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Le’Veon Bell Versus Pittsburgh Steelers Stand-Off

September 8, 2018
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Le’Veon Bell Versus Pittsburgh Steelers Stand-Off

The Pittsburgh Steelers Stand Their Ground Against Bell

In the wake of Le’Veon Bell’s continued absence, it is time to consider the consequences of the current situation on both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bell himself. The player has failed to return to the field amidst many negative reactions from his teammates. Coach Mike Tomlin and Steelers team members have all confirmed that the focus going forward will be on the players who are there, putting in the work, entering the field. Those who were considering putting money on the team may well want to look at other options such as live AFL betting if they were relying on Le’Veon Bell being a contributing factor to game results.

A Game of Chicken

Both Bell and The Steelers seem to be playing a game of chicken, each waiting for the other to make their move. At present Bell has not yet signed his franchise tag, this means that the parties are within the rights of their bargaining agreement.

The CBA allows Bell to stay away for as many as ten weeks but requires him to return by week 11. If he chooses not to he forfeits his spot on the field for the remainder of the season. In addition, his contract would then carry over to the 2019 season, leaving him in exactly the same situation as he is in now.

If Bell continues his standoff he will be looking at a total income deduction of approximately $10 million. He will need to sign his franchise tag in order to receive the balance of his salary of which he has already lost approximately $8.5 million. Even after his return the Steelers may apply for a roster exemption which could cost the player an additional $1.7 million.

The Steelers Game Plan

According to the teams GM, Kevin Colbert, the team have no plans to withdraw Bells franchise tag. Doing so would allow the player to sign with any other team and there is no reason to let this happen.

Once Bell signs the tag the team could trade him, but he would be bound by signing restrictions with any other team until the 2019/2020 seasons draft. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not a franchise that buckles under player pressure. They are well known for sticking with the decisions they make and not allowing players to take advantage of them. This has not been more clearly demonstrated than with Mike Merriweather a former linebacker. Merriweather demanded a new contract and the Steelers let him sit out the entire 1988 season.

Bells Next Move

The Steelers are waiting less than patiently for Bell to make his move. The player is expected to return shortly as the Week 11 deadline approaches. There is immense speculation around how useful he will be after this extended period off the field and practice arena.  Bells agent has implied that he is trying to save himself for next season. Therefore, if allowed onto the field a mediocre performance can be expected as he tries to keep himself out of the fray.

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