Le’Veon Bell’s agent hints at concerns about workload

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Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell didn’t show up for work today, and it appears he’s worried about being overworked when he does show up.

His agent Adisa Bakari alluded to his heavy workload during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio today, though he didn’t say specifically that was why Bell hasn’t shown up yet.

“I’m not going to discuss our plan publicly,” Bakari said, via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But if you’re Kevin Colbert and you’re Mike Tomlin, and you have a once-in-a-generation type of player for one more season, what would your plan be? . . .

“You can read in between those lines.”

Bell has averaged more than 300 touches per year in five seasons, and that includes 2015 when he missed 10 games. Last year, he had a career-high 321 carries and was targeted with 106 passes.

Bell hasn’t signed his $14.5 million franchise tender yet, thus isn’t subject to fines. He just doesn’t collect those $853,000 weekly checks until he shows up. He can skip 10 weeks, report, and still earn an accrued season toward free agency.

That would get him to the market without a full year of wear and tear, which seems to be a concern.

“Le’Veon has every intention of making this season the best season of his career,” Bakari said. “That has not changed. That his intention — to make this the best statistical season of his career.”

That would be hard to do in six games, unless Bakari’s willing to count per-game numbers only.

54 responses to “Le’Veon Bell’s agent hints at concerns about workload

  1. You get paid millions of dollars and only have to work half a year. Toughen yourself up, snowflake and work.

  2. So… the message to the Steelers is that the agent wants the team to pay his client more money for less work? I don’t see that going over well.

  3. I’ve been wanting LeVeon to come to Detroit for quite a while now.

    But after all of this? Nah, I prefer a running back that will show up to get his standard less-than-100 yards a game versus a guy pulling $14M who cries he’s too underpaid to play.

  4. This guy makes OBJ and Aaron Rodgers look like amateur divas, scoot over, there is a new diva like no other.

  5. He has averaged the most touches per year since he became their featured back. He played out his 4 rookie 2nd rd pick rookie contract which by the way was peanuts for the production they gave him.

    Now this is the second year hitting him w the franchise tag coming off that rookie contract and Pitt still never gave him a long term deal.

    If the Steelers don’t like him holding out then they should’ve paid him the last 2 offseason. They didn’t do they the franchise did this to themselves.

    Bell and his agent have ALL the leverage in this situation and Pitt has their hands tied as their only options r too wait on him to show up whoever he wants or to rescind the franchise tag like what happened w Josh Norman and let Bell become a free agent.

    Bell can wait and show up week 10 of this season and it will count as a full season under 2nd consecutive franchise tag and he has no reason to show up before that.

    I am sure that GM’s across the league who are interested in signing Bell in the offseason would much rather c him sit out the first 10 weeks and save all the pounding his body would receive the way Pitt feeds him the ball.

    Bell is a RB not a QB so it’s not as if he is going to have a 15 year career so being in the position to hold ALL the cards as he doesn’t need to show up until he wants to he should use that to his advantage and look out for himself. He’s only going to get one big NFL contract his entire career which is his next one so screw anyone who doesn’t like it and look out for yourself.

  6. Wants a lot more money, wants fewer touches, and won’t report to his team?

    Diva with a capital “D”

    If I’m a GM, I don’t care what the level of talent is, I’m not going near the guy at this point.

  7. I don’t blame him as an RB, with a limited shelf-life, being put in continuous 1 year contractual situations. The team has no regard for his long term health in these contracts so they can wear him down to the bone.

    It’s funny to me that coaches are never allowed to get to the final year of their deal, but star Running Backs with a 5-8 year window can be forced into the final year of their deal 3 times (with the Franchise Tag applied twice).

    His holdout makes all the sense in the world.

  8. jturbo1402003 says:
    September 5, 2018 at 1:18 pm
    He has averaged the most touches per year since he became their featured back. He played out his 4 rookie 2nd rd pick rookie contract which by the way was peanuts for the production they gave him.

    Now this is the second year hitting him w the franchise tag coming off that rookie contract and Pitt still never gave him a long term deal.

    If the Steelers don’t like him holding out then they should’ve paid him the last 2 offseason. They didn’t do they the franchise did this to themselves.

    Bell and his agent have ALL the leverage in this situation and Pitt has their hands tied as their only options r too wait on him to show up whoever he wants or to rescind the franchise tag like what happened w Josh Norman and let Bell become a free agent.

