Will Steelers seek a roster exemption for Le’Veon Bell?

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Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell reportedly plans to show up next week, signing his franchise tender and rejoining the team. But two important issues must be resolved before he can put pen to paper.

First, the Steelers must decide whether they’ll seek a roster exemption for Bell. Second, if they do, the Steelers and Bell will have to reach a written agreement as to what he’ll be paid while on roster-exempt status.

As explained at the time, once the roster cuts to 53 occur, a franchise-tagged player and his team must agree in writing to his compensation while on roster-exempt status before he signs the tender. If they can’t strike a deal, the player’s only option is to not sign the tender.

In early September, before it became clear Bell wouldn’t be showing up before the first game of the regular season, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that he believes the Steelers already had applied for a roster exemption for Bell. Team spokesman Burt Lauten then informed the media that the team believes it can’t apply for a roster exemption until Bell signs the tender.

But the tender can’t be signed until there’s a written agreement as to what Bell would receive while exempt from the roster, for up to two weeks. So the dog may end up chasing it’s tail on this one, soon.

Meanwhile, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has raised a good point regarding Bell’s overall situation. If there’s going to be a two-week roster exemption (and, possibly, reduced pay for Bell), Bell should sign the tender on Friday and make his Week Six game check (whatever it may be) the first of two checks that may be lower than the $855,000 per week he’s due to make under the rules of the franchise tag.

Whenever Bell plans to sign the tender, the process may be more complicated than simply showing up and securing the right to $855,000 per week for the balance of the season. The roster exemption issue will need to be addressed, with his compensation for those two weeks the biggest wild card.

56 responses to “Will Steelers seek a roster exemption for Le’Veon Bell?

  1. Would the roster exception cause the contract to not toll or however it’s put? I mean, would it cause the Steelers to be able to franchise Bell next season as the 2nd franchise rather than the third?

  2. Get him to sign..
    Trade him out of the conference…
    I would try to get a 3rd round pick now with an option for an additional pick if he signs a long term contract with the same organization he is traded to.

  3. The sooner the Steelers can trade Bell, the better for everyone.
    The intersting tissue will be during the games when bell feels that he is being used too much and takes himself out of the game.
    If the Steelers were smart, they’d pro-rate his paycheck if he pulls that crap…and when the NFLPA complains about it the Steelers should ask the NFLPA to tell their clients to not QUIT during games.
    Then the Steelers should blast social media with stories about Bell quitting and how the NFLPA is supportive of quitting.
    Put the blame squarely where it belongs, on Bell, De Smith, and the NFLPA. If the media supports Bell’s side then label the media as quitters too.

  4. Does anyone think Bell is going to play All Out once he’s back? If he’s taken this much care to preserve his body/legs for a chance at free agency next year…..I doubt he’s going to go the extra mile once he’s carrying the rock.

    I’d let him continue to sit and force his hand. If that means you lose him for good….so be it. RB is one of the few interchangeable positions in the game.

  5. they won’t cut him because then they would lose the potential for a comp pick.

    i can see them refusing to pay during the 2 week exemption. He’ll still sign the tag because he needs this season to toll (count towards next year’s free agency). He is not a 855k per week upgrade over Connor so they may as well save 1.7m in salary cap.

  6. Dude has character issues. No quality organization is going to want him. His options are Cincinnati, Cowboys, and maybe Chargers… At way less than what the Steelers offered him.

  7. I don’t think the Steelers have a plan. They should, and they might, but it doesn’t really look like they do. Bell is going to be expensive, especially for a half-time RB. Trading him early would have been the best move, probably.

    How’s this for a crazy idea? Three-way deal. Bell to Bills, McCoy to Eagles, and draft picks to the Steelers.

  8. coachjl1978 says:

    October 11, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Do not understand why signing a free agent entitles them to a roster exemption.

    The commissioner has the right to allow a roster exemption under unusual circumstances, including for a franchise tag player who does not sign and report until the season has started. Bell is not a free agent right now, he is a tagged player who has not signed his tag contract.

