Steelers are still in the dark about Le’Veon Bell’s plans

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With five days to go until Le'Veon Bell faces the final deadline for showing up at in 2018, the Steelers are in the same position as everyone not named Le’Veon Bell: They have no idea what he’s going to do.

Per a league source, the Steelers have a plan for every potential outcome, which at this point boils down to two. He shows up, or he doesn’t. The Steelers simply don’t know at this point which it will be.

The one wild card in the analysis continues to be the ongoing health of running back James Conner. If Conner suffers a season-ending injury on Thursday night against the Panthers (for tailbacks, the possibility of a season-ending always looms), Bell suddenly acquires significant leverage, permitting a last-ditch effort to get the Steelers to offer more than $855,000 per week for the rest of the regular season, possibly along with an incentive package tied to postseason performances, among other things.

Assuming Conner emerges unscathed from the game against the Panthers, the Steelers will wait for Bell to show up, or not to show up, by Tuesday. If he does, the current plan isn’t to treat him like a rented car with full insurance coverage, but to incorporate him into the offense in a way designed to make it better. That could include, among other things, keeping Conner in the backfield and, from time to time, lining Bell up in the slot.

None of that matters unless and until he shows up. And the Steelers, like everyone not named Le’Veon Bell, will be waiting to see what happens by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

57 responses to “Steelers are still in the dark about Le’Veon Bell’s plans

  1. There is no evidence Le’Veon has a plan. He HAD a plan, but it was trashed when Connor started performing so well.

  2. jjackwagon says:
    November 8, 2018 at 10:51 am

    There is no evidence Le’Veon has a plan. He HAD a plan, but it was trashed when Connor started performing so well.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Nonsense. His plan was never to get a long term contract in Pittsburgh – they made it clear they weren’t going to offer one. His plan was to survive this year and enter free agency healthy so he could get long term security elsewhere.

  3. He will return for week 11 and play the final 7 games. Him and Conner will split touches, both will play well, and we will forget all about this holdout by the start of the playoffs.

  4. “joshhatesthesteelers says:
    November 8, 2018 at 10:49 am
    He will simply show up Tuesday and all drama queens heads will explode. He is simply taking advantage of what was collectively barganed by the players and the owners.”

    Actually he made statements that he wanted to be a Steeler, he also said he was going to have the best season of his career. His agent said the plan was for him to show up the first day of practice following the end of training camp just as he did last year. So I don’t believe he is taking advantage of the collectively bargained agreement, I believe he panicked when Gurley got paid and realized it’s going to be hard for him to get a team to pay him more than a younger, more productive RB with less baggage. At that point he went into survival mode and decided to holdout and try to get as much as possible from the next team.

  5. “chickensalad43 says:
    November 8, 2018 at 11:03 am
    He will return for week 11 and play the final 7 games. Him and Conner will split touches, both will play well, and we will forget all about this holdout by the start of the playoffs.”

    It’s goin to take him ~4 weeks to get in game shape. He may take some touches from Connor but the Steelers are not a two RB team. They never have been under Tomlin, even when they have had two productive RBs on the team. Connor is now the feature back. They will likely spell Connor with Bell and will likely find creative ways to get them on the field at the same time, but there will be no splitting carries unless Tomlin completely changes his offensive MO. That is highly unlikely.

  6. sigbouncer says:
    November 8, 2018 at 11:04 am
    He’s in Pittsburgh now so he’s obviously gonna show up. Why else would he leave Miami for Pittsburgh?

    …For a vacation from the horrible sunny weather?

  7. I think Bell had a plan but James Conner playing so well wasn’t part of it. Now he’s not sure what he’s doing. He’ll probably turn up Tuesday though

  8. In order to get to Free Agency without a legal fight, he needs 6 or more regular season games. Nothing says he can’t restart his hold-out for the play-offs. It’s a big pay cut then.

  9. “Per a league source, the Steelers have a plan for every potential outcome, which at this point boils down to two. He shows up, or he doesn’t.”

