Steelers remove Le’Veon Bell from depth chart

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From the moment the Steelers unveiled their online depth chart for 2018, Le'Veon Bell appeared on it as the first-string running back. Now, two days after James Conner generated nearly 200 yards from scrimmage in the Week One game against the Browns, Bell’s name is nowhere to be seen.

The team has removed Bell’s name from the depth chart, as his holdout lingers.

It’s unclear why they did it. Maybe it’s a way to apply pressure to Bell, via a “we’re moving on without you” vibe aimed at getting him to choose to climb onto the train as it rolls away. Or maybe they finally realized that Bell shouldn’t have been on the depth chart in the first place.

Although the Steelers hold the exclusive right to enter into a contract with Bell, there is no contract. He isn’t an employee of the Steelers. And he won’t be until he signs a contract.

When that happens remains to be seen. The reasoning that prompted him to miss one regular-season game (a desire to avoid being overused) should prompt him to miss as many as he can while still preserving his ability to become a free agent next year. Which means that he may be off the depth chart until the Tuesday after Week 10, the latest day on which he can sign the franchise tender and as a practical matter win his freedom for 2019.

96 responses to “Steelers remove Le’Veon Bell from depth chart

  1. The guy is a 26 year old running back and just passed up more money in a single game check than a lot of people make in a lifetime. This doesn’t seem smart.

  2. I think Bell will find the market very cold for him in the offseason.
    His antics have surely turned several tesms off.
    He will be crying COLLUSION soon.
    Good riddance, get this cancer out of the league

  3. good move steelers & if he signs week 10 make him last on the depth chart IF you make him active Since he only cares about himself not the team or his teammates

  4. I know its 100 years ago but there was a Steelers running back whose contract was up and the Steelers thought the deal was done only to have the player hold out for one more bite at the apple.

    Franco Harris. He finished in the witness protection program of the then Seattle Seahawks.

  5. James Kalbaugh- they could arrange a trade partner and then Leveon could sign his contract could he not?

    Obviously they can’t trade him until he signs it, but this is something that can be hashed out.

  6. Hopefully the Steelers us the 2 week roster exemption if he signs in week 10 and cost him 2 more game checks. Though those 2 games are the Jags and Donks so if the Steelers are in the running for a playoff spot or 1 – 2 seed they may be stuck playing him.

    If Connor keeps playing as well they won’t need to however. They can leave Bell inactive and good luck getting 17 mil a year with no stats from this season.

  7. James Kalbaugh says:
    September 11, 2018 at 5:04 pm
    Please ..Just Stop with the “trade him” posts…. and go read the rules on franchised players…

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

    He may be within his rights based on the letter of the CBA, but I have a problem with his regard for “the team.” I don’t think the team should be clamoring to put him back in the starting line-up when he finally shows up. That’s disrespectful to the guys who were in the trenches on Sunday. He’s shown where his loyalties lie.

  8. Bell is making the right decision. he is damned if he does and if he doesn’t.

    If he stayed and played, they would have given him 400+ touches….again. Going into the offseason the talk would be “How much does he have left after his 3rd straight 400+ touch season? and at 27?” and everyone would hop on the bandwagon saying he isn’t worth the BIG money.

    If he holds out..well, you see it’s the same thing, “he isn’t worth the BIG money.”

    At least this way he saves his body which will translate to a longer shelf life.

  9. “nextmanup81 says:
    September 11, 2018 at 4:58 pm
    Trade to the Bucs for two first round picks?”

    If they would offer one first round pick, I’d take that in a heart beat

  10. It doesn’t appear that overuse is one of Leveon’s problems. After the looks of the first game, maybe Leveon isn’t their biggest issue.

  11. I know it’s just one week but I wonder how 10 weeks of James Conner putting up Le’Veon Bell style numbers would affect Le’Veon Bell’s value. If that’s the case, a lot of GMs would be pointing to those numbers when they’re making their offers next summer. Might be in Le’Veons best interest to report immediately and beg for his starting job back before Conner has a chance to do that. If Conner shows that it’s the scheme/o-line that have allowed Bell to put up those stats, he’s going to be very sorry about passing up all this money to skip to a contract that values him even lower.

