Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Steelers teammates turn on Le'Veon Bell: 'He f--ked us'

LeVeon Bell walking on the field Steelers teammates turn on Le'Veon Bell: 'He f--ked us'
Eugene Bates | 06 September, 2018, 23:44

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. The team appeared hopeful he would report this week - as he did previous year to end his holdout when Week 1 began - but with Sunday's opener against the Browns looming, his support appears to be losing steam.

"Le'Veon has several years ahead of him in football", Bakari told NFL Live.

The sudden heel-turn on Bell appears coordinated.

"What do you do?"

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, an offensive captain who said on Labor Day that you could "count on it" that Bell would be back by Wednesday, was among the offensive linemen who were quick to turn on their teammate for staying away. "I just hate it came to this".

Foster also added: "He's making seven times what I make, twice as much as Al (Villanueva) is making, and we're the guys who do it for him".

Drawing from my own NFL experiences and assessing Bell's current standing in this league, I think the three-time Pro Bowler has earned the right to receive a big payday - and sitting out until November 13 gives him the best opportunity to do that as a free agent next March. We'll move on as a team. If that means sitting out one game, a few games, through Week 10, or even the entire season, that's what's going to happen. Last season when Conner would get touches, his lack of burst really showed. The former Pitt star is in line to make his first National Football League start on Sunday and he's not too concerned about the circumstances that made it happen. The Steelers also lost Pro Bowl inside linebacker Ryan Shazier to a season-ending spinal-cord injury last season, only for opponents like the Patriots and Jaguars to exploit the soft spot in their defense.

Then there's this interesting observation (via The Athletic's Mark Kaboly) from OG David DeCastro on whether Bell would be welcomed back into the Steelers' locker room after potentially missing games: "I don't know, it's kind of awkward". He simply commented, "Whoa" on a Bleacher Report IG post that contained the following quote from Pouncey, "Why play hide-and-seek?" Why let your agent say this?

Remember when Bell was going through a similar dance last season and said he should be paid as if he were the Steelers' No. 2 wide receiver behind Antonio Brown?

Bell forfeits $852,941 for every week he misses. Bell could elect not to report for the first 10 weeks of the season before signing his $14.54 million franchise-tag tender.

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