    Bell can wait and show up week 10 of this season and it will count as a full season under 2nd consecutive franchise tag and he has no reason to show up before that.

    I am sure that GM’s across the league who are interested in signing Bell in the offseason would much rather c him sit out the first 10 weeks and save all the pounding his body would receive the way Pitt feeds him the ball.

    Bell is a RB not a QB so it’s not as if he is going to have a 15 year career so being in the position to hold ALL the cards as he doesn’t need to show up until he wants to he should use that to his advantage and look out for himself. He’s only going to get one big NFL contract his entire career which is his next one so screw anyone who doesn’t like it and look out for yourself.

    0 2 Rate This

    —————————-

    You might be the worst negotiator on planet earth. They have ZERO leverage, Once Conner emerged for them, it was lights out.

    Bell HAD leverage through the summer, but not anymore.

    How does losing 800K a week with Pitt having his replacement and saving on cap money, meaning BEll has the leverage?

    You Millennials are so uneducated when it comes to this stuff. You have zero experience in the business world, it’s hilarious that you think you do.

  9. I can easily see him skipping the first six weeks and the bye in week 7, then reports right before week 8, so he can’t really play, but gets paid, and then plays in the last 9 games, then hits free agency.

  10. We already know he won’t be in Pittsburgh next year – and this is mostly his doing. Connor is their future, not Bell so they will be focused on keeping him healthy. They’ll drive the wheels off Bell, and if he gets hurt? Business is business.

  11. jturbo1402003
    Sep 5, 2018, 1:18 PM EDT
    He has averaged the most touches per year since he became their featured back. He played out his 4 rookie 2nd rd pick rookie contract which by the way was peanuts for the production they gave him.

    Now this is the second year hitting him w the franchise tag coming off that rookie contract and Pitt still never gave him a long term deal.

    If the Steelers don’t like him holding out then they should’ve paid him the last 2 offseason. They didn’t do they the franchise did this to themselves.

    Bell and his agent have ALL the leverage in this situation and Pitt has their hands tied as their only options r too wait on him to show up whoever he wants or to rescind the franchise tag like what happened w Josh Norman and let Bell become a free agent.

    Bell can wait and show up week 10 of this season and it will count as a full season under 2nd consecutive franchise tag and he has no reason to show up before that.

    I am sure that GM’s across the league who are interested in signing Bell in the offseason would much rather c him sit out the first 10 weeks and save all the pounding his body would receive the way Pitt feeds him the ball.

    Bell is a RB not a QB so it’s not as if he is going to have a 15 year career so being in the position to hold ALL the cards as he doesn’t need to show up until he wants to he should use that to his advantage and look out for himself. He’s only going to get one big NFL contract his entire career which is his next one so screw anyone who doesn’t like it and look out for yourself.

    Ya that sounds like a real team player. I’m glad neither of you 2 play for the team I root for

  12. Huh? he has no leverage. He will be a 28yr old rb next year

    jturbo1402003 says:
    September 5, 2018 at 1:18 pm
    He has averaged the most touches per year since he became their featured back. He played out his 4 rookie 2nd rd pick rookie contract which by the way was peanuts for the production they gave him.

    Now this is the second year hitting him w the franchise tag coming off that rookie contract and Pitt still never gave him a long term deal.

    If the Steelers don’t like him holding out then they should’ve paid him the last 2 offseason. They didn’t do they the franchise did this to themselves.

    Bell and his agent have ALL the leverage in this situation and Pitt has their hands tied as their only options r too wait on him to show up whoever he wants or to rescind the franchise tag like what happened w Josh Norman and let Bell become a free agent.

    Bell can wait and show up week 10 of this season and it will count as a full season under 2nd consecutive franchise tag and he has no reason to show up before that.

    I am sure that GM’s across the league who are interested in signing Bell in the offseason would much rather c him sit out the first 10 weeks and save all the pounding his body would receive the way Pitt feeds him the ball.

    Bell is a RB not a QB so it’s not as if he is going to have a 15 year career so being in the position to hold ALL the cards as he doesn’t need to show up until he wants to he should use that to his advantage and look out for himself. He’s only going to get one big NFL contract his entire career which is his next one so screw anyone who doesn’t like it and look out for yourself.

