A no-show by Le’Veon Bell would make his 2019 transition tag significantly higher

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The CBA provision that potentially prevents the Steelers from re-tagging running back Le'Veon Bell at $14.54 million if he fails to show up in 2018 carries a more clear limitation regarding the transition tag for 2019.

Article 10, Section 15(a) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement provides as follows: “If any Franchise Player does not play in the NFL in a League Year, his Prior Team shall have the right to designate such player as a Franchise Player or a Transition Player the following League Year, if such designation is otherwise available to the Team, except that the applicable Tender must be made and any 120% Tender shall be measured from the Player’s Prior Year Salary.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, if Bell doesn’t report in 2018 (and thus makes zero dollars and zero cents), the application of the transition tender would guarantee a 20-percent raise over Bell’s 2017 salary. That’s $14.54 million, the amount of Bell’s franchise tender in 2018.

In contrast, if Bell reports by next Tuesday, his transition tender for 2019 (due to his diminished earnings for 2018) would be in the range of $9 million to $10 million, the expected standard amount for the running back transition tender. So it would become significantly more expensive for the Steelers to apply the transition tender to Bell in 2019, if he doesn’t show up in 2018.

Ultimately, the transition tag is irrelevant, because the Steelers wouldn’t match any offer sheet that Bell would sign with another team. But the mere application of the transition tag by the Steelers would consume significantly more cap space if he doesn’t show up in 2018 than it would if he does. Which makes it even less likely that the transition tag will be in play, if Bell doesn’t show up by next Tuesday.

48 responses to “A no-show by Le’Veon Bell would make his 2019 transition tag significantly higher

  1. At this point I can only assume the Steelers will do what makes it most likely for them to get a draft pick for Bell – whether that’s some kind of trade or a tag that results in a compensatory pick.

    Don’t see any reason for them to actually sign & play him ever again, but presumably they’ll try to get value.

  2. they would be stupid to even consider it.. his value is diminished by the fact he can’t be counted on to show up practice and playu

  3. “In contrast, if Bell reports by next Tuesday, his transition tender for 2019 (due to his diminished earnings for 2018) would be in the range of $9 million to $10 million”
    =====================================

    It would be funny, but still WRONG.

    The actual franchise tag CONTRACT (ie Player’s Prior Year Salary) is $14.54m. Bell is only getting the pro-rated value, which is $9m for missing the previous weeks. What matters is what is written on the contract, not the cash dollar amount paid out.

  4. As “plug and play” as running backs are in today’s pass happy game, a team would be nuts to pay him what he is asking. You can plug someone in at less than half the price and get similar results.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying some GM won’t be stupid about it – but yeah… stupid.

  5. The language says salary. Couldn’t it be argued that his salary is $0 if he doesn’t show up? His “prior year salary” is whatever he made in 2017.

  6. Why are we keep talking about a non-NFL personnel???? These story is getting boring as a Kap story now. Just move on with him as he dont want to be apart of the NFL.

  7. “Best thing the Steelers can do now is to just forget about Bell and move on.”

    I thought they’d already done that with the exception of retaining his rights under the tag so he can’t be playing this season for one of the Steeler’s rivals.

  8. #1 He’ll show up on friday to become a UFA in 2019.
    #2. Steelers are slapping a transition tag on him to keep him from signing a one year $15 million contract with a team like the pats when he finds there is no market for the deal he’s looking for.

  9. 24thusernameused says:
    November 6, 2018 at 2:58 pm
    who cares at this point. I hope the stingy prick is traded to the jets or the browns.

    ==========

    The Steelers will have zero say or ability to trade a player NOT under contract. Nada.

  10. floriosnuts says:
    November 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm
    Best thing the Steelers can do now is to just forget about Bell and move on.
    —-
    They should have done this before the season started. You can’t come to an agreement on a deal 2 years in a row then it’s time to move on. And everyone crying about another man not signing a contract he doesn’t like can move on to complaining about something else.

  11. Bell’s getting tagged next year. Steelers aren’t going to let him get what he wants (to become a free agent). Of he had shown up early in the year and been the good soldier, they probably would have let him be on his way after this season. They can’t let future players think they can get out of town by sitting out a year.

    Bell lost. When it’s all said and done, he’s going to look back on last year’s offer by the Steelers and wonder how he lost so much money.

  12. Gee that is exactly the way it works were I work. You see I have been sitting out all year and soon I will come back to work and BOOM! a 20% raise.

  13. He gambled. He lost. You can’t go all in against a billionaire with nothing in your hand. If I’m one of the other 31 billionaires, he gets nothing. Malcontent. If he comes back this week can Steelers suspend him? I would.

  14. 24thusernameused says:
    November 6, 2018 at 2:58 pm
    who cares at this point. I hope the stingy prick is traded to the jets or the browns.

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

    The stingy prick in this case is the ownership of the Steelers and not Bell as they’re the ones who have the $ and not Bell as he’s not been paid.

    Why do fans side w billionaires rather than the actual players who win the games?