  12. I insist, the reason why the Steelers and Bell do not solve their differences is the agent Adisa Bakari. I agree that it is a sport in which you risk a lot and the money is not as good as in other leagues. Maybe Bell is right, but those are the rules of the game in the NFL today.

  13. 855k a week…. he must also be oppressed… dump this guy already. RB are a dime a dozen. Yea he had the stats to be called the best in the game right now, but perhaps his back up racks up another deuce this upcoming game then what????

  14. .
    when he finally shows up…
    dont pay him and make him 3rd running back.
    that will destroy his market value.
    time is against him…

  15. lebricks306yxe… Leveon would have to agree to it first and he won’t because any team trading for him by rule CANNOT renegotiate a long tern deal. But then people try to say the new team could have a wink wink agreement with him but there is nothing enforceable about that.Leveon will become a free agent at the end of the season. he wants a bidding war so he will go to the highest bidder even if its for a piece of crap team.

  16. and Antonio Brown threatened to beat up a reporter, but Nary a word here.

    It’s gotta suck being a gullible long suffering Bungals fan. Most of their fans have never seen a playoff win…..ya that must really suck….enjoy it Francis,

  17. Considering his ‘business decision’ to leave so much money on the table, is it too soon to start the countdown to his being broke 5 years from now??

  18. Purely from a business standpoint, it makes sense – he’s trading 220 fewer carries for $9 mm in today’s value for another half season later way down the line (after his next 3 year deal at $15mm each?) And he gets to annoy the Steelers. The problem is if he’s trying for a deal more than Johnson/Gurley, he’s not going to get it. A great RB cannot carry a team anymore if ever after whenever Brown played. A great RB makes a good QB better but that’s about it. a Great QB only needs 3-4 decent guys (Brady/Manning) to dump the ball off to and get a few yards when the DEF is tired in the 4th …

  19. robigd says:
    September 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm
    The guy is a 26 year old running back and just passed up more money in a single game check than a lot of people make in a lifetime. This doesn’t seem smart.

    ———————————

    This fascinates me. What people think the average person earns a year is so far from reality it’s a wonder. Just to give you an idea of how much people actually make, if someone made one of his week checks over the course of a 45 year work life (about average number of years worked), you’re looking at $19,000 a year. Most Americans do better than that. If you’re curious, the median income (don’t want to use average due to exceptionally rich people) in the US over a lifetime is around 2.6 million right now. That means 50% of Americans make more than that in their lifetime and 50% less than that.

    Finally, he’s not collecting that entire check. The US gov’t is collecting a good portion of it, so really Le’veon is giving up ~500k a game. Still a lot more than I’ve earned in my adult life or most people earn in a year much less a week, but definitely no where close to the lifetime earnings of all but the very poorest.

  20. robigd says:
    September 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    The guy is a 26 year old running back and just passed up more money in a single game check than a lot of people make in a lifetime. This doesn’t seem smart.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Bell and his agent are smarter than you.

  21. If Bell comes back the Steelers should have him return kicks. Future generations of players will be talking about that.

  22. Harrisonhits2 your absolutely crazy to think Bell wont get 17 million on the market if they bench him so he has “No stat line”. He’s a rb more mileage wont help his case and no one has any wonder or need to see in a box score what Bell can do.

  23. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Bell and his agent are smarter than you.
    —————-
    If Bell is smarter than me, I am in serious trouble as a civilian. He does have more money than me though.

  24. “What people think the average person earns a year is so far from reality it’s a wonder. ”

    Believe the average income in the US is around 50k. So at 855k he passed up what someone making 50k would have to work 17.1 years to earn. Taken over 10 games he would be passing up 171 years of pay for the average American.

    Its really really hard to be sympathetic to someone complaining about getting paid for 17 years equivalent for most people for a week’s work.

  25. robigd says:
    September 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm
    The guy is a 26 year old running back and just passed up more money in a single game check than a lot of people make in a lifetime. This doesn’t seem smart.

    ———————————

    This fascinates me. What people think the average person earns a year is so far from reality it’s a wonder. Just to give you an idea of how much people actually make, if someone made one of his week checks over the course of a 45 year work life (about average number of years worked), you’re looking at $19,000 a year. Most Americans do better than that. If you’re curious, the median income (don’t want to use average due to exceptionally rich people) in the US over a lifetime is around 2.6 million right now. That means 50% of Americans make more than that in their lifetime and 50% less than that.

