Steelers don’t expect Le’Veon Bell to show up this week

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Two weeks ago, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reported that Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell would return to the team this week. The fact that Fowler later that same evening published quotes from Bell created the clear impression that Bell was Fowler’s source for the report as to a Week Seven reporting window.

Week Seven is now here, and Bell has yet to report.

Per multiple reports, which apparently were pushed by the Steelers to multiple reporters at or about the same time, the Steelers do not expect Bell to return to the team this week.

As of Sunday, the Steelers had heard nothing from Bell. The fact that the Steelers now believe Bell won’t show up implies that they have since heard something from Bell, and that the end result of the communication was that Bell won’t be showing up.

So what happened? One potential explanation would be (and this is speculation not a report) that Bell planned to return today, the Steelers informed him that the team intends to use a two-week roster exemption, the Steelers proposed paying him less than $855,000 per week while on roster-exempt status, and Bell decided not to accept anything less than $855,000 per week.

Another potential explanation would be that Bell has had a change of heart, which may have been fueled by the possibility that the Steelers were going to trade him between now and the Tuesday after Week Eight. If he shows up after that day, the Steelers won’t be able to trade him.

Bell has given up $5.13 million through six weeks. But he also has avoided subjecting himself to the kind of workload that would jeopardize his earning potential if/when he becomes a free agent in March.

78 responses to “Steelers don’t expect Le’Veon Bell to show up this week

  1. Another possibility: the Steelers suck and he doesn’t want to play for those losers. And yes, it was an illegal pick. Fire Cheating Goodell!

  2. Play hardball with this miscreant – even if the team were to lose, the team needs to sue him into the poor house for any and all money possible. He also needs to be taken to court in order to ADD every week he has missed to his current contract (even if one does not exist); he should be forced to honor whatever he failed to sign as that is the only offer he has from the team. I am so sick of spoiled snowflake athletes who get to extort a team to deprive them of the value they deserve in compensation for having said miscreant on the team.

    The NFL should ban all players who fail to go through training camp because this would make the player more likely to be injured during regular season games.

    Throw the book at this fool. Make his life absolutely miserable through lawsuits that would prevent him from being able to play for anyone else. He is already damaged goods. Time to prevent him from ever making a dime in this sport and to run up his legal bills as a just way to make him pay for being a lazy snowflake jerk.

  3. Just a guess, but I doubt that the extra $ he gets from less touches this year makes up for the $ he is losing by not showing up.

  4. People can crap on the Raiders all day. Atleast we don’t do our stars dirty. We coulda strung Mack out on the Franchise tag. Instead we moved him so he could get paid.

  5. Football Players get screwed.

    Every other major sport has guaranteed contracts.

    Football Players drop like flies due to injury.

    Football Players get cut constantly by teams not wanting to pay them.

    No American should ever complain about a player holding out.

    I Stand with Bell

    – Pats Fan

  6. I don’t fault any NFL player for trying to maximize their earning potential. That being said, Bell will never recap the money he is losing right now by not playing, and in all likelihood, has lowered his value.
    As a GM, would you really sign him based on his history so far in the league? This is not a QB we are talking about, but a rb which, while he may be one of the best, has only shown inconsistent flashes in between all the other scenarios,ie injuries, suspensions, etc.
    Unless you’re desperate like Gruden, his actions are making him way less desirable to have on a team in the utimate team game.

  7. How can anyone see what happened to Earl Thomas and not side with the players on these issues? Its does suck when its your team but these guys have obligations to people to. His big risk is a big injury before free agency and sitting these 10 games is the best way to avoid that. If hurting my teammates was the only way to secure my children’s future it would suck but I know what choice I would make 100 out of a 100.

  8. At this point, I don’t blame Bell for staying away as long as he can. Why risk serious injury which will jeopardize his free agent windfall if he doesn’t have to?

  9. yamchargers says:

    How can anyone see what happened to Earl Thomas and not side with the players on these issues? Its does suck when its your team but these guys have obligations to people to.
    =======
    Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas has career earnings of $55.91M over nine seasons, which ranks 136th among active NFL players entering 2018. He earned $10.4M in 2017, which ranked 2nd among FSs and 72nd overall in the NFL.

