The Leopard

The Ups and Downs of Le’Veon Bell’s Contract Situation

Jan+15%2C+2017%3B+Kansas+City%2C+MO%2C+USA%3B+Pittsburgh+Steelers+running+back+Le%27Veon+Bell+%2826%29+carries+the+ball+in+the+first+quarter+against+the+Kansas+City+Chiefs+during+the+AFC+Divisional+playoff+game+at+Arrowhead+Stadium.+The+Steelers+defeated+the+Chiefs+18-16.+Mandatory+Credit%3A+Kirby+Lee-USA+TODAY+Sports
Jan 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) carries the ball in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Steelers defeated the Chiefs 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) carries the ball in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Steelers defeated the Chiefs 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) carries the ball in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Steelers defeated the Chiefs 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Isaac Behunin, Sports Writer

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Le’Veon Bell, the starting running back for the Pittsburg Steelers, has not played in the first four games of the 2018 NFL season. During the offseason, Bell was offered a 5-year $70 million ($14 million per year).
He turned down the offer because he feels as though that’s not enough money and that he’s worth more than that. On July 16, 2018, Bell tweeted this, “to all my Steeler fans, my desire always has been to retire a Steeler…both sides worked extremely hard today to make that happen, but the NFL is a hard business at times…to the fans that had hope, I’m sorry we let yo down but trust me, 2018 will be my best season to date…”
For every game he hasn’t played, he’s missed out on an $800,000 check.
Bell’s absence has really negatively affected the team’s success as well as the team’s chemistry between the players. A few of the offensive lineman have spoken out about the whole situation.
David DeCastro, a guard who is in his 7th season as a Steeler, said, “We all thought he’d be here today. He makes us all look stupid a little bit.” Another offensive lineman, Aditi Kinkhabwala, said, “Why play hide and seek? Why let your agent say this? Just man up and tell us what you’re going to do.”
Last week, the Steelers were naturally talking about trading him, but it was rumored that their asking price was too high. The Steelers were asking for a 2nd round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, as well as a ‘good player’. Bell weighed in on the trade rumors by tweeting, “I don’t think they really want me gone.”
This week, there was a huge ripple in the pool. Bell announced that he plans to return to play with the Steelers in Week 7, the team’s bye week, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Steelers haven’t made an official statement on the return on Bell. CBS sports writer and analyst, Jason La Canfora, says, “Bell now says he wants to return in the bye week (Week 7) and play for the Steelers beyond this season, but in his heart he has to know how remote a possibility that truly is. The wound between him and the Steelers now runs deep, and nothing he has said or done will alter the fact that he remains a very strong candidate to be dealt by the end of this month. Much damage has been done, and there isn’t much time to repair it.”
The team is still in talks about a trade with a few teams within the league, but the most likely destinations of Bell to land is in Philadelphia with the Eagles, or with the Packers in Green Bay. The Steelers told Bell during franchise tag negotiations that they would transition tag him in 2019, which would set the stage for Bell to negotiate with other teams while Pittsburgh holds his rights. With Week 5 coming up fast, I’m sure that more information about trade destinations, contract agreements, etc. will come to light.

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The Ups and Downs of Le’Veon Bell’s Contract Situation