We all seen it coming since the end of last season. Le’Veon Bell was reported as absent for the start of the Pittsburgh Steelers off-season workouts. Although these workouts were voluntary, most players attend the workouts to start preparing for the start of the season. This news shouldn’t be worrying, however, because this is something Bell had spoken on at end the season last year.
After losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship game Bell had stated he would sit out or contemplate retirement if the franchise tag was placed on him in 2018. He has since been tagged and has not retired (yet) but now begins the waiting game to see when or if Bell will show up for workouts or training camp this season. The Steelers have until July 16th to work out a long-term deal for the all-pro running back, but I do not see it happening. Bell is asking for way too much money, and the Steelers usually don’t bend to the will of their players. But even if Bell sits out all of the preseason leading up to the start of the regular season there is no reason to panic.
Bell is going to play this season. He would be crazy if he were to retire or sit out the entire season. And if he’s going to potentially be playing his last season in Pittsburgh you can bet all of your money that the team will be running the wheels off of Bell. As wrong as it sounds, they might as well get their money’s worth while they can. This will be the price Le’Veon pays for wanting such a huge payday for himself. I truly wish that this does not happen and both sides can agree on a long-term deal, but that outlook is so bleak and I just don’t see it happening. So Bell will most likely match or surpass his 1,946 all-purpose yards from last season, which will be welcomed in Pittsburgh, but it may be the last time he’ll have an opportunity at gaining such a statistical feat.
Le’Veon Bell has turned into one of my favorite players in the league. He is arguably the best running back in the NFL today. No other back has the skill set that Bell possesses, and with such a skill set comes a hefty price tag. This tag will be one Pittsburgh passes up on and I highly doubt we will see Bell don the black and gold after the 2018-19 season. It would be nice for him to go out with a bang by helping the team win their seventh super bowl ring, and Pittsburgh is primed to make another run at that opportunity. It just sucks that this will be the last time he’ll have this chance with this team.
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