    I do not begrudge a player, or anyone, trying to get whatever they can in return for their labor. But if Mr. Thomas is unable to secure his children’s future (and that of 2-3 or more generations to come), it is not the fault of any NFL owner…

  10. Dont compare Earl Thomas and Le’Veon Bell. Earl already got his big top of market deal 3 years ago and hadn’t even completed the contract. Bell hasn’t received a top of the market deal since he’s been drafted and has technically hit ‘free agency’ twice but couldn’t leave because of the franchise tag.

  11. Don’t think Bell really cares much about winning championships. Steelers should just go with Conner and someone that wants to win and be part of the team.

  12. I hope Bell stays away, at this point, he would be more of a distraction than anything else. I have to laugh at Pats’ fans saying the Steelers suck, especially after the Pats’ D once again looked like complete trash. Right in the trash pile with the Steelers’ D. Stats don’t lie. Further, the Pats have bent the rules, and played right on the edge so many times, it’s not funny. So, in other words, don’t pick up too big of a stone, or you will get a hernia.

  13. As if the players aren’t getting hosed enough with non-guaranteed contracts, the owners also can prevent a star player from leaving and force him to stay with their team despite completing the contract.

  14. Le’Veon Bell has hurt himself in the free agent market with his holdout. His payday won’t reach what the Steelers offered him ,plus the $ 5 Million plus he will give away with his holdout. He is going to be a year older, already has a drug suspension and the holdout won’t be looked at in a positive light by GMs.

  15. @yamchargers:
    i’d agree with you if they hadnt offered Bell a lucrative multi-year contract…TWICE, both before and after playing last year under the tag (guaranteed $$). He wants more than the team has alotted to his position…not to mention his particular availability issues (health, suspension history, etc.). it’s a salary cap sport, and paying that much to a RB, QB, and WR is just not smart business. not to mention that we’re getting similar production from Connor and the offense as a whole…

    just because he’s a great player, doesnt mean that he’s a great fit for the organization. he’s obviously not willing to take a bit less in order for the team to be competitive at other positions, namely defense. that’s his right, and more power to him, but that doesnt mean the team has to play along.

  16. magnumpimustache says:
    October 15, 2018 at 7:07 pm
    Football Players get screwed.

    Every other major sport has guaranteed contracts.

    Football Players drop like flies due to injury.

    Football Players get cut constantly by teams not wanting to pay them.

    No American should ever complain about a player holding out.

    I Stand with Bell

    – Pats Fan
    ——
    Couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s their decision and their life choice if they want to sit out and be willing to lose money. I don’t get why it bothers so many people. It really must be something they strongly believe in if they’re willing to give all that up to sit out.

  17. Maybe a bottom feeder team will offer him something approaching what he’s hoping to get, but none of the top teams will. Almost universally the bottom tier teams that might cough up for him will have horrible Olines and QBs. He will never get the stats to justify a huge paycheck without a good Oline and QB.

  18. After he shows, trade him to the Patriots. The Patriots should win every super bowl until the end of time. After all, this is the USA and they are the Patriots.

  19. He may not make back the 5 million. But on the open market I bet he gets 20-30M, GAURANTEED, if he can make it there healthy. So he’s sacrificing 5 million to increase his odds of staying healthy, because a bad knee injury or a few concussions? Say goodbye to that guaranteed money on the next contract. He’s actually making the intelligent, safe bet. Yea playing all year staying healthy then signing that contract and he goes up from 30 to 37M or whatever it is. But get injured badly and yea he got his franchise year paycheck but that’s it. It amazes me some people can’t understand that, they are just blinded by the fact that he’s given up 5M so far. Most of them probly hurt Steelers fans or guys who will always work for someone else.

  20. Bell can’t get Todd Gurley money if he’s the second best RB on the Steelers roster. I think he’s scared because he realizes that he may not be able to take the starting job from Conner, and by not doing so, forfeit his chance at a big pay day next year.

