arrest record

    TO BE FAIR… the pittsburgh steelers of the past 15 years
    have been a constant distraction…

    … only le’veon bell gets called for it.

    That franchise lacks self-discipline.

  6. @doctorrustbelt….Just HOW many playoff games have the Bengals won again in the last say 20 years???….Oh, never mind.
    You WISH your team was run half as well as the Steelers. For the model citizens you have on your team, the “Pot calling Kettle” line definitely applies here.

  7. Fans urge Teams and Players to not be greedy fools that exploit us and depend on our inability to view the league as just a hollow business disguised as entertainment.

  8. dryzzt23 says:
    July 4, 2018 at 9:12 am
    If I were Colbert, I’d offer about $9 million for 3 years.
    SMH. Some of you fans know very very little of what you’re talking about. Why in the world would you think an offer of 3 years $9 million would get Bell to sign when he has a 1 year franchise tag deal for $14 million??? He didn’t ask to be franchised and if the Steelers thought he was only worth that much they would never have franchised him a second time for $14 million. How about get your emotions out of negotiations?

  9. Pit offered $13.1, Bell supposedly lowered asking price to $14ish. He is the career leader in yds from scrimmage per game. He’s only 26. If AB is worth $17+ a year, Bell isn’t worth much less. If he’s a bad teammate I get it, but if he’s not, Pit needs to increase offer to be fair. Just because Freeman makes $8 that should not be the market value for the top RB in league and one of the best players overall.

  10. I would run him a ton this year and good bye. Talented player no doubt but he will be done by 29 and better off parting ways a year (or two) early than a year late.

  11. Had to laugh at one of the comments above that says BELL is “almost 30.”

    He turned 26 five months ago.

  12. When you franchise tag a player…why would you offer him less than what the franchise tag is worth…? Oh we’ll pay you $14.5 million this year, but offer you less than that the following years…and who on earth would accept that?…

    He’s definitely better than Antonio Brown…Brown needs a good QB to be successful…go look at his numbers when HOF QB Ben has been hurt…he isn’t like Larry Fitzgerald who’s performed no matter who’s playing QB…

  13. The Pittsturd Rusty nails should dump this fool and then send a message to the rest of the NFL – then Atlanta should dump Julio Jones with three years left on his contract and then have him defend how binding that document is on him getting paid.

  14. Is Bell the best back in the NFL, not in my opinion. But, he is too 3. DeAngelo Williams stepped in with similar numbers telling me it’s scheme. Not saying his all purpose yardage and skill set isn’t amazing but David Johnson could do it in Pittsburgh also. NO RB in the NFL is worth what Bell wants. Ben’s gone in a year or two. I’d franchise him then ride him till trade deadline then trade him to the Browns. Distraction gone.

  15. Say what you want about Bell or Brown or Roethlisberger or whomever, but one is for certain-LeVeon’s running style at this point only suits a team with a great offensive line. That does NOT mean that just any back can step in and have Bell’s yardage, or that Roethlisberger or Brown or whomever do not benefit from his presence. But Bell is a very, very patient runner who prefers to exploit holes. He actually uses his blocks, and his vision is great. But he could not run that same way behind just any old offensive line. He’d have to change his style again, just like he did when broke into the league to begin with. Not only that, he would have to learn a new playbook and mesh with new teammates and coaches, not to mention move to another city…

    If Bell had gone about this differently, I doubt Pittsburgh would be so hesitant to give him a larger deal. Their offer last year (around $13 million) was generous, though apparently not enough. But it’s not like Bell doesn’t have a squeaky clean record and hasn’t flirted with the notion of trying to leave in free agency. If you’re unsure of someone’s dependability in addition to their loyalty, it’s difficult to trust them with your money.

  16. my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    July 4, 2018 at 8:43 pm
    When you franchise tag a player…why would you offer him less than what the franchise tag is worth…? Oh we’ll pay you $14.5 million this year, but offer you less than that the following years…and who on earth would accept that?…

    He’s definitely better than Antonio Brown…Brown needs a good QB to be successful…go look at his numbers when HOF QB Ben has been hurt…he isn’t like Larry Fitzgerald who’s performed no matter who’s playing QB…


    Like it or not WRs demand more on the open market than do RBs. So you comparison to Antonio Brown is irrelevant. Bell is already the highest paid RB. He should sign the tender and play out the season and then let some other team overpay him if money is the most important factor in his equation.

  17. Diva- someone who outperforms their contract and is ridiculed for asking for more money as the CBA allows you to make more. Pay the man his money and let him rush for at least 1,000 yards and haul in 50 passes over the next six seasons. There are only three tailbacks who do what Bell does — David Johnson, Todd Gurley and Zeke — and he does it without taking much punishment due to his running style

  18. RBs are a dime a dozen. Yes, Bell is a good one, but he’s got drug issues, character issues, and durability issues. I despise the Steelers and hope they make him a stupid big offer as to handicap them for the next few years financially. Bell’s only played what, 1 full season? Did he even play a full season, ever? He’ll be out of the league by the time he’s 28/29. But go ahead – 5 years 65 million. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. ak185 says:
    July 5, 2018 at 4:09 pm
    ^^There’s just no way you’re a real person

    ^^ and im 100% certain your a moron.

    and as always…..GO STEELERS!!! HOORAH!!!

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