No Le’Veon Bell as Steelers report back from bye

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There were reports earlier this month that said Le'Veon Bell would be back with the Steelers after their bye week.

Well, their bye week is over, and he isn’t.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the disgruntled running back did not join the rest of his teammates when the Steelers reported Monday morning after their bye weekend.

At this point, it’s unclear when he’ll be back. We’re sort of assuming it’s not “if” he returns, because his goal is to get to free agency, and he needs to accrue a season to do that. That means showing up soon.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II said that he didn’t anticipate Bell being traded, and if Bell doesn’t report before next Tuesday’s trade deadline, that’s a moot point. But there could still be some lingering disagreement about whether he’d be subject to a roster exemption when he gets back, which would pay him less than his $855,000 per week.

42 responses to “No Le’Veon Bell as Steelers report back from bye

  1. Bell doesn’t need to accrue a season to become a free agent. It makes no difference if he shows or not. The Steelers aren’t going to tag him again.

  2. I think in the long run Bell is going to regret the way he handled this. I seriously doubt if he’s going to get some blockbuster deal in free agency next year. James Conner’s performance hasn’t exactly helped his cause. He’s been quite productive in Bell’s place which may cast some doubt on how good Bell actually is when they have a second-year guy putting up similar numbers. Add to that Bell’s suspension and injuries and why would a team open up the bank for Bell? These players talk about how short their careers are and they have a small window to make money yet Bell is willing to give up $855k per week? Doesn’t make sense. However, nobody ever confused Bell with a rocket scientist.

  3. It would have been funny if he only showed up during the bye week and then disappeared again. He’s like the Phantom of the Opera, if the Phantom had a deep love of bad rap instead of opera.

  4. “The Steelers aren’t going to tag him again.”

    Why wouldn’t they? It costs them nothing and it costs him everything. The tag doesn’t increase over this year if he doesn’t show, so the ball is in his court. The could theoretically screw him like the lions did to Sanders. They own his rights and if he decides not to show, that’s on him.

  5. I figured Bell would wait it out until after the trade deadline ((if he even shows at all))
    He’s never going to make up the 8 million ((PLUS)) he’s forfeited by sitting out.
    I think he and his agent misplayed this. (they should have communicated more)
    I also think the Steelers over played their hand. (they should have been silent when no comment was needed)

  6. I have no problem with Bell. Playing under a franchise tag is risky. If he gets hurt, there would be nothing for him next year. Some might call that behavior selfish, but that’s easy if you’re not in his shoes. The NFL should get rid of this franchising system because it leads to players not playing.

  7. He clearly doesn’t want to get hurt but the part he is missing it that nobody will give him a giant contract without having seen him for a full year OR if they think he won’t give his all. I’m sure tons of teams are watching this wondering what he’ll do once he signs a large contract with lots of guaranteed money upfront.

  8. udjets says:
    October 22, 2018 at 11:54 am
    “The Steelers aren’t going to tag him again.”

    Why wouldn’t they? It costs them nothing and it costs him everything. The tag doesn’t increase over this year if he doesn’t show, so the ball is in his court. The could theoretically screw him like the lions did to Sanders. They own his rights and if he decides not to show, that’s on him.

    It would cost the Steelers because if they tag him again, the tag amount counts against the salary cap until he would sign the franchise tag contract or a new contract. It would prevent them from using that money elsewhere, just as it did this year.

  9. Call me kooky, but I think this whole saga will leave a bad mouth in a lot of team’s mouth. I would not want to be the GM to hand him 15-20M per year to play for me.

    We will find out how desperate teams like Buffalo or Jax are to put people in the stands real quickly…

  10. Don’t mess with the Steelers LB. Your hurting your cause now. Show up, get to work and lets get this one two punch going. You can worry about free agency next year.

  11. Don’t mess with the Steelers LB. Your hurting your cause now. Show up, get to work and lets get this one two punch going. You can worry about free agency next year.

  12. skippernuts says:

    October 22, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Bell doesn’t need to accrue a season to become a free agent. It makes no difference if he shows or not. The Steelers aren’t going to tag him again.