  21. tommymomoney says:
    October 15, 2018 at 7:48 pm
    As if the players aren’t getting hosed enough with non-guaranteed contracts, the owners also can prevent a star player from leaving and force him to stay with their team despite completing the contract.
    ——————————————

    I don’t disagree. On the other hand, this is the labor deal that was negotiated by the NFLPA.

  22. For the record, the Steelers offered Bell something like a $10 million signing bonus and a first year salary of around $15 million. That’s about $25 million. People saying he’s smart to hold out for a guaranteed $20-$25 million must think that he would have been cut before week 1. Not likely. He was guaranteed about $25 million as long as he survived the couple of days between the time he signs (a few days before week 1) and opening day.

  23. Le’veon
    You are a 3.9 yards per carry back based on last year final totals. The league caught up to your delay style and you are a click too slowxafootvto make it work. You should just play slot receiver. Can’t wait to see which team makes the huge mistake on you

  24. What happened is that Fowler has been exposed as a breathless fan boy instead of being an actual neutral reporter.

    Not that he’s the only “reporter” in this boat, of course.

  25. There are 1700 players in the NFL trying hard to get on field every week and this clown demands $17M per year while he can’t even show up for work? I look forward to watching him disappear into mediocrity upon his return..

  26. No socialism. This isn’t Europe. You play, you get paid for entire season. Even if get hurt, you still get paid for not working fore entire year of injury. Players should not get paid in following seasons for not working.

  27. therealraider says:
    October 15, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    People can crap on the Raiders all day. Atleast we don’t do our stars dirty. We coulda strung Mack out on the Franchise tag. Instead we moved him so he could get paid.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This right here folks!

    …no one said the Steelers had to break the bank for Leveon…let someone else do it…but franchise tagging the man twice…? If you had just let him go…he could of got a similar 4 year deal like Gurley 2 years ago, been halfway to possibly earning a 3rd NFL contract…that was extremely classless…

  28. Bell has never been reliable and he’s proving it over & over every single day.

    This situation is more than players vs. owners. There’s a third part: the fans. And both sides have cleverly coopted the fans, but I think we should take ownership of ourselves back.

    As fans, we have certain expectations of players. Namely, that they play. Bell hasn’t played a lick of football since last year. He disappeared in too many games when he did play. He took himself OUT of a playoff game against New England. Maybe he didn’t want to get hurt then, either.

    Bell can be all about the money, that’s fine. But stop calling him the best RB in football. The best players ACTUALLY PLAY.

  29. tylawspick6 says:
    October 15, 2018 at 6:53 pm
    Another possibility: the Steelers suck and he doesn’t want to play for those losers. And yes, it was an illegal pick. Fire Cheating Goodell!

    Wow For some reason I thought despite your comments that you actually understood football and the rules. A receiver cannot “pick” his own defender. A pick is when you pick off the defender of another receiver, not your own. Once the defender engaged the receiver, the receiver has the “right” to break away from the contact. At best you could argue it was offensive PI, but since the action occurred within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage there is not offensive PI. So many analysts and referees have stated over and over it wasn’t a pick play.

  30. yamchargers says:
    October 15, 2018 at 7:26 pm
    How can anyone see what happened to Earl Thomas and not side with the players on these issues

    —————-

    Because Thomas specifically wanted the security of 5 years instead of a shorter deal that potentially maximizes his earnings. That’s the trade off that he not only agreed to but specifically sought out. He then blew off the Seahawks medical staff when he broke his leg the first time and opted not to get it surgically repaired even though the team told him he’s be at risk for re-injury, which started 2 years of one sided animosity between him and the team. Surprise…the doctors were proved right! And Earl showed his true colors when they were…

  31. tylawspick6 says:
    October 15, 2018 at 6:53 pm
    Another possibility: the Steelers suck and he doesn’t want to play for those losers. And yes, it was an illegal pick. Fire Cheating Goodell!

