Report: Le’Veon Bell “unlikely” to report by Tuesday’s deadline

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At a time when it already was looking less and less likely that running back Le'Veon Bell would report to the Steelers before Tuesday’s 4:00 p.m. ET deadline, there’s now a report that acknowledges that reality.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that it is “unlikely” that Bell will sign his franchise tender and play in 2018.

Yes, it’s unlikely. Which technically means that the chances of it happening are less than 50 percent. Which given the recent realization that Bell can skip the whole year and still force his way to free agency in March 2019, is fairly obvious at this point.

Indeed, and as explained on Friday, Bell’s best play at this point is to not play this year. With $8.5 million already gone, only $6 million or so left to be earned this year, and a major payday looming, it’s a no-brainer.

So either Schefter is simply reading the tea leaves that currently are arranged to say in all caps “HE’S NOT SHOWING,” or sources close to Bell have opted for “unlikely” instead of “not at all” to account for the possibility that Bell will choose to show up, even if it makes no financial sense at this point to report.

And if the latter is that case, don’t be surprised if something that currently has less than a 50 percent chance of happening actually does happen.

46 responses to “Report: Le’Veon Bell “unlikely” to report by Tuesday’s deadline

  1. I’m a bit shocked he isn’t going to report to accrue the season. He must have guarantees from Pittsburgh that they have no interest in franchising him again otherwise not reporting is a mistake.

  2. Who cares, the Steelers sure don’t care…why is this even in the news. This guy played a game and he lost at it. No team is going to pay him that kind of money in free agency. For 2 reasons, 1 he is not worth it, and 2 because he will do his next team the same way he has done the Steelers. RB are a dime a dozen now in a passing league.
    Better luck next time Bell. You lost this play!!

  3. It’s time for the Steelers to move on. James Connor had done a solid job as the featured back this season.

  4. ‘Major payday looming?’
    That remains to be seen. Its not like the Steelers miss him nor is he a model citizen. Let’s see what happens. The NFL has a way of taking guys way, way down.

  5. How do people actually believe that Bell “lost”? He’s getting exactly what he didn’t report for: An injury-free entrance into the 2019 FA period, as probably one of the top three free agents available. Conner’s production has absolutely no relation to Bell’s only goal of collecting maximum guaranteed money on his next contract.

  6. Been a long time coming… I wanted him gone after last years hold out… so thank ful to have Conner… now Bell can get his money on a last place team and handcuff them… 👌🏼

  7. nate elter says:
    November 10, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    The Steelers offered him $45 mill, guaranteed for 3 yrs
    Nonsense. The most they ever guaranteed was 15 mil.

  8. There is no logical basis to expect LaVerne LaBelle to reap any financial gain from this game he just played. Owners are not stupid – if he’ll shaft his original team despite being offered $14 million per year or $70 million over several, then this clown cannot be satisfied and he’ll ALWAYS place himself above his team.

    Few owners will welcome such a cancer when a running back is more often than not able to be drafted and exploited on the original rookie contract.

  9. It would’ve been nice to have him obviously , but barring injury to Connor, their offense seems not to need him. Can’t wait to see what he gets on the open market. I think someone will overpay. Even before Conner started tearing it up, I thought they were offering him too much. The money would be better spent on a few CBs!!

  10. LoL… Bell over played his hand and with Connor producing more than Bell on an average. Bell should enjoy the rest of the season in FL knowing that he is not wanted or needed!

  11. spaceserpent says:
    November 10, 2018 at 8:32 pm
    How do people actually believe that Bell “lost”? He’s getting exactly what he didn’t report for: An injury-free entrance into the 2019 FA period, as probably one of the top three free agents available. Conner’s production has absolutely no relation to Bell’s only goal of collecting maximum guaranteed money on his next contract.


    If he doesn’t get greater than the guaranteed $ the Steelers offered him + the $14.8m guaranteed he gave up this year on his next deal, he lost. Simple arithmetic. It’s not total dollars on his next contract, it’s maximum guaranteed dollars in his career. He gave up the biggest earning year of his career and lost open market value in the process (yes, Conners greater production for 1/30th of the cost affects that). Losing a year for a guy with a history of weight and drug issues at a position with short careers (and getting outperformed by a cheap replacement in the same offense) is not going to help his career earning total. He will never, ever, ever, earn that back.

  12. With the way, in typical Steelers fashion I may add, they didn’t hesitate to put Conner back on the field soon after suffering a concussion Thursday night, you can’t blame Bell for seeking greener and safer pastures.

  13. Think about how stupid the average person is (ok the “median” football fan), and realize than roughly half of that group is stupider. Now realize that the overwhelming majority of football fans could recognize Bell’s foolish strategy as a total abject failure to grasp his own situation.

    “We all want great players; we all want as many as we can get. But in the end, there’s a cap on that….smart, dependable. That’s where I would start. ” – Bill Belichick, discussing what he looks for in a football player.

  14. This is demonstrative of what is wrong with the collective bargaining agreement. You should be under contract or your not. This is ridiculous.

  15. Bell needs to show teams he is still elite level. Sitting out an entire year and then trying to cash in is more risky than coming back, easing into a share situation with Connor, who the Steelers are not going to just sit, and earn several million dollars in the process. The chances of him being over used at this point are very small. IMO the risk of sitting out exceeds the risk of playing the rest of the year.