  13. “But if you’re Kevin Colbert and you’re Mike Tomlin, and you have a once-in-a-generation type of player for one more season, what would your plan be? . . .

    I would use him just like any other player under contract regardless of the years remaining. If he’s collecting a check then you can bet your sweet a** I’m gonna work him. You see, you have to give something to get something (play for pay ***cough***$14.5 million***cough***). I’m so tired of both sides pissing in each others Cheerios.

  14. Once in a generation?

    Todd Gurley catches passes, too.
    David Johnson is pretty good.
    Alvin Kamara is also a pretty good, duel-threat RB.

    Kamara did something Bell hasn’t done, and that’s ball out in the playoffs. Bell’s not a big fan of January football.

  15. Cry me a river. They pay you almost $1M a week and you get upset because they will try to make you work for it?? What Bell doesn’t get is that he already has a lot of mileage and has been injured. I don’t see teams paying more than $14M per year for a running back.

  16. I’m sure Bell is happy to run his career into the ground AKA Demarco Murray 2014 Cowboys, just to appease his critics!!

    I thought Americans were all about the free market lmao

  17. I know this is not going to be a popular comment here, but I don’t think continuing his hold out is necessarily a terrible decision for Le’Veon.

    He had the most touches of anyone last year and there is no reason to think he would not have the most this season (barring injury). Particularly since he is essentially a rental this season, as it is generally agreed by just about every NFL talking head that he will be a free agent after this season and go to a new team.

    More touches = more chances for a major injury. I think major injury is his biggest potential hurdle to getting a big deal with lots of guaranteed money (aside from another drug related suspension, which has been a concern with him as well). His chance of getting hurt goes way down if he doesn’t play and I think he still gets a big deal even if he sits out ten games because there will be some team that thinks he is the difference maker that puts them over the top and pays him. All he needs is one team and with his talent there will be at least one team.

    Also, he can possibly prove his worth by sitting out. If they struggle without him, then his value goes up. Of course, that could backfire for him if Conner plays great (which is very possible because Williams looked great filling for him after looking finished and getting cut by the Panthers), but I still think some team makes him the highest paid running back next offseason even if he sits out and Conner does well.

    So while I don’t agree with his decision to sit out, I don’t necessarily think its a terrible decision for him personally.

  18. But showing up for the last six games is sure to show his next team how eager he is to play? Nevermind, the roughly $9 million in salary he’d lose. Does he thinks he makes that up? If he’s worried about over-use, the next team negotiating with him is going to factor that in.

    Bell has no leverage, and it’s not because of Conner. It’s because he needs to show up and play at least six games, or they’ll do the same thing to him, for the same salary, next year. And if doesn’t show up for 16 games, he’s hurting his future free agency, because teams are going to say he doesn’t want to win, doesn’t care about football, etc.

  19. You Millennials are so uneducated when it comes to this stuff. You have zero experience in the business world, it’s hilarious that you think you do.

    Some one claiming to have multiple graduate degrees wouldn’t have to berate the of leseeducation unlestheiclaifafadvacced basket weaving debts were use or they are. Very insecure about their intelligence like

    likee. #45.

    I think this commentor is very jealous of the many millennials having made their mark and money where all he has is an over used keyboard lots of hate and empty Doritos bags.

    Bell”s actions now are going to cost him later, but his concern is only about him which I can respect but it reflects poorly on him as a team mate in the ultimate team sport.

  20. Not worth the headache, not worth the money. His agent saying “he’s a once in a generation player” is ridiculous. Yes, he’s very good player but I can name twenty RBs off the top of my head that entered the league the same year as Bell that could’ve done the same job. RBs don’t win Championships. Ask Barry Sanders. The best RB in history (imo) Walter Payton only won because of the TEAM defence. Trade Bell, cut Bell, just get ride of that problem

  21. He does realize that he’s only one blink of the eye injury away from making his entire shelf life argument and moot point, right? It’s the NFL, you get paid a lot because career longevity is always a risk. There have been players who have injured themselves just celebrating, it can happen easily.

  22. 14.5 for one season, probably his last season as he’s likely to hit free agency. For that kind of $$, I would also use him as much as possible. I’d love to see the Steelers pull the tag. Bell should have signed it by now and be working towards being unrestricted in 2019. That’s great coin for a RB in today’s NFL.

