Le’Veon Bell leaves Miami; next stop, Pittsburgh?

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Le'Veon Bell is on the move.

Though it’s unclear where he’s going, a Monday afternoon tweet makes it clear he’s leaving Miami. Maybe, just maybe, he’s finally returning to Pittsburgh.

Le’Veon Bell has eight days to sign his franchise tender. Otherwise, he won’t be able to play for the Steelers, or anyone else, in 2018.

Due to earn $855,000 per game, the Steelers have the right to place Bell on roster-exempt status for two weeks — and in turn to pay him less than his franchise tender. Per the labor deal, the Steelers and Bell are required to agree in writing as to the salary he’ll receive on roster-exempt status.

This week, with the Steelers playing on Thursday night against the Panthers, the team surely won’t be inclined to pay him $855,000 in return for nothing. Which means that if Bell (who already may know that the Steelers intend to pay him much less than $855,000 per week for the first two weeks) is returning to Pittsburgh, he knows the terms that the team is offering — and he’s prepared to accept them.

88 responses to “Le’Veon Bell leaves Miami; next stop, Pittsburgh?

  1. 855k x 6 weeks = 5.13 million (a little over 9 million rolls over to the Steelers 2019 salary cap)

    9 million from 2018
    14.55 freed up from 2018 to 2019 by not tagging Bell again
    8 million freed up after Shazier’s final year
    —————-
    32 million Steelers have instantly available in the off season to sign a FA or two and to extend veterans without needing to backload the contracts

    Won’t need to worry about extending Conner until after 2019.

    NICE !!

  2. Somebody will pay him. But no where near what he thinks he’s worth. He is gonna wish he had the 8 million he left on table this year.

  3. Even if he reports they aren’t gonna just bench Conner Bell doesn’t wanna play he wants to get a contract.

  4. Stay away bell. You’re not needed. Steelers have replaced you with a better , younger and alot cheaper rb who’s one of the best in the nfl this year and he’s a classy guy and a team player.

  5. Nah, probably back to Groveport. Hey Le’Veon, come to the west side, I’ll buy you a beer!

    Seriously though, he’s probably going to East Lansing for the MSU vs OSU game this weekend.

  6. No need to worry. He will show up, the Steelers will slap him with the 2 week roster exemption, he will play a few snaps in the Broncos game, and then go down with a mystery muscle strain. Doesn’t sound too far fetched to me. He isn’t going to play second fiddle to Conner, and no way should the Steelers, for more reasons than on field production, turn away from Conner.

  7. the Steelers will not rescind the tag.
    the Steelers will not walk away from a potential 3rd round comp pick.
    Also, if Conners would happen to get injured down the stretch or in the playoffs Bell could be an excellent Plan B.

  8. Of all of the positions in football where you need to be active for a limited amount of time to get compensated well, he chooses the prime of his career to make a stand that virtually no one supports.

  9. bluecat013 says:
    November 5, 2018 at 4:18 pm
    Why would any team want a player who doesn’t want to play?

    ————

    This would appear to be the pivotal question. Remember when Bell and the Steelers played the Pats in the AFCCG? Bell wanted to play….but after getting stuffed and smacked a few times he took himself out of the game because he didn’t want to play anymore.

    The Steelers would be smart to roll with Connor and keep Bell as his backup. Unless Connor gets hurt, sit Bell and have him play special teams.

  10. It’s interesting to think about whether the Steeler’s after all this will rescind the tag as opposed to pay Bell $7.5 million to be Connor’s backup.

    What happens if Bell and the team do not agree on a number? I’m not sure why Bell would agree to anything less than $855,000 per week regardless if he’s active or not. Can he sign the tag before the issue with the 2 weeks of inactive pay gets negotiated? If Steeler’s hold the cards as far as inactive pay will be interesting to see how Bell impacts the team as far as effort and as far as being a part of the locker room.

    I really wonder if the Steelers may just decided to rescind the tag after all. And I wonder if Leveon is going to play any playoff games.

  11. TruthfulDolphinsFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    November 5, 2018 at 4:12 pm
    Most overrated running back in the last 20 years easily.
    ———————————-

    Among a host of others Trent Richardson and Jay Ajayi send their regards. Say what you will about Bell’s business acumen and personal judgement or the relative cap value of the position but calling him overrated is preposterous, whatever his faults the man can ball.