    ——————————–

    It’s hilariously entertaining reading this post from a Pats fan, where illegal picks are the cornerstone of his team’s offense. In fact, that’s how players with mediocre athletic ability like Hogan, Amendola and Edelman are allowed to excel there. Watch how defenders directly covering Pats receivers are constantly interfered with, unlike the Antonio Brown play where the defender who supposedly got picked wasn’t even covering Brown, but was engaged with and covering a completely different receiver. The refs simply look the other way with the Pats illegal picks because flagging the offensive on every pass play like they should be doing would hold up the whole game, so they don’t even bother, and would bring on howls of complaints from it’s fan base, plus as mentioned drag out the game beyond its time slot and effect advertising. The coaches know this so they keep doing it. The Pats are the Kings of illegal picks, and don’t you forget it!

  32. I do believe the Steelers offered Bell more than $30 million guaranteed, I don’t believe any team will approach that number after Bell sits out the year. Mr. Bell done cooked his goose, his boat be gone, he fixed his own wagon!

  33. I don’t begrudge any player from holding out it’s the only leverage they have.

    However, Bell is in a precarious situation. He is one bong toke away from sitting out a year. He’s only played two full seasons out of five years.

    He’s also holding out in Pittsburgh. They let Hall of Famers like Harris and Woodson walk and forces out Ward and Polamulu. They ain’t bending for Bell.

    The Steelers offered him basically $45 million guaranteed over 3 years. The last two years were bogus.

    He was asking for $17 million a year. He will be hard pressed to get that.

  34. rewan nayshen says:
    October 15, 2018 at 8:14 pm
    After he shows, trade him to the Patriots. The Patriots should win every super bowl until the end of time. After all, this is the USA and they are the Patriots.

    ————————-
    He would have to agree to his salary getting cut way down for it to something the Patriots would pay. Way down.

    And even then I could see him taking all of 5 minutes to piss off Belichick.

  35. I am a Seahawks fan but I see the logo on the uniform, not the name.

    If you really look at what Earl did this year and think about it, it makes no sense at all. It was a purely ego-driven. He was already signed to a big contract.

    Earl knew his leg was weak. He refused to put in a rod like the doctors suggested. His natural healing methods were nore important to him. Well look what happened. It broke exactly where that rod would’ve been.

    If the Hawks had caved and given him a giant deal they would be totoaaly screwed right now. Just like the Kam Chancellor situation.

    I agree that if there was no salary cap things should and would be different…but there is a salary cap.

    Bell is a Running Back…

    I would argue that after watching what happened to Earl Thomas this year the Steelers should just let Bell walk and think of it as addition by subtraction.

  36. Everyone can’t hate on the dude all they want but if Earl Thomas had held out as well he wouldn’t be out for the season going in what could be his last decent size contract. Him deciding to honor his contract to the Seahawks will end up costing him a lot more than he would of lost playing. Everyone always sees those big dollar amounts and think players should just be greatful but their careers are short and could be ended in an instant. Steelers have been grinding Bell in to the ground just playing the Franchise Tag game which is just renting a player assuming he is probably going to break down eventually. I don’t really like Bell but I think he is doing the right thing. 5 mil lost now when he can sign a Todd Gurley type deal next year but if he comes back and tears an ACL or something he is looking at peanuts compared to what he could have made.

  37. Jazzeppi says:

    October 15, 2018 at 10:01 pm
    I do believe the Steelers offered Bell more than $30 million guaranteed, I don’t believe any team will approach that number after Bell sits out the year. Mr. Bell done cooked his goose, his boat be gone, he fixed his own wagon!

    1 1 Rate This

    ——————————————

    If he doesn’t get hurt someone will pay him big bucks. Teams do stupid things all the time like draft a RB no. 2 overall when you desperately in need of a QB.

  38. all you fools saying he’s holding out for a big payday are delusional , I’d bet the house nobody will give him any guaranteed max contract, won’t happen . Those GM’s who handed out ridiculous contracts are no longer in the league.

  39. The media is basing when he shows up based on something he said to someone… (wait for it) — in the media.

    He hasn’t said anything to the team. And the way this has been going I’m not sure this guy shows up at all.

