Roster exemption issue looms over Le’Veon Bell’s return

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Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell plans to return to the team in Week Seven. Before he signs his franchise tender, there’s one specific issue of business that may need to be addressed.

If the Steelers apply for a two-week roster exemption for Bell, the Steelers and Bell will be required to agree in writing regarding his compensation for those two weeks, before he signs the tender. The labor deal, which sets forth that procedure, says nothing about resolving any disagreement that may arise regarding the question of whether Bell should get his full $855,000 even if he’s not on the active roster for two weeks.

So the two sides will either work it out, or they won’t. And if the Steelers tell Bell that: (1) they intend to put him on the roster exempt list for two weeks; and (2) they will only pay him, for example, 25 percent of what he’s due to make, Bell may decide not to sign the tender, after all.

It’s an important issue to keep in mind, now that Bell has made clear that he’ll be blinking, in two weeks. Over the next two weeks, Bell and the Steelers will have to figure out a small detail that could end up being a big deal, if the Steelers decide to drive a hard bargain with Bell.

57 responses to “Roster exemption issue looms over Le’Veon Bell’s return

  1. Given how badly the Steelers need Bell back on the field w/ their post season hopes hinging on his return I highly doubt they’ll play hardball with him, they’ll pony up the money. If they don’t decide and decide to haggle over a few dollars w/ him they deserve to miss the post-season then & if they were to fight over compensation with Bell they risk seriously ticking off the other veterans on that team who want to win primarily AB & their 37yr old QB who doesnt have many post seasons left ahead of him in his career.

  2. Every time I try to like Bell again, he does something that shows me he does not care about winning a championship this year and says things he really does not mean. He said he could play football “tomorrow”, wants to win a championship and wants to retire a Steeler. If that is truly the case, why doesn’t he report RIGHT NOW instead of sitting out another couple games? He has missed the entire preseason and 1/4 of the season so he missed all those carries he was worried about, and surely the Steelers could use his help to right the ship. But no, instead he wants to sit another couple games and watch his teammates work without him. He probably could have gotten some positive PR if for example he said he is tired of sitting and wants to come in and help the team win, and come in to try to play some this weekend. But him saying he is coming in after 2 more games when it might be too late to salvage the season for the Steelers, who apparently have to score over 30 points a game to cover for a horrible defense and who need a more balanced offensive attack to do that, shows he really could care less about winning and is only worried about himself and the money. So all his talk about wanting to win, wanting to stay with the Steelers, etc, is all BS.

  3. Bell is daring the Steelers to pull the offer. What other reason would there be for him to announce his intention to report in, I guess, 3 weeks?

  4. I predict the 1-14-1 Steelers will sign Bell for $100 million guaranteed over the next two years with the additional promise that Bell only has to play home games, he gets a private jet, and Mike Tomlin has to cut his grass.

  5. Ben looks lost without his RB1 in the backfield with him, the current run game is averaging 20 yards a game and their defense is so bad they have to score 30 points to have any realistic chance at winning a game–all signs point to one glaring need and I don’t think even the most obtuse of observers can deny that now.

  6. Le’Veon likes his money
    He makes a lot they say
    Spends his days counting
    In a garage by the motorway.

    Le’Veon will soon be selling cartoon balloons in town.

  7. I feel bad for the player that has worked his butt off and gave everything he had to the team that will eventually have to be let go to make room for this guy.

  8. I don’t see how this is Bell blinking. He has to sign the tender by week 10 to get credit for this year and ensure the Steelers don’t try a tag him again using the second year tag numbers. If he came back week 10 and the team uses the 2 week roster exemption on him then he might not get the number of requisite weeks to avoid getting the second year tag again.

    The purpose of Bell not signing the tag before the season was to:

    1. Hopefully have them pull the tag so he could become a free agent
    2. If that doesn’t work preserve his body in preparation for free agency next year by missing games.
    3. Put as much on field pressure on the team as possible just so they truly understand his value which he felt they took for granted.

    This is only business. And the games, we are brothers, all that sentimental stuff can remain on hold until business is taken care of.

    Maybe Bell learn how to take care of business by watching ownership lock out players last CBA not because they were losing money but because they wanted a bigger percentage of the revenue after signing that blockbuster tv contract. For some reason I didn’t see fans up in arms blaming owners for locking out the players and potentially cancelling games. In fact for some strange reason they blamed the players for being locked out and even went so far as to call it a “strike”. Fans. SMH.

  9. “The man deserves to be paid… period.”

    Exactly how is 855k a week “not getting paid” SMH

  10. Le’Veon, Levon likes his money!!!!Same old song. I like that he gets paid for the bye week and the beat goes on. Steelers are dumb tight wads they have already screwed this up. Sign him trade him for a 3rd rounder and hope to get a comp 3rd rounder. They have already passed the point of no return. Now with the Bengals and Ravens getting better they won’t make the playoffs this year. Patriot’s fan LMAO!!!!