  12. A few things, rescinding the tag does nothing for the team,except cost them a 3rd comp pick. The $ saved does no good this year. No free agents worth signing now, and the team doesn’t do extensions in season. So pay him, bench him… if Conner gets hurt you have back up.

  13. “the Steelers will not rescind the tag.
    the Steelers will not walk away from a potential 3rd round comp pick.
    Also, if Conners would happen to get injured down the stretch or in the playoffs Bell could be an excellent Plan B.”

    Question is, is a late 3rd round pick worth about 5 million dollars? I dunno, it’s close. I’d love to see the Steelers say thanks, but no thanks, though.

  14. nevyn49 says:
    November 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm
    Nice to give the Steelers fair warning to rescind the tag.

    ——–
    That’s a spectacular idea. Rescind the tag right now and make him an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team. The Steelers should absolutely do that right now.

    Signed,

    The New England Patriots

  15. I just saw him boarding a Greyhound bus headed north…apparently money is tight after missing 8 weeks of work.

  16. @lukedunphysscienceproject

    What on earth makes you think the Pats would offer a deal Bell would take? He sat out 9 weeks from the Steelers at 855k per week.

    Pats would not offer him guarantees nor anywhere near that salary.

    And no, I don’t seriously think they’ll rescind the tag. If they werent net fa buyers this year and could still get a comp pick though it would be worth debating.

  17. waynefontesismyfather says:
    November 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm
    Sit him. DO NOT PLAY HIM. Let some other team overpay for him this off season. Dude is straight up worse than cancer.

    ———

    You’re paying him regardless. And he needs to perform if played to get his FA deal.

    Personally I’d give it a week or two and then ride him into the ground. Put mileage on the tires you won’t use next year. If he starts loafing or faking injuries, Conner can go back in.

  18. nevyn49 says:
    November 5, 2018 at 5:01 pm
    @lukedunphysscienceproject

    What on earth makes you think the Pats would offer a deal Bell would take? He sat out 9 weeks from the Steelers at 855k per week.

    Pats would not offer him guarantees nor anywhere near that salary.

    And no, I don’t seriously think they’ll rescind the tag. If they werent net fa buyers this year and could still get a comp pick though it would be worth debating.
    ======
    What on earth makes you think Bell wouldn’t take a lesser deal that runs through the end of the season for a shot at a ring and a chance to polish his image in time for free agency in 2019?

  19. I cant believe how many people are trying to convince themselves that Connor is anywhere near Bell. I am not a Bell fan and as an all time Tomlinson fan I just generally don’t like other great backs. But Bell is special. Connor is not. End of conversation.

  20. I’m surprised no one noticed that Bell doesn’t know how to spell. He wrote “fairwell” instead of “farewell”.

  21. Question – Could the Steelers use the two week roster exemption and then suspend him for conduct detrimental to the the team for four weeks (for the hold out). that gets them to week 16 and which point they could cut him if Conner does not get hurt. And more importantly I will have won my fantasy championship with my shrewd 12th round pick of Conner

  22. At this point, it’s not even the comp pick or the money. Steelers will not rescind the tag and allow bell to sign anywhere he wants. The patriots certainly could use a RB right now, and I don’t think Pittsburgh wants to help out a direct competitor!

    It’s similar to the James Harrison situation last season, though Bell would be much more valuable to NE at this time than Harrison was to them last year.

  23. yamchargers says:
    November 5, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I cant believe how many people are trying to convince themselves that Connor is anywhere near Bell. I am not a Bell fan and as an all time Tomlinson fan I just generally don’t like other great backs. But Bell is special. Connor is not. End of conversation.

    ===========

    Special? Bell looks great on film and generates numbers in isolation, but the end results always come up small.

    Suspensions, injuries, holdouts, and then not making the difference at the end of the season – he’s shown he can’t be counted on and won’t make the difference.

  24. Question is, is a late 3rd round pick worth about 5 million dollars? I dunno, it’s close. I’d love to see the Steelers say thanks, but no thanks, though

    Of course it’s worth it. They either rescind and gain 5 million in cap space for 8 weeks, which won’t be used; or they let him come back, use him as they see fit, and get a pick next year. Maybe in a vacuum a third round pick isnt 5 million, but given the circumstances its the best possible outcome

  25. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    November 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    What on earth makes you think Bell wouldn’t take a lesser deal that runs through the end of the season for a shot at a ring and a chance to polish his image in time for free agency in 2019?

