Report: Steelers still considering transition tag for Le’Veon Bell

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The Steelers have used the franchise tag on running back Le'Veon Bell the last two seasons, but they aren’t expected to make it a hat trick this offseason.

They could use the transition tag, however. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the team is still considering that course of action with the intent of trading Bell to another team. Adam Schefter of ESPN had a similar report recently, although his left open the possibility of Bell returning to the Steelers.

That seems like an unlikely outcome given the acrimony of the last two years and a trade may be difficult to put together as well. Bell would need to sign the tag in order to be traded and the team moving to acquire him would have to give up compensation rather than just signing him to an offer sheet for a multi-year deal.

The Steelers would have the ability to match that offer, but it would likely be structured in a way that makes that unappealing and they wouldn’t get compensation if they opted not to match an offer.

Schefter reports that the use of a transition tag would also spark a fight about the value of the tag. PFT reported in November that, per the language in the CBA, a transition tag would cost $14.54 million, which is the same as the franchise tag for Bell last season, while Schefter reports the league will argue it should be around $9.5 million.

The Steelers would have to account for that cap space as the process plays out, which adds to the reasons why this route might not wind up being one they actually take.

30 responses to “Report: Steelers still considering transition tag for Le’Veon Bell

  1. Steelers need to clean the slate with some of these guys and make one last push with Big Ben. Fix that defense and keep that O-line playing well and the rest will fall into place.

  2. Dang…between Brown bailing on the team and assaultinf a woman to the ongoing Bell drama and Ben tossing his teammates under the bus thie ship does look like it is getting ready to capsize in Pittsburgh

  3. This is why Bell should have shown up in week 10. They may have had an under the table agreement, but you see where that got him.

    Why do the Steelers keep dragging this out? The team is falling apart, and it started with Bell(Or Tomlin)

  4. Wouldn’t this be the same deal as Foles in that they will be tagging him to trade him which would seem to violate whatever the provision that MF outlined in the Foles post? As I thought about that situation(Foles tag and trade), I think Foles would be crazy to sign the tag tender.
    Sure, he’d get 25mil, but what happens if he gets traded to some dogsh!+ team, plays poorly because of it and has to settle for a prove-it short-term deal. Today, I think Nick Foles would sign a(what do you want to pay him-$18/3 54mil?) 3-year deal rather than the 25 tag deal. As far as Bell, I doubt that the Steelers could maintain “control” of Bell under any circumstances.

  5. Can you imagine the first round picks the Steelers could have received by trading Bell and Brown, prior to last season?

  6. Teams Tag for the purposes of trading all the time. Matt Cassel comes to mind. Steelers negotiated in good faith with Bell so they can prove they tagged with purpose of trying to keep him. Transition tag gives them right of first refusal. Smart business deal.

  7. Glad it’s not my team dealing with this hot mess…….
    Disfunction seems to be the non lately with this franchise……
    When does the collusion case start??!!

  8. Leveon is no longer welcome in Pittsburgh…certainly not welcome back by the large majority of fans. Steelers can use transistion tag to possibly get some value for the malingerer (have your idiot agent explain that to you Lev)

  9. The Steelers need to get rid of Brown and Bell and move on. This isn’t hard. Apparently, even with all the talent in the league, it’s still not enough for Tomlin. His firing is inevitable. I can’t believe it hasn’t already happened at this point. They must love losing against scrubs.

  10. All of these reports regard the transition tag, and Bell have to be, what is the popular term now, “fake news.” At least, I pray to the man upstairs that is the case. Why would the Steelers want to tie up that kind of money, all the while starting another circus act with Bell? Let him go, and move on. Use the money that would have to be set aside for him, and sign some defensive help before the market runs dry.

  11. Dang…between Brown bailing on the team and assaultinf a woman to the ongoing Bell drama and Ben tossing his teammates under the bus thie ship does look like it is getting ready to capsize in Pittsburgh

    The most successful franchise since the merge of the two leagues……you would know about that because you weren’t teething at the time. So ya everyone in Pittsburg is worried. Only team with here Super Bowls with three different coaches….yet its a sinking ship……really?

  12. You’re painting the picture of a ‘poison pill’, but fail to inform the reader that poison pill contract offers are now banned in the NFL via the 2011 CBA. More specifically:

    “No Offer Sheet may contain a Principal Term that would create rights or obligations for the Old Club that differ in any way (including but not limited to the amount of compensation that would be paid, the circumstances in which compensation would be guaranteed, or the circumstances in which other contractual rights would or would not vest) from the rights or obligations that such Principal Term would create for the Club extending the Offer Sheet (i.e., no ‘poison pills’).”

  13. Nofoolnodrool says:
    February 7, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    The most successful franchise since the merge of the two leagues

    __________________________________________________________

    I’d honestly argue that’s not the case anymore, especially after the Patriots just won their sixth super bowl in this 21st century after appearing in nine since 2001. This should give the Steelers a little bit more motivation to chase after their seventh championship win.

  14. Those six rings better be life preservers because the Steelers are going down faster than the Titantic. As I predicted, keeping Little Ben happy hasmade everyone else miserable. Steelers’ fans better be prepared for another 1969. Hahahahaha.

  15. Bell should have signed the ridiculous 5 year, $70 million contract, of which $33 million was guaranteed the Steelers offered him in the summer of 2017. He’ll never see a contract that long or that kind of money again. Bell also should have played last year on the $14.5 million he was guaranteed last year, which was a $2.5 million raise from the year before and he’ll never get that money back. He’ll be 27 in 2019 and is sitting out his prime. Both the Steelers and Bell are making bad decisions, the Steelers by offering that much to a RB and Bell for not taking it.

  16. If I had a multi-million-dollar asset for which I’d paid good money and from which I could still reap some profit, don’t think I’d just “let it go already.” Players are investments and the Steelers are trying to get some return on investment for Bell. If they can, great. If they can’t, so what? It’s entertainment for the trolls, and heaven knows, they need some entertainment.

  17. Deb says:
    February 7, 2019 at 3:36 pm
    If I had a multi-million-dollar asset for which I’d paid good money and from which I could still reap some profit, don’t think I’d just “let it go already.” Players are investments and the Steelers are trying to get some return on investment for Bell. If they can, great. If they can’t, so what? It’s entertainment for the trolls, and heaven knows, they need some entertainment.
    ——————————–

    I have no problem with them trying to get something for him. However, if trying means they tie up either 9+ or 14+ million to wait and see, they should let him go. ” The Steelers would have to account for that cap space as the process plays out.” I can’t see letting a top defender or other need slide by, while we wait. Just my opinion.

  18. @steelpenguin6687 …

    Agreed. I’d like to get something for Bell, but certainly don’t want to lose anything more than we already have. They also need Bell’s signature for this to work, and I don’t think they’ll get it. Lack of defensive talent has been our biggest problem in the last few years. People focus a lot of attention on Tomlin and the coaching staff, but it might be time to start looking at Colbert and our scouts. Tom Donahoe was a great player personnel guy … until he wasn’t. Maybe Colbert’s losing his touch–at least on the defensive side of the ball.

  19. The Steelers treat their stars(not named Roethlisberger) like trash. And people wonder why the locker room is out of control. Just let Bell go already and concentrate on fixing the locker room.

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