  11. What happens if he comes in for the bye week, gets his check, then leaves and doesn’t come back?

  12. You people have a very difficult time distinguishing between your lives and what’s best for this guy. He might be an all time great RB and how many paydays will be receive throughout his career? The answer is 1, he will get paid ONCE, and he deserves to get his. How many of you are willing to work for a fraction of your worth? The answer to that is NONE OF YOU, so, how can you judge this guy for doing the same thing just because it’s on a larger scale? Did you see what just happened to earl thomas? I can’t believe he is willing to report after that, he’s making a business decision & risk to attain his free agency.

  13. So in essence, they can stick it to him. I think at this point the Steelers are done for him. They aren’t going to pay him what he wants–I don’t blame them–so they know he won’t be on the team next year so why should they do anything to cater to him. They can do what they want and if he doesn’t like it then he can just not sign the tender. Which means this goes on another year and Bell will likely repeat this next year. He’s not getting any younger. The Steelers hold all the cards now–not Bell–since they have already resigned to losing him. I bet Bell never thought about that did he?

  14. Question for Florio:

    I read where the Steelers would still retain the right to match any offer for Bell in 2019 assuming he signs the tag before they would rescind it.

    If that’s true, is that a trade-able part of a deal. A team could have Bell for rest of ’18 and know they at least have the last bite of the apple in ’19 and if that is true, teams might be reluctant to load up on Bell knowing his current team has that right?

  15. You all are a bunch of morons, getting on Bell for holding out. I don’t even like the guy but you need to look at it from Bell’s perspective. He’s an employee of a company that clearly values his services, but that won’t pay him what he’s worth. He can’t negotiate with other companies, and if he gets injured in the meantime, it affects his ability to make the same amount of money. How is he different from a factory worker or coal miner who’s trying to earn what he can before a workplace accident makes him unable to work? Next time you ask for a raise to get paid commensurate with your abilities, I hope your boss calls you a selfish prick and says “you make plenty of money to live, deal with it. why are you disrespecting us by asking for more money?” the difference is you can go find a new job to get better pay; Bell is stuck in Pittsburgh. I think you’d ALL do the same thing if put in his situation.

  16. Did the man produce? Yes
    Did he fulfill the terms of his contract? Yes
    Is it now a business decision for him and any team that wants to pay him? Yes

    So why is everybody walking around with tight panties? On your job once your employment contract is up, you get paid what you think you’re worth or you walk. Why can’t he do the same?

  17. All the peeps who support Bell’s position must support the position that any player in the last year of his deal that feels they have out-performed their contract is justified in holding out for a new deal.

  18. Those of you claiming “we” are a bunch of morons for getting on Bell for holding out, take a look at the contract offer the Steelers offered Bell this offseason. This contract that he turned down would have had him being paid yearly twice as much as the next highest paid RB in the entire league. Sadly, RB is no longer considered a high profile position that deserves a high percentage of the salary cap. That sucks for Bell, but Pitt offered him way more than a fair offer and he not only turned it down, but now he’s costing the Steelers regular season games and potentially a playoff spot. This hold out will not end well for Bell. What team does Bell honestly think will give him more than what Pittsburgh already offered him?

  19. I wonder if many of you actually watch the games? It’s obvious that the Steelers NEED Le’Veon. He brings an entirely different defensive scheme to the table. I can’t believe Steelers fans don’t see this. He’s too much of a headache? Well, if they don’t start winning, Antonio is going to want out too. He has stated numerous times that he only cares about winning, at this point in his career. Be careful what you wish for.

  20. I’m a Steelers fan, and Bell’s holdout doesn’t bother me. He’s doing what’s allowed under the CBA, which is heavily favored for the Owners. Having said that, just be honest. If he wants to win a title, retire a Steelers, blah blah blah – he’s not acting like it. He’s acting like he’s trying to cash in next offseason, and if that’s all he wants – I may not agree with his approach, but I don’t begrudge him either.

  21. The steelers have scored 16 second half points all season while giving up 71. Bell won’t change this. They’re only handing the ball off to RB’s 10 or 11 times per game and Conner hasn’t been bad at all in the passing game.

  22. Bell isn’t going to help that Swiss cheese defense. Anyone one that thinks that a couple more minutes of time of possession per game is going to make a difference in whether the Steelers win or lose can drive that thought out of their minds. When push comes to shove, the Steelers D can’t get it done. They have spent a lot of early round picks on D lately, with very little to show for them. It’s a combination of problems, not all of these D players can be this bad, coaching is a big part of problem. The only coach on the sidelines that should be safe is Mike Munchak.

  23. Putting Bell on the field sends a bad message to the others in that locker room…

  24. I can assure you that Bell does not care that you are going all keyboard warrior and defending him. He’s not inviting you to the cook out so just step away from the jock

  25. It’s not the total amount of the contract Bell isn’t happy with. It’s the guarantee he’s not happy with & rightfully so. His guarantee was 17 million. Todd Hurley’s was 45 million. They are low balling this dude. They will run the tread off this dudes tires when he comes back. Good move LeVeon. Your did your part! His teammates not supporting him was a huge slap in the face! Let’s see how Pouncey likes watching the playoffs. Maybe he can invite Antonio Brown over & they can watch together.