  40. Guaranteed just means whether or not they earned it or even bothered to try.

    In his defense, Bell isn’t under contract and the hostage tag is ridiculous, although the players agreed to its terms in the CBA.

    But Bell’s words and actions while turning up his nose at $30M guaranteed; $47M if he continues performing at contract level — demanding a low maximum snap total per game after sitting out camp, pre-season and at least half of the regular season because he’s afraid of doing what he’s making nearly $16M/yr to do — do you seriously think for one second once he’s locked up guaranteed tens of millions he won’t use the same delusional thinking toward “saving his body” for his post-football life and let’s think of his children?

  41. If he gets his asking price on the FA market next year ($20 mill) I’ll be shocked. He won’t get more then the Steelers offered nor will he have ANY more stat years like he did in Pittsburgh.

    I would love to see him on a team with OBJ and Dez Byrant just to see who the biggest cancer is…Matter fact send them all to Carolina to play with Cam Newton! Then lay bets on who says “ME” the most in post game interviews.

  42. NOBODY is going to offer this guy a 17 mil a yr or more offer…..NOBODY

    The fact is that he is a over rated, substance abuse violator that only plays for the name on the back of his jersey and not for his team mates or team.

    Pittsburgh has somebody to take his place….trade this self absorbed prima donna and get what you can for him….he will be out of the NFL within 3 years anyway

  43. Gurley hit the money Leveon planned for. But Gurley is putting up the nimbes. Leveon is on a box. Very few people will buy the argument he will out perform Gurley. The ceiling is in the market and I think Bell’s contractual high water mark will be the deal the Steelers offered him. The nearer it got, the more it was slip slidin’away. Gurley, like Bell in Pittsburgh has a top shelf online.

  44. And I’m having a hard time finding a job that pays $25 an hour.

    What’s your skill that gets millions of people to watch TV every week, generating billions in advertismemt revenue? Writing snippy, uninformed posts on the internet? Maybe 25 an hour is reaching for the stars.

  45. Todd Gurley got paid because he never bellyached about his paycheck AND he showed up to work. Bell found it disrespectful that a man offered him $14 million for 5 months of work (lol) and stayed away.

  46. Carroll Prescott says:

    October 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Play hardball with this miscreant – even if the team were to lose, the team needs to sue him into the poor house for any and all money possible. He also needs to be taken to court in order to ADD every week he has missed to his current contract (even if one does not exist); he should be forced to honor whatever he failed to sign as that is the only offer he has from the team. I am so sick of spoiled snowflake athletes who get to extort a team to deprive them of the value they deserve in compensation for having said miscreant on the team.

    The NFL should ban all players who fail to go through training camp because this would make the player more likely to be injured during regular season games.

    Throw the book at this fool. Make his life absolutely miserable through lawsuits that would prevent him from being able to play for anyone else. He is already damaged goods. Time to prevent him from ever making a dime in this sport and to run up his legal bills as a just way to make him pay for being a lazy snowflake jerk.

    Apart of the CBA, players have every right to do what Bell is doing since he didn’t sign the tag. So there is nothing Steelers can do but fight the roster exemption. Oh and this is nothing to do with being a snowflake. Nice of you to bring politics into this where it is not required. No the rules and the sport before you spew nonsense.

  47. NHPats says:
    October 15, 2018 at 7:07 pm
    He didn’t show up in the AFCCG either so his behavior is consistent

    268 7

    What’s consistent is your constant racial prejudice of Bell and Tomlin. from the looks of your thumbs up the entire NH Klan voted with you.

    The Steelers don’t need Bell.

  48. Bell constantly makes things worse by his actions/non-actions. OK, he did what he thought he had to do, right or wrong, and stayed away all this time. And all during this time, he has zero contact with the team or any of his teammates that have to fight in the trenches for and with him. Then he allegedly tells a reporter he is finally reporting this week. So the team and fans start to get ready for that to happen. But then, guess what? He does not report. If it is because he and the team couldn’t agree about his compensation if he is placed on the exemption list for 2 weeks, did he really expect the Steelers to pay him his full salary for not playing, etc?