    Finally, he’s not collecting that entire check. The US gov’t is collecting a good portion of it, so really Le’veon is giving up ~500k a game. Still a lot more than I’ve earned in my adult life or most people earn in a year much less a week, but definitely no where close to the lifetime earnings of all but the very poorest.

    ——————————————————————————————

    Wrong. Why? Because he will most likely earn a lot of money by investing a good portion of the money he earns as a football player, so you have to add that in. Plus, he’ll no doubt go to work doing something else — and most likely using his celebrity to get a cushy job. So you have to add that in, too.
    In short — if he’s smart — he’ll be worth more in his lifetime than a hundred other people put together.

  26. gustidos26 says:
    September 11, 2018 at 5:13 pm
    Just trade him

    ———

    When will you Mensa candidates understand that you cannot “trade” a guy who is not under contract with the team?

  27. Terrible Analogies says: “If Bell comes back the Steelers should have him return kicks. Future generations of players will be talking about that.”
    ===================================

    And no star player will ever sign with the Steelers again if they know that the organization will screw around with their careers like that.

  28. Obviously he’s gone after this year. As a franchise I don’t know how you don’t sign him by any means necessary & trade him. Sign & trade. Obviously teams know the situation so Pittsburgh would not get fair value, but anything is better than nothing. Even a 2nd round pick & a decent player……

    EXAMPLE Indianapolis desperately needs a RB so they send Pittsburgh a 2nd round pick with Jack Doyle, & hell since he’ll be useless Marlon Mack.

    Definitely keep Christine Michael though.

  29. cras108er says: “That’s disrespectful to the guys who were in the trenches on Sunday. He’s shown where his loyalties lie.”
    =======================================

    Every single player is loyal only to themselves. Tell DeCastro or Foster that they’re going to be paid just $75k for the season and see where their loyalties lies. It certainly won’t be to the “team.”

  30. Bell is hiding from living up to Todd Gurley’s numbers to justify a better deal than he got. Puts the whole negotiation on the Agent who will have to argue that Bell would have done better than Gurley had he not been in a contract hold out scenario … so give him $15 million a year for five, with three guaranteed.

    While some thought the Gurley deal set the market nicely for Bell, it really made it a living hell … he now has to hit some numbers … without OTAs, without training camp. So he has to hide.

    Sad he turned out to be a weasel.

  31. All the Steelers are going in different directions, grabbing all they can while the team implodes. This has to be the biggest nightmare for those arrogant, mouthy fans who finally have to eat crow cause that’s all they serve in the AFCN basement. Bell just embodies what this team is about: ME FIRST ME FIRST. Little Ben started it years ago. Then Brown the Clown. Even the kicker took them to the cleaners. He’s got his money. Why bother scoring any points?

  32. “Every single player is loyal only to themselves. Tell DeCastro or Foster that they’re going to be paid just $75k for the season and see where their loyalties lies. It certainly won’t be to the “team.”

    ——

    Pay them whatever you want, guys who are working and exposing themselves to risk will understandably be annoyed at the one guy who is supposed to be part of their unit (and making more than them, at that) is holding out for even MORE money. Imagine you’re a guy whose work helps your coworker look good, and you have to go to work while your coworker decides that he’s underpaid while he refuses to come to work in protest. You’d be ticked too. The only way Le’Veon’s case makes sense is if he’s the one making the O-line look competent, and that’s ludicrous. Those guys do just as much work as he does, but they’re showing up for the games while he does not. They have every right to feel disrespected, especially if Le’Veon told them he was going to be there for them.

  33. robigd says:
    September 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm
    The guy is a 26 year old running back and just passed up more money in a single game check than a lot of people make in a lifetime. This doesn’t seem smart
    +++
    The problem is most players don’t think like that. It’s all about respect. In player lingo it means lots of money.

    I’d let him sit for as long as he wants. Especially if the team does well without him. Then it will show that, while he’s an important COG of the system, he’s not the most important part.

  34. Wrong. Why? Because he will most likely earn a lot of money by investing a good portion of the money he earns as a football player, so you have to add that in. Plus, he’ll no doubt go to work doing something else — and most likely using his celebrity to get a cushy job. So you have to add that in, too.
    In short — if he’s smart — he’ll be worth more in his lifetime than a hundred other people put together

    ==================================

    man what this guy spends a year in weed alone must be insane, plus he HAS to be paying for studio time on his own dime, bc no self respecting rap producer would ever wanna make an album for this guy. when you said “if he was smart” i think you lost most of us bc we assume he is not.

