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Le’Veon Bell was once thought to be a Pittsburgh Steeler for life. Now it seems like coming back to the Steelers is less and less likely every day. After his teammates publicly called Bell out, the comments were the last straw. Bell is finished in Pittsburgh.
Recently, Bell was one of several big-name players who was holding out because of a contract dispute. In January, he told ESPN that he would have another 400 touch season salary that was below his value. The Steelers offered him 70 million dollars over a span of five years.
According to Ian Rapoport, the contract would have paid out $30 million over the next two years. However, Bell wasn’t pleased with the guaranteed money offered to him. Only a $10 million signing bonus was fully guaranteed. That wasn’t nearly enough for Bell.
Once Le’Veon and the Steelers couldn’t agree to a long-term deal, they hit him with the franchise tag. The tender was worth $14.5 million. He refused to sign the contract, even though nothing more could be done.
Maybe the most recent players to get paid motivated Bell’s actions. Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack got paid in a major way. Todd Gurley finally got what he deserved as well. The difference between their situation and Bell is simple.
The players listed above were all under contract. Bell was given the franchise tag and the deadline to sign a long-term deal has passed. There is nothing else the Steelers can do. The only way Le’Veon can get what he deserves is if the Steelers rescinded the tag, making him a free agent.
Missing regular season games cause more harm than good. Adam Schefter reported that missing week 1 will cost Bell over $800,000. Not to mention ruffling the feathers of his teammates. Maurkice Pouncey thought Le’Veon would show up on Wednesday to practice. When that didn’t happen, he expressed to the media his thoughts on the situation.
That is an unwritten rule in the player’s locker room. They don’t talk about their money situation. No matter how a person feels about it, addressing someone else’s money is not okay. Greg Jennings went on Undisputed to discuss that rule further.
When teammates get to the point where they don’t care about calling you out, it’s time to move on. The Steelers don’t pay running backs and the team is getting tired of Bell holding out every year. A divorce down the road is likely to occur.