  9. I hope they use the exemption and refuse to pay him anything for those 2 weeks. If he doesn’t like it he can not sign and his rights remain with the Steelers next offseason.

  10. TheDPR says:

    October 11, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    I don’t think the Steelers have a plan. They should, and they might, but it doesn’t really look like they do. Bell is going to be expensive, especially for a half-time RB. Trading him early would have been the best move, probably.

    How’s this for a crazy idea? Three-way deal. Bell to Bills, McCoy to Eagles, and draft picks to the Steelers.

    The Steelers definitely had a plan. They thought that they could work out a deal prior to the July deadline. When the deadline passed, the only trade option would be for a team to take him at the franchise tag price and then wait until the season ended to work out a long term deal. That is where we are right now. As far as your crazy trade idea, I would be for it if the Steelers could get a 2nd and 3rd round pick out of it but Bell has to sign his tag first.

  11. Putting Bell back on the field combined with not punishing Antonio Browns immature antics…shows the Steelers have different rules for different players…their organizations is now no better than any the Redskins or Dolphins…what a fall from grace…

  12. Bell is not allowed to sign a long term contract with any team, so there is little trade value other than as a rental.
    In addition, he’s not in football shape (he took a few games to get into peak condition last year).

    So a team that traded for him will get half a season out of him.
    What would they give up for that?
    A 5th?
    A 4th
    Certainly no more.

    Alternatively, the STeelers can keep him and actually try and make the playoffs.

  13. The franchise tag price should be the average pay of the top five or ten players regardless of position. If a player is truly that important to the franchise, that’s what it should cost. Limit franchise tags to one year and teams can negotiate under the tag until the end of the league year in March. If you can’t get it settled in a year, it’s probably not going to happen.

  14. skwackquackwoof says:
    October 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    Dude has character issues. No quality organization is going to want him. His options are Cincinnati, Cowboys, and maybe Chargers… At way less than what the Steelers offered him.

    ____________________

    Sqwack – Hello there! do you watch professional football, sir?

  15. People disliking my lack of understanding of the intricacies of the CBA is making me sad.

    On a serious note instead of just disliking it anyone care to explain whether it resets the franchise tag? Look at it this way, if they don’t agree and he doesn’t sign, does that not make the franchise unsignable and effectively allow the Steelers to roll it into next year? Does that not give the Steelers enormous leverage in saying you can only make 1 dollar for each of those two weeks and if you don’t sign you lose out on the franchise? Is there a minimum to what they can offer him? There are missing details to this that are extremely pertinent to understanding what’s going to happen. If you dislike it at least answer the question! Florio can you answer this?

  16. tinye67 says:
    October 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm
    Does anyone think Bell is going to play All Out once he’s back?
    ——————–

    Good question. The thing I wonder about is how significant James Conner’s play effects Bell’s furture payday? Can Bell afford to be the second best RB on the team if he’s seeking Todd Gurley money? Can he be the best RB on the team giving anything less than 100%?

  17. borbinski says:
    October 11, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    quit the mumbo jumbo play the game when under contracts

    ————————

    The entire point of this is that he’s not under contract until he signs an un-negotiated contract that he’s under no penalty or incentive to sign until Week 8 beyond not being paid for the time that passes while not under contract.

  18. >>tinye67 says:
    October 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm
    Does anyone think Bell is going to play All Out once he’s back?

    Of course he will. He’ll be 27 after the season and needs to put on a world class show because he’ll be looking for a big fat contract after the season.
    No one will pay that if he has a so-so year.

    His missing these games was foolish.
    I understand missing pre-season.
    But if he can’t show an amazing season of performance then who is going to pay > 15MM/year (or whatever he thinks he’ll get).