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

    My answer to that would be: That he’s already turned down a deal that would have made him the highest-paid RB in the league, more than once, and has chosen more than once to sacrifice his image to hold out for the maximum payday.

  26. If I was running the Steelers and had to choose between:

    1) A solid RB who beat cancer
    2) A solid RB who is a cancer

    I know which one I’d choose.

  27. Yank the tag. Let some other team pay him. Even if that team is an AFC contender, odds are he will get “hurt” or otherwise underperform after so long sitting on the couch and griping on twitter. Teams are basically out of the kind of money he wants (this year)so there would likely be no official offers that would be what he is looking for or even enough to make up for his losses. The new guy has PROVEN it is stupid for the Steelers to pay Bell. The longer they wait, the closer they get to being screwed.

  28. I wish 1972 John Madden would give us his opinion on a football player that doesn’t football…

  29. gadgetking2010 says:
    November 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm
    REPORT: Le’Veon Bell Expected to Return to Steelers After Attending OSU-Michigan State

    —————-

    Cool, what year will he graduate?

  30. Mr. Bell reports, comes in for his first carry, O-line kneels after the snap. Let’s see how Mr. Bell does when five 300-pound+ humans, payed far less than Mr. Bell is, decide they are worth more than they are getting.

  31. “Why on earth would the Steelers re-sign him? James Connor has done juuuuuuust fine in his pla”

    I think the backlash from rescinding the tag and seeing him sign with the Ravens, Cincy or the Pats would haunt the Steelers for years to come if he was a substantial help to any one of those teams, especially if it helped beat the Steelers in a game that knocked them out of the playoff hunt, or if they get to the playoffs knocked them out of the post season.

    I don’t see that Pats being willing to pony up anything substantial for salary either. They are tight on the cap and seem to have a pretty cohesive locker room at this point in the season.

  32. Pittsburgh already has a starting running back, and they gain nothing by signing Bell and not playing him, as some commenters have suggested.
    However, they could really use him on special teams. Like, every single play of special teams.

  33. Bell was prepared to sit out, he had insurance. Didn’t lose any money. Makes it all even more annoying.

  34. I’d let him travel, lock him out of the building and laugh as he loses a year of accrued time. Sometimes you have to accept a loss and miss out on compensation for him in order to lay the groundwork for others who would do this. Everyone is free to set their own value, fortunately no one has to pay you what you think that is.

    AZ, Miami, Philly, Washington, I can see them breaking the bank for him and then regretting it by training camp.

  35. You have to wonder at times, what these so called want to get paid athletes are thinking. Someone please tell me how you’re gonna get paid all while deploying a flawed strategy which you keep shooting yourself in the foot! He’s hurt himself with his current team and how in the future would any sane Owner or GM take the risk with him. Future team beware, if he doing this to The Pittsburgh Steelers, he will do it to your team!

  36. Bell placed himself over the team. He deserves to sit the remainder of the season.
    Conner has proven he’s more than capable of filling that spot on the roster.
    But I have a feeling that Tomlin will embarrass the Pittsburgh fans again, when he gets down on one knee, to better kiss Bell’s arse, as he benches Conner and gives Bell this old job back, no questions asked.

  37. yamchargers says:
    November 5, 2018 at 5:08 pm
    I cant believe how many people are trying to convince themselves that Connor is anywhere near Bell. I am not a Bell fan and as an all time Tomlinson fan I just generally don’t like other great backs. But Bell is special. Connor is not. End of conversation.

    Connor is not special? He is the first Steelers RB in Steelers history with 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 10 TDS in 8 games. Franco Harris never did that, Jerome Bett is never did that and LeVeon Bell never did that. The guy does not complain and does whatever he is asked to do. He runs, he blocks, he catches and he scores. His teammates love him. He is beyond special right now.

  38. Bell and the Steelers were only $2 million apart at the start of the season.
    Bell says “Oh yeah? I’ll show them.”
    So he sits and pouts, and forfeits nearly $8 million in salary.

    What was the point he was trying to make again?

  39. I so hope the moment he comes back and steps on the field that he breaks a leg in such a way that he’ll never play again.

    Or get hit by a train while in his car.

    Or be taken by space aliens to see what an idiot looks like.

