The week-to-week wait commences for Le’Veon Bell

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Now that Le'Veon Bell has missed a regular-season game, the week-to-week watch begins for his eventual return. And at this point the thinking is that the impasse will end only if/when Bell caves in and signs his franchise tender.

The Steelers, by all accounts and reports, won’t be budging, either by offering him more money under a one-year deal (which they can do), by trading him (which they can do, with his cooperation), or by rescinding the franchise tender. So this ends only when Bell ends it, and he has until the Tuesday after Week 10 to end it.

So when will he end it? If he’s concerned about his workload, skipping games becomes sort of a reverse insurance policy, with the premiums being the checks he doesn’t get and the policy proceeds being the contract he signs in March 2019. Before harping on the fact that Bell is giving up $855,000 per week, remember that this is the gross. After federal taxes, state taxes, and fees, Bell is losing more like half of that. While that’s still a lot of money, there’s a lot more money to be made in six months, when he becomes a free agent.

Which leads back to question of when and whether he’ll cave. If Bell will trade one paycheck to preserve his body, why wouldn’t he trade two? Three? Up to and including 10?

Some may say the performance of James Conner, who had 192 total yards from scrimmage, will be enough to get Bell to blink. And maybe it will, but only because if Conner becomes entrenched as the starter, Bell can show up and collect checks without risking the 30-plus touches that Conner got today, and may get going forward.

In the end, Bell would be trading roughly $4.5 million in net income to avoid 10 opportunities to suffer the kind of injury that 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon suffered at practice last week — and the kind of injury that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have suffered tonight.

40 responses to “The week-to-week wait commences for Le’Veon Bell

  1. He should hold out. AP has shown missing a significant part of the year is no an impediment to dominating the next and Steelers can go ahead and keep Connors and pretend like he’s anything close to what Bell is.

  2. Ummmmm shouldn’t the bigger concern for Le’Veon be that Deangelo Williams was good behind Pitts o line and now Conner looks good? How dumb can this guy be, why is someone going to unload the brinks truck. Maybe it’s not him maybe it’s the system

  3. Connor went for almost 200 yards from scrimmage today in disgusting weather. Bell went for 45 last year against a poorer defense.
    I’ll take the guy that puts the work in with him team and plays big over the one that sits at home posting emojis. Go ahead and just tell everyone on twitter you’re going to show up for week 10 Lev. That way we dont have to hear about it anymore.

  4. Bell had a chance for long term security with 3 separate offers by the Steelers over the past two offseasons. He chose not to sign them, thus taking on a big injury risk this year. He wanted to hold out for a bigger payday, that was his decision, not the teams. To suggest they pay him more money this year is silly. They tried that a couple times already and he turned those offers down. You want them to make a good faith offer to pay him more than they have to, while he has done nothing more than he absolutely has to for two years now. Get out of herr with your crazy pro-labor nonsense.

  5. so youre saying Levon Bell is doing this hold out to avoid an injury like the one suffered by 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon (In practice)and the one Rodgers may have suffered tonight? Doesn’t that just go to highlight that an injury can happen at any time, and holding out 10 games does not ensure he will avoid an injury? He could get injured warming up.

    The steelers have a way of doing business. They will not renegotiate with a player until they report to camp, and unless they are signed. I believe by being consistant, they are letting players know exactly where they stand. Why would they offer him more money now knowing he is worried about snap counts, and that his intentions are to play for another team in 2019?

    In my opinion Bell should have bet on himself, signed and took the 14 million, then had a hell of a year, showcasing his talents for his next employer.

    Also I’m sick of announcers like Rodney Harrison talking about how the steelers players should keep their mouths shut over Bells money. Bell is not signed, so the steelers players are not doing anything to affect bells negotiations. Heck there aren’t any negotiations to have. Bell only has 2 options, sit until week 10 or sign. The steeler players are not affecting bells money. If anything he is affecting theirs by not reporting, he is affecting wins and losses.

    Bell intimated he would do the same thing as last year, skip OTAs then show up week 1. He decided not to show, and then his agent made comments about how Bell is worried about his snap counts? You don’t win championships, by worrying about getting injured every play or by worrying over snap counts. Arent players the ones always saying they cant think about injury during a game?

    I think Bell should be a man and just say when he intends on reporting. We all know he wont do this because he likes the attention on him, and if he gives a report date, then what will the sports outlets have to talk about?

  6. Hopefully PFT and others won’t talk about it every day of every week until he reports. They definitely didn’t lose, I mean tie, today because he wasn’t there.

  7. The more Connor plays well like he did today, the quicker he might sign the tender. The flip side is that Pittsburgh might start listening on offers for a trade if they can keep on keepin’ on without him.

  8. Bell is no longer young and won’t earn that $8.6MM back.
    The other thing is if he is out of shape and doesn’t play well, then it may impact his future contract because teams will worry that maybe he’s slowed down a little.
    I’m not saying this will be huge, but maybe it costs a little, like a couple of million in total because it scares away one of the teams that might otherwise bid on him.

  9. Out of sight, out of mind. Enjoy sitting on the couch Le’Veon. The Steelers no longer need you.

  10. old news, find a different story. maybe when he comes back, the o line misses a block and he gets blown up. good luck on the big deal next year.

  11. Let’s not forget that Bell averaged 3.9 ypc last year. The big workload was part of the reason his numbers were so high. I believe he had one run over 20 yards as well.

  12. Same song, third verse; and each year he reacts worse.
    Doesn’t he understand that other GMs are taking note? Has he listened to his teammates? That cracking sound is his relationship with them…and I don’t see how it gets repaired.