    They can apply a transition tag on him which would give the Steelers the right to match any offer given to Bell by another team. If a team is willing to give Bell more money than the Steelers already offered him, I doubt the Steelers would match it anyway but it would make it very interesting if the only offer Bell could get was at or less what the Steelers offered.

  13. Everything must be done by the Pittsburgh football team to prevent this clown from ever playing in the NFL again and to enforce all of the team’s rights to him even in court.

  14. pastabelly says:
    October 22, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    The NFL should get rid of this franchising system because it leads to players not playing.

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

    This. Bell hasn’t always handled it well publicly, but I can see the situation from his perspective as well as from the team’s. As long as the system allows it, cases like Bell’s will continue to pop up. Can’t imagine tagging policies aren’t modified the next time the bargaining agreement is revisited.

  15. I gotta hand it to the Steelers ….they saved 8 million by playing hard ball with Bell. On the other hand, Bell has been sitting on his CAN for over a year…he might justify the 8 million as just a expensive vaction.

  16. Bell’s bad attitude, injuries & suspensions were already an issue for him on any new deal. Now it’s been shows (again) that teams can get a REALLY good RB in the 3rd round, and Bell was a 2nd rounder. Basically, that proves that Bell, like any other RB, is only as good as the rest of team around him. Having a QB like Ben, a WR like Brown, an Offensive line like the Steeler’s…ALL have insulated him from mediocrity. He’ll be good elsewhere, but he’ll never put up numbers like he has as a Steeler. Why? Because teams that are going to pay Bell the kind’a money he thinks he’s worth are ALL TERRIBLE, and will remain terrible after signing Bell.

  17. oreoflorio says:
    October 22, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    This guy is killing fantasy teams
    ——————————————
    On the flip side – I LOVE starting Conner!

  18. With the money he has missed out on, he could have easily bought a MASSIVE insurance policy against injury.

  19. Le’Veon Bell doesn’t want to come back just to run until his wheels fall off. Consider this:
    No back in the NFL has more carries this season against “eight men in the box,” according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats. Forty of James Conner’s 103 rushing attempts — 38.83 percent — have come under such circumstances. Opposing defense are DARING Big Ben to win it with his arm. That’s just how good Big Ben is. The defense has handed Big Ben every one of his 3 wins (and even the tie) this season.

  20. I’m looking at this from an unbiased point of view (not a Steelers fan, no dog in the fight). When a player sits out, I understand all of the complaints regarding loyalty to the team, bad for the game, hurts “your” team, hurts fantasy football. However, Bell has arguably been a consistent top 2 RB for years now. His production is directly related to the number of touches he receives each year (he also receives a high number of touches because of his ability to produce) – in other words, he is of high value to the team based upon his production and based upon how many times he gets the ball. Rather than sign him to a multi-year contract last year, they hedged their bets and decided to franchise tag him. Then this year, they decided to do the same thing. This is the team looking at his age and the “tread on the tires”. They obviously had no intent of signing him to a multi-year deal, meaning that after this year, he would be a free agent. Bell (last year and this year) realizes his age and wear/tear on his body and further realizes this is last attempt at a multi-year contract. While the Steelers are taking the cautious approach with no long-term commitment by tagging him two years in a row, they are also making it even more difficult for him to land a multi-year contract later (he will just get older and have even more wear/tear on the tires). The franchise tag does nothing but benefit the team and leaves the player powerless. Or does it? It seems to me that Bell is doing the only thing he can by holding out. In doing so, he is upsetting the balance of the team (yes Conner has performed fairly well, but Bell is much better), he is maintaining his health, and he is keeping tread off the tires. For everyone who believes he is sticking to his team, you are correct. However, the team is sticking it to him for the second year in a row. He played ball the first year, but not this year. As far as I’m concerned, turnabout is fair play.

    For those of you who say that the players should have never agreed to the franchise tag in the last CBA and the player should honor it, the same thing can be said for the team/owners – they also agreed to allow what Bell is doing as part of it.
    Yes, the whole thing is a mess. I am actually glad for that. I am not a fan of the franchise tag. Either sign the player or let someone else sign him. The next CBA should be interesting regarding the franchise tag.

  21. udjets says:

    October 22, 2018 at 11:54 am

    “The Steelers aren’t going to tag him again.”