  16. None of this makes sense. So he has already lost 8 million and would lose 6 more if he doesn’t report.
    Unless his payday next year is massive, he will not recoup the 14 millions lost. The longer he sits out the more likely he is to get injured from NOT playing. Staying in shape is one thing, stay in in playing shape is another. Sitting out an entire year is not going to add onto his longevity. It does help with some wear and tear but when your turn 30 the body is still 30.

    Those who point to the Dez Bryant injury as a reason not to play aren’t taking into consideration perhaps Dez got injured BECAUSE he hasn’t played a snap since Dec 2017.

    No one knows how this will play out because the CBA wording is vague, this will be a precedent case. Whether the Steelers press the franchise tag issue and how the league interprets the CBA wording will decide everything. I’m sure Bell doesn’t want to go to court over it as that just means he sits out longer.

    People saying they know what the steelers final offer was, are all just guessing. Only he and the team know, and I doubt either side is willing to be honest about it. Rumors said it was more than Gurleys contract, but with less guaranteed money.

    Negatives to report
    -Could get hurt ( could have gotten hurt jet skiing, playing basketball, getting out of bed etc…)
    -could get hurt BECAUSE he’s not in football shape

  17. Good riddance Bell. Thanks for showing why a team should pay for a great O line instead of dumping money on the RB position. You’ve probably done long-term damage to the RB pay scale.

  18. He needs to fire his agent. He should have shown up 2 weeks ago. They are more likely to cut him, than to play him. He would make millions for doing nothing.

  19. nate elter says:
    November 10, 2018 at 8:29 pm
    The Steelers offered him $45 mill, guaranteed for 3 yrs
    No way he gets $15 @yr for 3 on the market
    Seeing as the Steelers have a team policy not to give 3 year gaurantees I would love to know where you got this information from.

  20. Plus add onto the fact why would a player want to get a shot at playing for a Superbowl contented. I would bet , knowing egotistical players today that he will sign for one of 3 teams Raven, Bengals or Browns, because for him I am sure it is personal and he thinks that him going to a division rival will somehow allow him to extract revenge on them but my guess is that in the end Bell will not be on the side of history.

  21. I’m OK with his decision, fully within his rights. Avoiding injury while giving up a ton of salary by not playing is rolling the dice. At some point isn’t not practicing or playing in competitive football games for a lengthy amount of time going to be pretty risky too?

  22. eaglesarechamps
    Nov 10, 2018, 7:52 PM CST
    Why is it when Pittsburgh gets someone good they always leave.

    Bell wants money, Wallace wanted money, Sanders wanted money. Ben has stuck around, Brown is sticking around, Troy stuck around, Ward stuck around. Steelers pay to keep those who get what being a Steeler is about and who want to be there. Those who leave do not get it, they don’t want to be there, and the Steelers usually already have their replacement on deck.

  23. His agent has led him down the wrong path. There was never a clear plan. They (Bell and his agent) winged this thing day by day not knowing what the next move was going to be. It seems they have relied on the media to reveal deadlines and possible strategies to them. I don’t think the agent knows anything about the NFL workings.This may still work out and Bell may get a decent contract, but it will be by accident. I also don’t think they will anything close to what they think their going to get.

  24. The right play was to show up, make the 14.5 million and spend 500k, or 1, or 2 million or whatever for a massive insurance policy. Bell comes out way ahead in that scenario.

    Its not just that he lost the money. He also lost value since his replacement is better than he is. He lost the 14.5 million AND lost a bunch on his next contract.

    The Steelers saved 14.5 million for better RB play and they can get a pick for him with the transition tag.

  25. Hanging with his homies for months. Making a rap album. No way he passes a drug test. Surely that and Dez getting seriously hurt will keep him away. He wants his BIG payday in 2019 which a positive drug test and/or a serious injury would be a major road-block. Hopefully Conner gets cleared from his concussion by the next game. The kid looks great….

  26. He will never recoup the $14 and will not get anywhere near what Steelers previously offered per year. Steelers dodge a bullett.

  27. In most strikes, both sides lose and money lost on both sides is never recouped. In this case, just Bell loses. Steelers lose a compensatory pick but gain ton of cap space. That is probably a wash, plus distraction and media obsession can be over. On to next deadline, which is tag vs. release date.

  28. good, tired of hearing about a guy that has no interest in playing football. cant imagine any team a “big” payday. he’ll get a 1 year prove it deal from a team but who’s going to give a RB a major payday when he hasn’t played in 2 years at that point and the guy that replaced him was a 3rd round pick, makes 800k and is just as effective? He really blew it

  29. what everyone doesn’t understand is Bell was good because of the steelers
    O line and Ben,when J Conner winds up with 12-1400 rushing yards and 300 yds receiving
    at the end of his first full year ,bell’s expected salary will drop
    He thinks he did this ,but the steelers can put any RB in their lineup
    and he will do well

  30. Bell didn’t count on Conner playing so well. Now he’ll end up making less money than PIT offered on a terrible team.

    No such thing as an irreplaceable player. Yet players never seem to learn that lesson.

  31. Good for him! Plenty of teams are going to pay this dude. Detroit is for sure one team who is lining up to grab this kat. The dude is special. All he did this year was save himself 500 touches & who knows how many hits. Good business decision!

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