  19. cogitoergopackers says:
    October 11, 2018 at 2:08 pm
    The franchise tag price should be the average pay of the top five or ten players regardless of position. If a player is truly that important to the franchise, that’s what it should cost. Limit franchise tags to one year and teams can negotiate under the tag until the end of the league year in March. If you can’t get it settled in a year, it’s probably not going to happen.
    ————————————————
    Every kicker in the NFL would then hold out to get paid 15-20 million for that one tagged year.

  20. “If they can’t strike a deal, the player’s only option is to not sign the tender.”

    Then Bell wouldn’t become a Free Agent at the end of the year, he would be subject to Franchise Tag again. So, the team could opt to pay him $0 (if they want, but they won’t) and his only option would be to not sign it.

  21. truthdispensary says:
    October 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    “If they can’t strike a deal, the player’s only option is to not sign the tender.”

    Then Bell wouldn’t become a Free Agent at the end of the year, he would be subject to Franchise Tag again. So, the team could opt to pay him $0 (if they want, but they won’t) and his only option would be to not sign it.

    ———————

    That’s how I read it to but there has to be something to protect the player from being offered something incredibly low. Either hard limits to what he can be signed for, bottom and top, and probably an Arbitrator can rule that he was offered way to low, either while they’re negotiating or after the season that’ll free him.

    This opens up just so much more to tangle this all up.

  22. I believe the biggest problem with trading him, is that he isn’t under a contract to trade. He has to sign the tender, once that is done, he can be traded. And if he wants to be traded, she should negotiate that before he signs the tender. He signs, gets traded, problem goes away.

  23. Whats he gonna do when he get s there is the question! I’m guessing he goes anything but all out. This is a guy thats basically quit on his team for his own selfish reasons! Dont get me wrong, hes a great running back, but he’s selfish! Obviously he feels hes worth more that the franchise does! If youre headed to free agency, it seems to me that the smart move here wouldve been sign the tag and put as much tape together as possible prior to free agency. I mean, how many temas are out there looking for a quitter in free agency! He may be a fine back but hes certainly not the brightest crayon in the box and a pothead to boot! Yeah I guess that marketable! Dudes a clown and hes hurting himself, just too stupid or stoned or both to realize it!

  24. skwackquackwoof says:
    October 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    Dude has character issues. No quality organization is going to want him. His options are Cincinnati, Cowboys, and maybe Chargers… At way less than what the Steelers offered him.

    ____________________

    Sqwack – Hello there! do you watch professional football, sir?

    14 3 Rate This
    —————————————–
    I do, and I liked your comment (one of those up-thumbs is mine). I will try to elaborate… He has held out more than once, called out his organization in more than one rap song, not been in shape when he did finally show up, and been bailed out by his stellar offensive line. His signature hesitation-style of running only works if the line can block long enough for him to find a hole. Then there is the fact that the Steelers came to the table willing to make him the highest paid back in history, only to have it thrown back in their face twice. The only organizations that I know of that don’t care about character are the Bengals, Cowboy, Raiders, and more recently the Rams. I threw in the Chargers because their owners. Since the Raiders and Rams lack the cap space to sign him (and Gruden wouldn’t sign him even if they could afford it) that leaves the above stated teams in my original post… Plus the Eagles because Roseman is dumb.

  25. Love He Stiller fans that say Bell do ant play hard. Have you seen your team this year?

    Oh and have fun when AB is suspended for his non sense. It’s gonna happen. Then you will see how bad JuJu is with nobody taking on the double team.

    For a storied franchise you folks are clueless.

  26. 2 week roster exemption. No pay. Get yourself on the practice field and in football shape. At this point you are going to be inactive because you are not ready for the season. You dont like those terms, dont sign the tag and stay home for the rear of the season.

  27. 5th year rookie option and 2nd/3rd year franchise tags should go away. If a player is a “Franchise” player, teams should be able to get a deal after one year.

  28. And we have a winner folks for the clueless comment of the week, hands down! Eaglesmania!
    “eaglesmaina says:
    October 11, 2018 at 4:15 pm
    Love He Stiller fans that say Bell do ant play hard. Have you seen your team this year?
    Oh and have fun when AB is suspended for his non sense. It’s gonna happen. Then you will see how bad JuJu is with nobody taking on the double team.
    For a storied franchise you folks are clueless.”