    Yeah, I really want this guy to come back to my team. Not. I’ve tried to give Bell the benefit of the doubt, but I am done with him. Let Connor play. Please work out a sign and trade for this guy, get whatever you can for him.

  49. Honestly you have to consider that Connors success would indicate that at least some of Bells success was the Steelers. I’m not saying Bell isn’t a special talent, he is. But the fact remains that if someone else steps into that role and does as well then the system around the role does add to its success. But still if Bell comes back it would be interesting to see if he does find a way to still uptick from Connors great performance. Ifbhe does then it will show it is both the system AND the player. But in the meantime it can’t be denied that his replacement is tearing it up. Whatever issues the Steelers might be dealing with the running game is not one of them. Unless Bell goes back and proves it was him all along not the team then other teams are going to wonder before they break any banks. Bell might want to consider that the Steelers are the best deal fir him more then he might be the best deal for them.

  50. If Bell watched how the Steelers had to cheat with an illegal pick just to stay out of the AFCN basement, he probably wants no part of that mess. He’s a fine, upstanding young man who cares only about fair play and what’s best for the team. And if you believe that, Nofool would like to show you his MAGA hat collection.

  51. Carroll Prescott says:

    October 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Play hardball with this miscreant – even if the team were to lose, the team needs to sue him into the poor house for any and all money possible. He also needs to be taken to court in order to ADD every week he has missed to his current contract (even if one does not exist); he should be forced to honor whatever he failed to sign as that is the only offer he has from the team. I am so sick of spoiled snowflake athletes who get to extort a team to deprive them of the value they deserve in compensation for having said miscreant on the team.

    The NFL should ban all players who fail to go through training camp because this would make the player more likely to be injured during regular season games.

    Throw the book at this fool. Make his life absolutely miserable through lawsuits that would prevent him from being able to play for anyone else. He is already damaged goods. Time to prevent him from ever making a dime in this sport and to run up his legal bills as a just way to make him pay for being a lazy snowflake jerk.

    ———————————-

    So you want to sue a guy into the poor house and force him to honor a contract he didn’t agree to?

    … fine. You owe me 200 billion dollars. I know you didn’t agree to our new contract here, but I think you should honor it.

    Who even gets this mad over football players contract negotiations?

  52. Carroll Prescott says:

    October 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Play hardball with this miscreant – even if the team were to lose, the team needs to sue him into the poor house for any and all money possible. He also needs to be taken to court in order to ADD every week he has missed to his current contract (even if one does not exist); he should be forced to honor whatever he failed to sign as that is the only offer he has from the team. I am so sick of spoiled snowflake athletes who get to extort a team to deprive them of the value they deserve in compensation for having said miscreant on the team.

    The NFL should ban all players who fail to go through training camp because this would make the player more likely to be injured during regular season games.

    ——–

    This is one of the most nonsensical posts ever.

    “He also needs to be taken to court in order to ADD every week he has missed to his current contract (even if one does not exist); he should be forced to honor whatever he failed to sign as that is the only offer he has from the team”

    So you want him held to a contract that DOESN’T EXIST because it’s the only offer? That is pure legal brilliance. Should your employer be able to hold you to a non-existent contract?

    You don’t seem to understand the very basic concept of a contract. They are MUTUALLY AGREED UPON agreements between two entities. There is no contract here so there’s nothing to honor.

    And before you start spouting nonsense about players holding out and not honoring contracts when they want more money I have a simple question:

    Do you get just as outraged when teams cut players before their contracts are up? If not, you’re a hypocrite.

    Another nugget of legal genius here. Now he

  53. If I were stranded in the middle of the Sahara desert and the only thing I had to drink were the tears of Cincy fan’s I would be plenty quenched and I would water each cactus along the way.

  54. Art Of The Crowd says:
    October 15, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    And even then I could see him taking all of 5 minutes to piss off Belichick.

    Absolutely true. Made me spit coffee…

  55. 7timechump, please keep your enjoyment of drinking other dudes’ bodily fluids to yourself. Enjoy it all you want in private, but this isn’t the site for describing it.

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