  15. The only reason Bell is an issue is because you keep talking about him. The Steelers have moved on, the replacement is just as effective. If you didn’t bring him up incessantly, this wouldn’t even be on the mind of football fans, and it definitely isn’t on the mind of the Steelers coaches and players (unless you shove it in their faces).

  16. He will come in before next week as it is the only way (with least amount of wear) to earn his next contract, which is the only contract he ever cared about. He was NEVER going to earn anywhere near the $14 mil he would have had this year (way above market) in his next deal. And Pittsburgh not missing a beat has only made that value drop. He won’t get to 8 figures average in next deal. Oh, to have such problems.

  17. Has this actually been confirmed or is this just the writer surmising it MIGHT work that way? His contract for this year is the franchise tag of $14.5 million. The lower amount is only coming from it being pro-rated since he failed to show up on time. I’d think it extremely likely the full contract amount–the $14.5 million–would be used as the basis and not the pro-rated figure.

  18. I always side with the worker, in this case Bell. Not the way that I would have played it, but more power to him if it means that he gets paid (unlikely, RB isn’t worth that kind of money).

  19. I can’t imagine Bell wouldn’t show up before the end of the year. If he doesn’t then I’d guess he feels confident that he would get the QB salary if he is franchise tagged for a 3rd time. But I think he’d be wise to go to Pittsburgh to sign the tag, he could get in game shape and show teams what he can do prior to becoming an unrestricted free agent.

  20. If Bell does not show up, the Steelers should franchise tag him again. Bell will then have a diminished value in the open market because he is one year removed from playing. Bell will then have the choice to either show up and play, or sit out another year and have his value diminished even further. The Steelers will have the salary cap money next year they saved by not paying him this year.

  21. kevpft says:

    At this point I can only assume the Steelers will do what makes it most likely for them to get a draft pick for Bell – whether that’s some kind of trade or a tag that results in a compensatory pick.

    Don’t see any reason for them to actually sign & play him ever again, but presumably they’ll try to get value.

    I agree and why wouldn’t they do whatever they can to get some value for him. I also thought they could use him only to give Conner a breather but why even bother. He’s likely not going to give 100% and not going to be happy so why even have him around the team? Conner has been doing a great job as Bell’s replacement so they don’t even need Bell anymore, especially if he’s going to be a bad actor in the locker room.

  22. It’s amazing how a very talented all purpose back holds such little trade value. NBA or even MLB the Steelers would get double or triple what will be offered if they can possibly pull an off season trade. Watch him fail a drug test between now and April and make it all mute.

  23. jackedupboonie says:
    November 6, 2018 at 7:06 pm
    It’s amazing how a very talented all purpose back holds such little trade value. NBA or even MLB the Steelers would get double or triple what will be offered if they can possibly pull an off season trade. Watch him fail a drug test between now and April and make it all mute.
    —–
    It’s only amazing if you don’t understand that the NFL CBA makes trading players on a franchise tag ridiculously cost prohibitive. 1st no such thing as the franchise tag in MLB and the NBA. Meaning teams don’t have to give up two first round draft picks for the player and then also have to turn around and sign the player to a multi million dollar contract. No other position outside of a franchise quarterback would fetch that price.

  24. The additional 7-8 million saved by Bell holding out the entire season would more than offset a 20% transition tag increase, since that money can be rolled over to next season’s cap. The Steelers would actually save money if Bell holds out and is transition tagged during the off season.

  25. When they lose to New England it will be the laughing stock of the NFL. Imagine Gronkowski doing something like this then they LOSE in the AFCC so he can get more money.

  26. The only thing that makes sense is that he does not want tested. He has too much to lose. Just saying.

  27. This is pretty straightforward math as others have pointed out.

    The Steelers will save 14.5 million this year to be rolled into next year.

    They can hold Bell on the transition tag at 17.4 million which he will never earn until he is traded. That’s only 2.9 million more than what they save and roll forward. Then they get every penny of that 17.4 million back to sign Conner long term or pay some other players.

    Bell is a moron who should have just bought an insurance policy and earned his 14.5 this year. Now his value is likely halved as an idiot who only cares about himself and looks like the product of a superior team and scheme. He is literally the 2nd best RB that the Steelers control right now.

  28. I don’t know if I trust anything I read here. Very pro player. We will see what actually happens

  29. While some of his Steelers teammates would probably like to see Bell back with the team, Steelers guard David DeCastro isn’t concerning himself with the ongoing Bell watch.
    “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?”

    Glad to see someone has the right perspective on Bell’s absence.

  30. “If he comes back this week can Steelers suspend him? I would.”

    That’s a ridiculous comment that shows zero understanding of how these contracts, the tag and the CBA work.

    The CBA allows him not to sign the tag if he doesn’t want to. He has done absolutely nothing that is a violation of anything. A team cannot suspend a player for not signing the tag. The worst that can happen is they choose to rescind the tag, or he doesn’t report in time to accrue a season and hence the Steelers would still own his rights next off season.

    I’m no fan of Bell and think he’s been a bit greedy, but as much as a lot of fans don’t like that, he’s done nothing that he could be suspended for.

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