  26. Lock him out and let him sit for the season – he will be injured and become worthless if allowed back in at this late juncture. And he should not be rewarded for his extortion.

  27. Those of you claiming that “we” are a bunch of morons for getting on Bell,ke a look at the contract offer the Steelers offered Bell this offseason”.

    No one is “claiming” that you are are a moron, we know that you are a moron. The Steelers never offered Bell a contract twice as high as any other RB. Are you really trying to pass off that Bell was offered more than Gurley? You are a moron and a liar.

  28. This guy was offered a 2yr $27million guaranteed contract, all he had to do was sign the line twice. In comparison, David Johnson signed a 3 year EXTENSION with 30 guaranteed. Of course at week 7, Bell will have forfeited $5 million of his guaranteed money. If he’s in an accident tomorrow and can’t play, he loses all $14 million. Quite the risk

  29. Bell knows his worth and is savvy with his business. I understand football is a team game, but life is an individual one. With the uncertainty of playing under the tag there are too many risks, especially when you compile more touches than any other player in the league. He’s protecting his body and opening doors for players to command their worth and one has to applaud him for such. Earl Thomas, DeMarco Murray and the thousands of professional athletes who live debilitated lives after giving their all to this game makes this an extremely brilliant decision

  30. The RB position as a whole is way undervalued in today’s NFL. WRs are getting paid double what RBs make and they only touch the ball 1/3 of the time an RB touches the ball. Bell should be making more than what Antonio Brown makes, but in today’s league its popular to give WRs money and screw the RBs.

    James Conner is a starting-caliber RB. Yet if he hit the open market, he would probably get a 4 year, 20 million dollar deal. That’s WR3 money. Le’Veon Bell is on a different planet compared to Conner in terms of talent.

    Basically, my point is that I understand why Bell is holding out. If enough RBs hold out, maybe teams will start giving them more guaranteed cash, whether it be by shorter contracts or incentives. It may not make financial sense in this instance, since he is the first RB to take this route, but down the road it may make it better for future RBs.

  31. DadJeans says:
    October 2, 2018 at 10:06 am
    Le’Veon likes his money
    He makes a lot they say
    Spends his days counting
    In a garage by the motorway.

    ——————-

    Slow clap

  32. cardinealsfan20 says:
    October 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    Those of you claiming that “we” are a bunch of morons for getting on Bell,ke a look at the contract offer the Steelers offered Bell this offseason”.

    No one is “claiming” that you are are a moron, we know that you are a moron. The Steelers never offered Bell a contract twice as high as any other RB. Are you really trying to pass off that Bell was offered more than Gurley? You are a moron and a liar.

    ———

    And yet he still more than likely knows how to spell “Cardinal”

  33. I think if the Steelers have a trading partner waiting for them to sign him, they’ll pay for the 2 weeks. If not, they’ll take a hard line on him coming back.

  34. The Steelers have two games coming up to concentrate on instead of wasting time on this moron! Either sign the tag, show up and shut up and play! Enough bs!

  35. I don’t think Bell showing up in the bye week is blinking. He sat out 6 games and the Steelers season could be beyond saving by the time he signs the tag. He’s been just fine.

  36. firedog784 says:
    October 2, 2018 at 10:22 am
    I feel bad for the player that has worked his butt off and gave everything he had to the team that will eventually have to be let go to make room for this guy.

    ——————————————————————————————–

    you millennials think that you deserve to have a job just because you are you.
    it does not matter how hard you work to get or keep a job. your employer has the right to replace you if or when they find someone better.

  37. Bell likes to use Gurleys signing as a “see….RB’s can get paid scenario”. Here is the difference. Gurley failed 0 drug tests and never injured. Bell was arrested for marijuana and failed (to take) a test and was injured multiple times. Unquestionable talent but not QB money when you have a problem passing drug tests.

  38. He is not worth the hassle.
    Let him go.
    If the jets or buffalo are stupid enough to offer him a big deal he can go beat his brains out with them.
    A real team isn’t short-sighted enough to throw away that much $$.

  39. NHPats says:

    And yet he still more than likely knows how to spell “Cardinals”.

    Who are you, the guy’s brother? Someone whose screen name isn’t even a facsimile of a word shouldn’t be criticizing people. Of course, you’re probably dumb enough to believe that Bell turned down twice as much money as Gurley received.

  40. Bell’s highest contract offer only included $15 million guaranteed. That’s a slap in the face. Getting hit every play for 60 minutes 16 times a week doesn’t compare to your simple job.

  41. “If the Steelers apply for a two-week roster exemption for Bell”

    Didn’t you post an article about this a couple months ago saying the league had already granted them the exemption if they want to use it?

  42. cardinealsfan20 says:
    October 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm
    NHPats says:

    And yet he still more than likely knows how to spell “Cardinals”.

    Who are you, the guy’s brother? Someone whose screen name isn’t even a facsimile of a word shouldn’t be criticizing people. Of course, you’re probably dumb enough to believe that Bell turned down twice as much money as Gurley received.

    ————

    I guess I just get a kick out of a guy who can’t correctly spell “Cardinal” having the audacity to call other people morons

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