  13. Ummmm….federal taxes, state taxes, and fees are collected no matter how much you make. Adding that terminology just proves how onesided the bs lib propaganda is.

    If you do the math, factoring for the contract the Steelers offered with the ‘time value of money’ calculation (money received today is worth more than money earned in the future) & the limited RB career timeframe (aging player), it proves it’s impossible for Bell to get paid enough on a different contract to justify the delay. Bell is gettjng some really bad advice.. probably from an agent more interested in the NFLPA’s goals than Bell’s.

  14. I don’t understand Steeler fans at all. You hate Bell. You’re happy to move on with Conner. Okay. Great. I get all of that. However, your front office is just going to let Bell sit out 2/3 of the season over pride? This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. If you think you’re better off without him, you should rescind that franchise tender ASAP, before he signs it…or…figure out a sign and trade option right away.

    The current strategy potentially leaves you without Bell for up to 10 weeks, at which point you have to pay him franchise tag money each week, even if you don’t need him. Then he leaves after the season and your team gets no compensation. I do not see the upside of this strategy for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  15. The only problem is Bell already has a substance abuse strike. Seems pretty risky to give him too much up front. I’m thinking teams would want protection from losing him for a season. Therefore tying bonus money to actually being able to play. Insurance against suspension. We have already seen Randy and Martavius Bryant get hammered.

  16. #1 Great job today Mr. Conner. #2 Pull the tag Pittsburgh, let Bell find out that no team is gonna pay the money that he wants, especially after prima donna acts of the past week.
    BTW- not a Steeler fan.

  17. Regardless of who is at running back, Big Ben needs to stop dreaming he’s in the NFL and actually play like it. He has at least 3 of these games a season and the Steelers usually bail him out. Our defense played well but did not create enough turnovers to offset the QB play.

  18. Pull the tag already. Let some other team take the headache. He is not a team player, its all about me me me. Lets see if some other team will give him what he wants. I say bell is good but he was made by Ben and the O-Line. Put him on another team and he will be good but not as good as he would be in Pittsburgh. Time to move on and use the extra money and go after a good inside linebacker.

  19. Clearly Gurkwy has him spooked. When Todd signed that deal it set the bar. If Le’Veon wants the kind of money hebwznts, he better have better numbers than Gurley. Or. A whiny excuse why his numbers are not there. He has chosen the whiny excuse path. See where that gets him..

    Btw the team showed that a first time player in Conner can get Le’Veon type numbers in rushing and receiving. Maybe it has a bit to do with the other downfield threats (Brown and JuIu) the O line and Ben.

    I am sad to see a layer I really like turn out to be a weasel. I am sure the jets or Miami will overpay for him. Another Mike Wallace.

  20. “Before harping on the fact that Bell is giving up $855,000 per week, remember that this is the gross. After federal taxes, state taxes, and fees, Bell is losing more like half of that. While that’s still a lot of money, there’s a lot more money to be made in six months, when he becomes a free agent.”

    True. But then remember that IF he gets more money from another team, he will only get about half the extra money because of the deductions you mention. There is also the time value of money, meaning he could be investing more money now if he was getting paid and making more returns. The longer he holds out, the less likely he will have a chance to “make up” what is losing right now. I doubt any team will pay him $5M more per year than the Steelers offered, and after 5 games he loses that much money this year. I also doubt anyone will give him a ridiculous amount of guaranteed money to sign a contract, because of his prior drug suspensions and his attitude.

    Connor more than adequately replaced Bell yesterday, the costly fumble notwithstanding. You could do some of your readers a favor and stop mentioning the Bell situation every day since I can assure you that most Steeler fans are completely tired of it.

  21. Here’s a thought. Maybe Bell was smoking some of the funny stuff and he knows once he signs the contract he is subject to a pee test. Maybe he is waiting for the urine to clear?

  22. He is NOT under contract so he should do what is best for him, not the team. I’d feel differently if he had a contract and is not honoring it.

    Seems like most Steelers fans cant understand the difference.

  23. Only in this “me first” organization can one man cripple an entire team. Each week this wound is allowed to fester is more bad news for the hapless Steelers. It’s every man for himself which is why Little Ben will continue to pad his stats even if it means more picks. Meanwhile, Boswell is laughing all the way to the shank. Hee hee.

  24. The Steelers WILL NOT RESCIND! Won’t happen!!!

    Reasons they won’t
    1. Precedent- you can’t let every disgruntled player sit and pout to get their way
    2. Value- They aren’t going to let him walk for nothing.
    2a. Keeping him while he sits saves them money for next years cap
    2b. Keeping him and paying him x number of checks is essentially buying them draft picks
    2c. Keeping him is trade bait, even though I believe most GM’s wouldn’t trust any trade wink/nod deal at this point because he will renig after the season and want more.

    Let him sit, it’s only costing him money. It’ll be funny if he sits long enough the steelers will have saved enough this year to transition tag him next year. It’ll be even funnier if he gets injured outside of football before he signs and that $14.5 mil is gone. At least if he signed and was injured he’s still getting paid. If he pulls a McFadden and injures his elbow when he’s not under contract…. $0.

  25. Easy decision to hold out and wait for the big gauranteed money. He’s not under contract, so he owes nothing to the team. Get the $10-15m and risk blowing out a knee, or wait six months and get $30m-60m gauranteed?

    Imagine those options are offered to you. Would would you do? Wait for the gauranteed money or risk it all for a few million more?

    This isn’t a casino. You bet the farm.

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