3 weeks ago
According to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport, the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking a hard-line stance with Le’Veon Bell.
In the wake of Bell’s teammates ripping him after his agent hinted a lengthy holdout by the All-Pro running back could be in the works, a Steelers source indicated the team will not be the rescinding the $14.5 million franchise tag tender which Bell was offered.
If Pittsburgh really is unwilling to revoke the tender and meet Bell at the bargaining table, that means he has to play for the team this season if he wants to fulfill the terms of his contract and become a free agent.
Amid the events of yesterday involving the #Steelers and their star RB, worth noting: Pittsburgh won’t be rescinding the franchise tag for Le’Veon Bell, I’m told. Obvious. But important. He’ll play for the #Steelers this year, it’s just a question of when.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 6, 2018
However, since he did receive the tag offer, Bell has until Week 11 of the season to sign in order to earn the right to become a free agent in 2019.
Should Bell decide to play hardball as well, he could sit out the first 10 weeks of the season to help limit the wear and tear on his body and the chance of getting injured prior to free agency.
That strategy may be smart for him, but it won’t endear him to his teammates.
“I just felt confident that he was gonna come,” center Maurkice Pouncey said Wednesday. “But now that he didn’t, obviously it’s Le’Veon over the Steelers, and we’re the Steelers and we’re going to play as the Steelers. … Now when it’s game time and you that you have $14 million looming out there, and you’re still not here and your team really wants you here? At this point, we got [James] Conner.”
Conner will start in Bell’s place in Week 1 against the Browns.
Oh, and if you happen to own Bell or Conner in fantasy football, here’s a little advice about how to handle the situation.Read the full story at ProFootballTalk