    Well, maybe he shows up but only puts one foot in the lobby and leaves the other outside on the sidewalk. What then? What then?!

  10. There are two probable scenarios:
    First, he shows up Monday or Tuesday.
    Second, he suffers a “soft tissue” injury due to not being in football shape. I am betting on a pulled hammy.

  11. As Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until he gets punched in the mouth. Conner playing lights out and Steelers winning is that punch.

  12. If he shows up he will step on the practice field and, almost immediately, pull a hamstring or tweak his knee. This way he makes a few bucks and doesn’t have to play. No way does he want to play these last few games and risk a serious injury. After all, wasn’t his goal to reduce wear and tear on his body. What better way to do that than to “fake” an injury and simply not play

  13. spartanlegend says:
    November 8, 2018 at 11:41 am
    Cue all the self righteous jerks talking trash about Bell as if his actions somehow affect their lives

    0 1 Rate This

    —————

    yes, good thing steelers fans should not have the right to be angry at this overrated and selfish tool

  14. I thought teams couldn’t negotiate with a tagged player after a certain date. How can Bell now have any additional leverage other than just showing up and collecting the tagged amount?

  15. carloswlassiter says:
    November 8, 2018 at 10:58 am
    jjackwagon says:
    November 8, 2018 at 10:51 am

    There is no evidence Le’Veon has a plan. He HAD a plan, but it was trashed when Connor started performing so well.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Nonsense. His plan was never to get a long term contract in Pittsburgh – they made it clear they weren’t going to offer one. His plan was to survive this year and enter free agency healthy so he could get long term security elsewhere.
    ———————————
    Nonsense indeed, you have no more evidence to support your hypothesis than I have to support mine.

  16. Bell gambled and lost, at least with the Steelers. He figured by week 3 they would be falling all over themselves begging him to come back..didn’t happen. Another publication pointed out teams that slotted in backups, and in two cases unknown, undrafted rookies (Lindsay and Breida) with good success. Further, and if the truth be told, the Falcons are probably wishing they hadn’t “paid” the often injured Freeman, not that he isn’t any good, he just isn’t worth the money.

  17. If the information about tagging Bell for another year at the rate of a QB is correct, essentially his franchise tag does not toll to the next year whether he shows or not, why does week 10 still matter if he doesn’t need the credit for the year of service?

  18. LaVerne LaBelle will arrive with a parade at the 11th hour and 59th minute of his report date. This is a jerk that should get nothing but will reap benefits that he never deserves.

    I hope his first play makes him so he can’t play again.

  19. He played this about as poorly as possible. He wanted leverage by holding out and he wanted to increase his value by avoiding injury. He has 0 leverage. On the field Conner has played above any and all expectations. That hurts him tremendously. Not only do the Steelers show that they don’t need him at all… it shows that some of his success may be attributable to facors like the other players around him and the system he is in. Off the field, the fans are not supporting him at all and his teammates have openly criticized him. Lose lose. Then add to that his future employer gets to see the distraction he can be when he isn’t getting paid what “he” thinks he is worth which could absolutely be the position potential suitors could find themselves in when the next young back signs a contract larger than his. Another loss.

    If he were smart – I’m not saying he is – he would get to Pittsburgh, apologize to his teammates, organization and the fans and try to get on the field, beg to get on the field, in some capacity. Otherwise why, why, why would a team invest in this player. Everything that has happened this season is a cautionary tale to his future team. If I’m an owner there is no way I pour money into this player who, by the way, is one jet ski weed smoking weekend in Miami from being suspended for a season.

    Just my .02

  20. Leveon’s best season was 2014 when he had 2215 yards and 11 TDs

    Conner is currently on pace for 2170 yards and 20 TDs.

    One guy is 23 and makes less in a season what the other guy makes in one game.

    This is why you don’t give big money to RBs.

  21. “Nothing says he can’t restart his hold-out for the play-offs. It’s a big pay cut then.”

