Le’Veon Bell will soon be flirting with roster-exempt status, and possibly reduced pay

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If the Steelers want to play high-end hardball with running back Le'Veon Bell, they’ll rescind his franchise tender before he can sign it. If they want to play a lower level of hardball with the holdout tailback, they’ll be able to do so something less than 90 minutes from this posting.

If Bell tries to sign his tender after the Steelers lock in their 53-man roster, the Steelers can place him on roster-exempt status for the first two regular season games, and his salary for those weeks will have to be separately negotiated before he signs the tender.

That could make for an interesting discussion, if the Steelers take the position that they don’t want to pay full freight for Bell while he’s on roster-exempt status. Would a reduction from $855,000 per week be enough to get Bell to refuse to sign? Would the Steelers be willing to do without him for two weeks of the regular season?

The other question is whether the Steelers would spring a request to take less on Bell as he signs, or whether they informed him at some point before the July 16 deadline for doing a long-term deal that if he shows up after 4:00 p.m. ET on September 1, they plan to place him on roster-exempt status and not pay him $855,000 while he’s getting up to speed to play.

Whether the Steelers will do it is a separate question from whether they can. Under the CBA, they have that power, just like they had the power to apply the franchise tag. The only way Bell can block them from trying would be to accept the tender before 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.

7 responses to “Le’Veon Bell will soon be flirting with roster-exempt status, and possibly reduced pay

  1. I am curious what happens if he doesn’t sign by 4:00pm? Do they cut the roster to 52 today, assuming he’ll be number 53? Do they cut to 53, and when he shows up, somebody gets bumped off the roster? (Whoever that is ain’t going to like Mr Bell)….???

  2. Bell threads’ comments are always a trip.
    “He doesn’t deserve to play for this storied franchise!”
    Meanwhile, who among us wouldn’t squeeze an extra 850k out of our billionaire employers given the opportunity?
    Sucks for us that we’re not that good at something.
    Steelers have the money. Other teams do, too. Good for him getting as much compensation as possible while literally risking life and limb every week of the season.
    Go Steelers… but come on, y’all.
    I know we all care a lot more than we should about our Black & Gold, but it’s a business.

  3. The only thing he can possibly be holding out for at this point is a trade. The deadline has passed for the Steelers to sign a long term contract, and his pay will get docked if he doesn’t show up by week 1.

    Either way, he is making at least two years worth of salary via the franchise tag that is fully guaranteed. If he was smart, he would more than happily play under the tag.

  4. browns will smash the stool samples all the way down that stinkin ass sewer.

    and one and two…..SIKE!!!

    GO STEELERS!!! HOORAH!!!

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