  40. msstiller58 says:

    Bell was prepared to sit out, he had insurance. Didn’t lose any money. Makes it all even more annoying.
    =======
    Are you asserting that an insurance company would give Bell. a policy that would pay him $885K a week if he decides not to go to work? Really? How would that work? Go to Acme Insurance, tell them the “Steelers will pay me only $885K/week if I go to work. Can you give me a policy that pays me that much, because I don’t wanna.”

  41. Hi. I’m a Pats fan who came here to write things about the Pats even though the story has nothing to do with NE. We come from the smallest area in the US but have the most fans. Why do you think that is? I think the letter R is a W.

  42. Possible injuries and situationsthat LaVerne LaBelle will claim or see if he ever sets his feet on a field again.

    – Turf ego. His feelings will be hurt when he finds his locker floating down one of the nasty rivers in Pittsburgh.

    – Turf self esteem. Even the guys blocking for him will squat on the field when he gets in the backfield and wave at the oncoming defenders. After they pound LaVerne in the ground, those OL guys will ask the defenders for their autographs.

    – Yellow stripe of shame. Antonio Brown will take LaVerne to get his hair bleached as yellow as the stripe on his tacky Rolls/Bentley.

    – Steelers will have a team day to tape LaVerne with Eli Mae Apple and send both punks down the river without a paddle.

    – LaVerne will be greeted by a baker’s dozen toy poodles who will be named “LaVerne’s Fan Club”.

    – The Steelers will tell LaVerne that he’ll be lucky to be on the Oakland Ray-dah’s roster next year. And Chuckie will name him LaVerne N’Shirley.

  43. Having a second good back going into the last third of the season and hopefully the playoffs is worth the game checks. Injuries are killer and this gives them some risk management. They already have the capacity space allocated. They already saved a boatload of cap space for next year.

    The only risk is that under his tag terms, Bell is not committed to playing in the playoffs. Maybe the Steelers use the roster exemption as leverage to get him to commit to the post season. They pay full load, bell promises to play the full off-season.

    I want to see the Steelers all in to win.

  44. If I were Mike Tomlin, I’d welcome Bell back by putting him on special teams only (as a blocker and tackler) for the rest of the season.

  45. He will show up on the 13th, play 6 games and look towards UFA. The real question is will the Steelers just a transition tag on him in the off season

  46. Thy won’t but wouldn’t it be great if they handed it off to him for every play for the first quarter…and the o-line just stood there and let him get pulverized. Man…that would be great.

  47. Looking forward to seeing Bell back with the Steelers. Already figured out he fits. Bell can take over Ryan Switzer’s role in the offense. Switzer sees about 13 snaps a game lining up in the slot and in the backfield. Bell should be able to do that job better than Switzer.

  48. I’m not going to pretend that JConn is a better player then Bell.. He’s not. But Conner has been better then Bell in his second year then Bell was his second year. Plus, a better player doesn’t mean he’s better for the team. Bell has dividing the team (especially the One Line) and his salary takes up salary for at least 3/4 good FAs they can bring in. I see Bell in Oakland or Tampa next year…good riddance and as a proud Conner owner in my league I want to thank Bell for not showing up…playoffs!!…lol

  49. “Honestly, no one cares anymore,” Steelers guard David DeCastro said after Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. “Why would I? I don’t want to waste the energy. I have to block some of the best players on the best defense in the world. Do you think I’m going to worry about a guy who’s not here?”

    The right attitude to take about Bell. If the Steelers fawned all over this guy it would be a shame.

  50. I think Bell thought the Steelers would cave and give him a truckload of money. Instead, they turned to Conner who has had a pretty good year and comparable to Bell’s numbers.

    Consider this…last year Bell averaged 86.1 rushing yards per game (ypg) at 4.0 yard per carry (ypc). Conner so far this year is averaging 88.3 ypg and 4.7 ypc. Bell averaged 43.7 receiving yards per game and 7.7 yards per catch. Conner is at 47.4 and 10.0. Bell averaged 5.7 catches per game and Conner is only averaging 4.75 but is on track to have more receiving yards than Bell had. Bell had 11 total TDs (9 rushing, 2 receiving). So far Conner has 10 (9 rushing and 1 receiving). If you looked at the numbers you could easily presume Bell was still playing for the Steelers because their numbers are so similar.

    I’ll say it again, Bell BADLY miscalculated how this was going to work out. He probably thought they’d come begging for him to play. It turns out they are doing pretty good without him which will hurt his market next spring. I can’t imagine any team is going to give him anywhere near what he wants when he was easily replaced by a 2nd round pick.

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