    Which would be extremely unethical and most likely make him radioactive around the league. Its entirely within the CBA to refuse to sign a tag offer and not play. It is a violation of the CBA rules to sign the tag, play the regular season games needed to qualify for a year’s service and then refuse to play in the post season.

    Once he signs the tag he’s committed.

  22. carloswlassiter says:
    November 8, 2018 at 10:58 am

    jjackwagon says:
    November 8, 2018 at 10:51 am

    There is no evidence Le’Veon has a plan. He HAD a plan, but it was trashed when Connor started performing so well.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Nonsense. His plan was never to get a long term contract in Pittsburgh – they made it clear they weren’t going to offer one. His plan was to survive this year and enter free agency healthy so he could get long term security elsewhere.

    They offered him twice..

  23. Draagull
    Nonsense. His plan was never to get a long term contract in Pittsburgh – they made it clear they weren’t going to offer one. His plan was to survive this year and enter free agency healthy so he could get long term security elsewhere.

    They offered him twice..
    ________________________________

    Seems like a really bad plan. He might go without being injured physically but.. he has been injured by holding out. The only thing he avoided by holding out was injury. He is not worth more than he was last year. He is worth less.

  24. Bell will do what’s best for Bell…or, at least what his ‘not so wise’ advisers are telling him is best for Bell. That means he’ll wait till the last minute to show up & then perform at a level that helps justify his argument that he is deserving of a Team-stupid contract.

    My guess is he fails to justify &/or receive anything close to what he thinks he’s “worth”.

  25. spartanlegend says:
    Cue all the self righteous jerks talking trash about Bell as if his actions somehow affect their lives

    –Like you never had an opinion (good or bad) about a subject that didn’t affect your life. Doubt you’d be so supportive if he played for U of M over MSU.

  26. Le’veon Bell…so I get in around 9:30 am WEEK 11 and usually zone out for an hour in front of my locker, but it looks like I’m working. I then zone out for another hour after lunch too. In fact, in a given day, I’d say I do fifteen minutes, of real, actual work.

  27. This is one of the smartest business decisions I’ve seen at the NFL level. He’s going to survive this year without injury, enter the offseason with a clean bill of health and less tread on his tires and then cash out and make whatever money he left on the table. Chess not checkers, my friends. Way to take advantage of the CBA and lobby for the players to have more power in terms of contract guarantees. I still think it’s crazy Roger Goodell can lobby for lifetime health insurance, but the guys whose bodies get used throughout the year are deemed selfish.

  28. Bell better play football while he can. He’ll be another year older next year and the arrow is pointing down for him if he don’t remain a Steeler with the offensive line they have. He’s not going to have the same guys blocking for him elsewhere if he leaves the burg. You’ve made one mistake Le’veon, dont make two by not signing next week to have a chance to win in the postseason.

  29. “Sasquatch says:
    November 8, 2018 at 11:29 am
    In order to get to Free Agency without a legal fight, he needs 6 or more regular season games. Nothing says he can’t restart his hold-out for the play-offs.”

    That would be a clear breach of contract. He can’t sign his tender and then resume a hold out. He would likely lose his year of accrual and be back at square one. That would be no different than the team letting him sign the tender and then two weeks later saying sorry, but we are going to go ahead and pay you less. When you sign the tender the team agrees to pay you X amount of guaranteed money and you agree to play.

  30. He could have simply struck a deal that he get not more than 16 to 18 carries a game on the average with each additional carry per game average being worth say 250,000$ and played from day 1.

  31. Hope he does everyone a favor and doesn’t show up. Then it’ll all be over and he’ll be someone else’s problem.

  32. “Steelers are still in the dark about Le’Veon Bell’s plans”

    They’re also in the dark when it comes to beating legit contenders. Someone needs to show them the light on how to beat the Panthers and later on hmmm, the team that owns them, Patriots!

  33. carloswlassiter says:
    November 8, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Nonsense. His plan was never to get a long term contract in Pittsburgh – they made it clear they weren’t going to offer one.
    ———————

    Then why did they offer two?

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