    Why wouldn’t they? It costs them nothing and it costs him everything. The tag doesn’t increase over this year if he doesn’t show, so the ball is in his court. The could theoretically screw him like the lions did to Sanders. They own his rights and if he decides not to show, that’s on him.

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

    But they’d still need to reserve the potential cap space if/when he returns, be it this year or hypothetically next year if they tag him again. And its a huge distraction on team with plenty of other ones going on.

  22. If Bell sits out, I think he can be tagged at the 2nd year tag, rather than the third year tag (which would be cost prohibitive), so he WILL be returning.

    Best case scenario for the STeeleres is he returns after game 10. Assuming they make the playoffs, he’ll have 6 games to get into shape.

    The thing is, by missing so many games, and by not showing up in shape, he will not have a good statistical year. That could affect how much teams offer him, because he’ll be 27 coming off a good but not great year. Maybe it costs him a few million per year. Maybe.

  23. The best for his business by not playing is one thing. Fine. But the screwing with his teammates – giving potential dates he might return then nothing…. that’s where he is going to lose most people.

    Also this makes no sense anymore. He’s all about money, but he has already lost nearly $7 million dollars. He might come back and get hurt anyway on week 16. He might not come back and then who is going to give someone who hasn’t played in nearly two years a long term commitment?

  24. The Steelers are going to Transition Tag Bell, not Franchise Tag him next year. A transition tag is a tool used by National Football League teams to retain unrestricted free agents. It guarantees the original club the right of first refusal to match any offer the player may make with another team. The transition tag can be used once a year by each club unless they elect to use a franchise tag instead

  25. People need to relax and give bell a break. How can anyone survive and feed their family on only $800,000 every 7 days? I’m getting teary eyed thinking about how bell might starve to death trying to live on a measly $800,000 every 7 days. I’m holding back tears just thinking about the hungry nights bell and his family must be going through at the homeless shelter with only $800,000 to buy some food and a place to sleep. I feel sorry for bell trying to live on peanuts salary. Anyone know where he lives so I can send him some clothes and canned food.

  26. Not say that James Conner….a third round pick whose rookie season last year was affected by cancer recovery and injury…..is 2nd round pick L Bell. But if James keeps it up decision makers may weigh how much the Pro Bowl laden O Line, a HOF QB and top receivers weigh in on his value. Ben’s had receivers make big paydays like Wallace and Holmes and then end up on milk cartons.

  27. This team is so full of drama and distractions! oh by the way…who’s leading the AFC Central? You got it!

  28. Lev listened to the wrong people. He could have been the best Steeler RB of all time…worth way more than the extra couple mil he will be chasing in March. His legacy will now be a money grabbing me-me guy. POOR choice Lev!!!!

  29. bcjs0108 says:

    October 22, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    This team is so full of drama and distractions! oh by the way…who’s leading the AFC Central? You got it!

    Nobody is leading the AFC Central as that division has not been out of existence since 2002.

  30. Steelers should have used the transition tag on him this year. Given him the ability to shop himself and them the ability to match. I believe they didn’t because they believed they could get a long term deal done. They were reportedly close… The kicker of it is, now that he’s held out this long, the steelers will have plenty of cap next year to hit him with the transition. No chance he ever recovers what he’s lost this year, no chance he plays in the playoffs (assuming they make it) with the low income and high risk of injury. He’s in a very bad spot to raise his stock for teams next year.

  31. Here is a case study on how not to handle a tag on a player by a team. Kirk Cousins showed all idiots how to do it. The fact that Laverne LaBelle has failed to learn from the lesson shows that perhaps giving him credit for two brain cells might be too kind.

  32. skippernuts says:
    October 22, 2018 at 11:44 am
    Bell doesn’t need to accrue a season to become a free agent. It makes no difference if he shows or not. The Steelers aren’t going to tag him again.
    =========================================================================
    yes he does have to show or he will still be a year away from free agency

  33. somatg3 says:

    =========================================================================
    yes he does have to show or he will still be a year away from free agency

    ============================================================
    Nope, he is already a vested veteran.

  34. either get him back in the building tomorrow, or put together an agreement where he goes to to Arizona for Patrick Peterson, he just asked to be traded. could you imagine how much better the steelers would instantly be with him?

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