  35. schmokes says:
    September 11, 2018 at 4:54 pm
    How often do you check the online depth chart for teams?

    ——

    If you play fantasy, it should be often.

  36. But he’s giving up $855,000 per game. And when he does show up, Steelers may use a 2-week roster exemption meaning he’ll miss out on another $1.7 million. So you’re advocating he misses 10 games ($8.5 million) plus 2 roster exemption games which equals $10.2 million? He then only makes $4.3 million before taxes and agent’s commission.

    What does he gain? A few less miles? I don’t think it’ll change the amount of money a team under the cap will give him in free agency next March, not after Gurley’s deal.

    So he should just man up, swallow his pride, think about his teammates who are his real bros, sign his franchise tag, and try to help win a championship, and ride off into the sunset with an amazing finish confident he’ll be getting paid soon.

    If he comes back know, be humble and balls out, then all will be forgiven.

  37. DaAngelo Williams was one of leading rushers in league when filling in for Bell. Then connors racks up nice numbers. Maybe Bell and his 3.9 yards per carry avg is overrated? Maybe good run blocking oline. Buyer beware

  38. The Steelers exercised their right to franchise him two straight years. Bell is exercising his rights. Neither side chose to compromise but most posters seem to believe that makes Bell the bad guy because he didn’t let the money buy him.

    Fan reaction isn’t logical. It’s judgmental. Judgement that comes from resentment.

  39. Bell may want a big payday, but he had to understand, based on his past off field behavior, he will never get Gurley or David Johnson money. Those guys are did who are also class off the field.

  40. I’m kind of loving how Bell is getting most of you so upset. I didn’t know one man handling his business his way would cause so much foaming at the mouth.

    Bell has already played out his slotted rookie contract. He is currently refusing to sign another contract for a third time that he doesn’t like. It’s his right and it’s his life. In fact more players should do this until the franchise tag is made irrelevant. The issue isn’t Bell. The issue is the tag shouldn’t be around at all much less 2 more times. If the Steelers don’t like this situation may they shouldn’t have tagged him for the second year in a row or maybe they should just pull the tag. But just like his running style Bell will be patient.

  41. The guy has suffered two significant knee injuries and a significant groin injury in only 5 years. And he’s had two surgeries. It’s not surprising he wants to avoid a 4th significant injury in 6 years. I wonder how attractive he’ll be in free agency when he’s chosen not to risk another injury and potentially given up $14.5 M to do it. Obviously injury seems a big concern to him.

  42. The guy has suffered a number of injuries and also has the suspensions in his past. I expected him to want to put down a really good season to set himself up for free agency. Instead he seems worried about another injury. I’m not sure that sitting out is the best path to a big payday, but the choice is his.

  43. I do side with running backs on the franchise tag issue, since they dont have a long career. But he is giving up way too much per game. He should have showed up in cleveland at least to get that 850k

  44. @ yoyojoemama… What are you smoking? I’d like to
    Know, so I can get some! Everything you said in your post is ridiculous! Family? A team in any sport & or teammates ( colleagues ) on a football team?! Are not your family, not even close! Yes, I played football in School & then Hockey for many years as an adult, until I had Heart failure… That’s when you’ll find out who’s family & who your real friends are! Bell is holding out to get paid for himself & his REAL family. The NFL offers the worst Contracts out of the big 5 sports! I’m my opinion… Every NFL player should have fully guaranteed contracts… Fully completely guaranteed Money to the very last Cent to the very last second to the agreed time ( years ) Dollars & Cents of agreed contract. I always laugh when “lol,” the NFL Network says; So and so signed a 6 year 100 & something Million Dollar contract, WOW! lol ( in small print ) with only 2 years fully guaranteed lol WTF? That’s complete Chump change! That’s what NFL players are making “ chump change “ in Comparison to FIFA, MLB, NBA players. The real kick in the pants is the NFL player should be getting paid the most amount of Money out of all the other sports. Their contracts should be completely and fully guaranteed. Regardless of injury and or bad performance! Just like MLB players get… Then we would see just how fast these Teams wouldn’t waive & cut players? We’d also FINALLY see an end of the NFL Monopolizing their sport! There would be a minor league system within a year or two if contracts were 100% guaranteed ( which the NFL should already have in place ) So yeah… Bell should ABSOLUTELY HOLD OUT. His body is his livelihood! Why would he risk getting hurt & destroying is Career? As one famous player once said: “ for who? for what?” He’s doing the right Capitalist American thing to do. Report when he’s mandated via the CBA. Then go sign with a Team next season that will pay him the most amount of Money possible. I hope he Squeezes every single Penny out of these Billionaires! Regardless if the Team sucks or not. PAY THAT MAN! The NY Jets could easily pay him 90 Million fully guaranteed for 4 years, EasyPeasy!