  23. You Millennials are so uneducated when it comes to this stuff. You have zero experience in the business world, it’s hilarious that you think you do.

    Some one needs to try harder to disguise their jealousy of the success of millennials…..even if they don’t possess multiple degrees in advanced underwater basket weaving like Tylawspicksix.

    Bell will find a team next year but he wont get what the Steelers wee going to give him…..he is a set of Michelin’s with 60,000 miles on them….they’ll pass inspection but just pass this year.

  24. I’m sure Tomlin appreciates the heads up that this is definitely his last year with them.

    run his butt into the ground

  25. Okay, so let’s read between the lines…[Le’veon is concerned about the workload given he’ll be playing for another team next season and doesn’t want to jeopardize future contract negotiations. Playing too much this season brings a risk of injury or just wear and tear that will take away from his efforts with the next team and the much larger contract he plans on signing.]

    He’s clearly ready to dump the guaranteed money sitting in front of him, so let him and use it somewhere else.

  26. Did he really say “once in a generation type player” when referring to this guy?? Well…in the present generation Gurley IS better than Bell and Barkley will be soon enough, then there is Kamara, Fournette, we’ll see how Dalvin Cook does in year two. Elliott isn’t too shabby. Bell is not even close to a once in a generation type of talent. He’s not even the best back today!

  27. I don’t understand the Bell criticism.

    He has been the best RB in the NFL for years and hasn’t been given a contract. He played without any guarantees last season and carried 321 times and targeted for 102 passes and still doesn’t get the contract.

    Why should he show up to camp when he doesn’t have to? Why should he let the Steelers run him into the ground another season and then toss him next season?

    The smartest thing he could do is pass up the first 10 games – show up in week 11 and be fresh to start next season with a new team that will give him the contract he has earned.

  28. I would venture to guess that even the most die hard Steeler fan is starting to get sick of all this drama.

  29. “at this point just rescind the tag.”

    Nope, let him sit out for however long he plans to…and when he finally comes to the table to sign in order to get his accrued year in, THEN rescind the tag.

  30. For those of you not aware the Steelers did offer him an extended deal worth an estimated $70M and Bell turned them down and got tagged. Maybe they can trade him to Gruden for the two #1’s…

  31. Once in a generation type player? So…when Pittsburgh has to fill in for Bell when he’s either on suspension or holding out…and those SUBS put up close to the same numbers as Bell…how does that make him a once in a generation type player? Maybe it’s more of a testament to Pitt’s offensive line and Ben.

  32. steelers guaranteed him the right to do this with the deal they offered him, and now they are crying that bell is doing what they said he could do.

  33. It seems like most of you are saying he hasn’t been given a contract. He has been offered a contract, but just not one he’s happy about. 5 yrs 70 mil with $30 mil guaranteed isn’t chump change. Good luck on the open market next year. Obviously he’s more about the money than staying with a winner. Another Diva who is letting his ego get in the way.

  34. So let me get this straight. He wants a ton of money because of how productive he’s been. Now he doesn’t want to get as many touches yet wants more money? It doesn’t matter how much money he makes…he’ll probably be broke a week after he retires.

  35. I don’t see why people are so upset about the guy looking out for himself.

    If he hit the open market, he’d get the contract he wants. The Steelers won’t pay him what he wants and won’t let him get to the open market. He’s not under contract and plays a position with a limited shelf life.

    Why should he sign his tender before he has to and break his body for them? It would be epic stupidity to potentially sacrifice the rest of his career for a team that won’t make a real long-term commitment to him and is blocking him from getting the payday he’s earned. I’m surprised more franchised players don’t sit out the first 10 weeks: same pay for a fraction of the risk.

  36. If he’s planning to stay away for a few games, fine.
    He’ll need several games to get into football shape.
    Its one thing to have 4 down games and 12 great games.
    Its quite another to have 4 down games and 4 great games = 8 good games.
    A signing team may be a little concerned he’s lost a step.
    Plus, if they sign him, what happens in a couple of years if he’s not the highest paid player?
    Does he slack off?

    I can see showing up the day before the season starts, but he doesn’t have that many years left that he can afford to miss games.

  37. Love to see this guy just retire. Tired of his constant whining about only making a million dollars a game. I hope he gets passed over for the big money because the way he has thrown his team and fans under the bus.

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