    Clues for you, sport: A. It is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal suit. B. As AB said, he has proof of his innocence. C. Assuming he does (and there is no reason for him saying that and it not being true), you won’t be anywhere around to admit to being so completely wrong. You will simply hide behind your keyboard. Bank on it.

  29. As a Steeler fan, I am frustrated by the entire Bell situation. I do understand someone wanting to make the most money they can, but there are intangible values that Bell has totally overlooked, including the fact he is on a team that had a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl this year, a team with a very good OL, QB and WRs to help him perform better–those do not exist on most teams that could afford him. His attitude has been poor, and unfortunately I do not see that changing. Allegedly he has not contacted anyone on the team during this time, which is crazy.

    When he comes back, the primary options seem to be to sign and trade him, or play him with Connor. I think the chances of a sign and trade are very slim because Bell will have to agree to a certain extent with what his new team plans for him and as far as a possible long term contract, and the Steelers have to agree to the compensation. So the best case seems to be that he comes back, he plays well because he is playing for his next contract with another team, but he clearly will be sharing time with Connor. The Steelers could greatly benefit from that if both stay healthy, fresh and play well. Bell could line up in the slot position as a receiver with AB and JuJu. I am sure Bell’s teammates will be cordial when he returns but not the same if he was staying with the team long term, but I don’t expect much awkwardness. If Bell helps them win, they will be fine. If Bell comes back in poor playing shape, he may have some internal issues to deal with.

    I guess we have to hope everyone makes lemonade out of these sour lemons. But it has been a mess so far.

  30. And if the Steelers do not ask for a roster exemption, none of this happens. A roster exemption is for unforeseen circumstances. Bell has been holding out all season, and if he comes back on the bye week, they have plenty of time to adjust their roster. This story is a nothingburger.

  31. Le’Veon bell probably fought his parents as a kid because they tried to claim him on their income tax returns.
    Clearly, he is all about himself and doesn’t care about anyone else.

  32. Clearly, he is all about himself and doesn’t care about anyone else.

    Just for chuckles are you basing this on first hand knowledge from dealing with him and his family or are you just another internet smart ass looking for thumbs up. You sound really obtuse saying this.

  33. This is why I don’t get too high, or low, when a player is singed, leaves via free agency, cut, drafted, etc.

    Owners and players say they care about the fans. They don’t!

    We’re important as a tax base via whatever your city, county and state decides to tax you. Tickets, concessions, merchandise, building/renovating stadiums,etc.

    Most of these multi billionaire owners, and their team of businessmen/women, didn’t become that wealthy by making consistenly stupid, head scratching, money/business and financial decisions.

    They all care about the fans when it convenient, and benefits them.

    Is he a very good player? Yes. Maybe it’s time he’s some other teams headache.

  34. I just dont understand whats the problem. He doesnt want to play there, if they put him on the exemption…. they are saying they dont want him. Why dont they just cut him?

  35. Quite a bit of ink has been spent on this football player who is currently not playing football.

    What is RGIII up to?

  36. At this point in the season, and being a short term rental, the Steelers would be lucky to get a 6th round pick for him. If their intention is to trade him this year, they’ll have to package a deal including draft picks to move him.

  37. Jason Erb….your comment makes no sense whatsoever. If a team trades for him this year and fails to sign him for the following year, that team gets a compensatory third round pick next year. By definition of what the team gets back in compensatory pick…he’s worth a third round pick at the very least. And if the Steelers don’t trade him at all, they get a third round compensatory pick next year so why in the world would they let him go for less than a third round pick? The 6th round pick comment makes no sense at all.

  38. A two week roster exemption status won’t prevent Bells season from tolling. He’s merely available for the game just as an extra roster player #54 if you will. It just affects what said roster players pay will be since it’s negotiated and let’s the Steelers temporarily carry 54 players instead of 53.

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