  45. “if the Steelers are in the running for a playoff spot or 1 – 2 seed”

    HAHAHA!! Playoffs?? How about they win a game first. Tieing the Browns in such an embarrassing fashion is worse than losing to them. Seems like you’re smoking the same stuff Bell is.

  46. If Jon Gruden was smart, he’d trade those picks he got from the Bears to the Steelers for Bell and sign him long term. At least he’d get some heat off of him for the Mack debacle.

  47. tigerlilac says:
    September 11, 2018 at 10:41 pm
    The Steelers exercised their right to franchise him two straight years. Bell is exercising his rights. Neither side chose to compromise but most posters seem to believe that makes Bell the bad guy because he didn’t let the money buy him.

    Fan reaction isn’t logical. It’s judgmental. Judgement that comes from resentment.

    ——————————————————————————————

    You could not be more wrong. The fans foot the bill for everything. Without the fans, the NFL would collapse. So — the fans have every right to criticize guys like Bell, who is so selfish even his teammates are criticizing him.
    All these million dollar contracts that Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Matthew Stafford got will be paid for by the fans. The cost of seeing a game, and buying NFL merchandise, and watching the games will go up to pay for them.
    I am a fan. I have every right to criticize Bell and all these disgustingly overpaid players if I like for being so greedy and so does every other fan.
    And I don’t want to hear how risky it is to play in the NFL, either. It’s their choice to do it and they all know the risks. Plus, I could make a list of risky jobs that millions of people do for peanuts compared to NFL players that PFT couldn’t print because it would be so long.
    Here’s the deal: Bell has the right to sit out if he wants. The Steelers have the right to refuse to give him what he wants. The fans have the right to take his side or the owner’s side in this. It’s all perfectly logical, to use your word.

  48. He comes in a the last minute, team is probably ready for a playoff run, and the Steelers run him into the dirt. They will put a whole season of mileage on his body this season.

  49. Good, so now just cut him. I can think of at least 3 teams off the bat that are an all pro RB away from being SB contenders who would jump all over it. So since Pitt has found an all pro replacement (sarcasm), cut him and move on or just shut up and wait till week 10 when he comes back.

  50. If Bell is so easily replaced, as some fans state:

    1. Why did the Steelers offer him $14MM+?

    2. Why didn’t the Steelers trade him instead of franchising him?

    The proposition that Bell is easy to replace is contradicted by the facts.

  51. nyneal, you’re letting emotions, not logic, control your commentary. I didn’t say you didn’t have the right to criticize Bell. Nor did I say you don’t have the right to take the owner’s side.

    All of what you wrote supports that you are judging Bell because you resent that he is not subject to the same life imperatives that you and many working Americans are subject. Bell had a binary choice, accept or not accept signing the franchise tag. He made his choice. A very logical choice given his options. He doesn’t owe you or the Steelers fans anything. The franchise had an ability to cut ties with him through a trade or an outright release. They tried to force his hand and it didn’t work. They could still rescind the franchise tender but they aren’t, are they?

  52. “Yet you can sympathize with an owner of a sports team that makes 50x more than the player? Dude is worth more, hence the franchise tag, now it’s too much??”

    —–

    Maybe we’re sympathizing with the other players who Bell thinks are less important as people than he is?

  53. Enough with the sentimental “loyalty to the team” nonsense. The NFL is a business and the Steelers would dump him in a heartbeat if they felt it was worth it without a single thought about loyalty. The man’s only concern rightfully should be getting as much money as he can before his body gives up.

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