Le'Veon Bell shocked many after announcing he intends to holdout throughout the preseason in order to get the contract extension he feel he deserves.
Bell has expressed his desire to be paid like a running back AND a No. 2 wide receiver by the Pittsburgh Steelers. This explains why Bell turned down a $70 million contract offer from the Steelers, as well as refusing to sign his $12.1 million franchise tag tender thus far.
Steelers' Le'Veon Bell pushing for positionless, not RB, pay:https://t.co/RtD1oCkJrJ— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 20, 2017
Instead of returning for Training Camp, Bell is working out independently, obviously miffed that the team did not meet Bell's contract demands.
I guess I just gotta get better...— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) July 17, 2017
The fact of the matter is Bell and the Steelers cannot negotiate a new deal until the end of the 2017 season, so the point in holding out is serving neither side any purpose. Bell cannot play without signing his franchise tag. Not only that, if he is injured in any way without signing his franchise tag, then the Steelers are not liable for the injury.
Bell has refused to attend Training Camp before, and it has not worked out to his benefit. Now Steelers GM Kevin Colbert is calling him out for doing so again.
In 2015 and 2016, Bell faced suspensions at the beginning of those seasons due to being charged with a DUI & violating the league's substance abuse policy, respectively, which is never a great thing for a player who wants to be paid like two athletes combined.
Without performing with the team over the past couple of summers, Bell has one major flaw in his game, and that is the ability to stay healthy. This fact alone was a major hindrance for the Steelers, as Bell has not been available for when they needed them most. The Playoffs.
In 2014, Bell suffered a hyperextended knee in Week 17, which kept him out of the Steelers Wild Card Round matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, which led to an early exit.
In 2015, Bell suffered a torn MCL in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, which kept him out for the remainder of the season.
In 2016, Bell's play helped lead the Steelers all the way to the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots. However, Bell would leave the game after suffering a groin injury in the first quarter.
These instances can lead to the wear and tear an NFL season can have on a player. What can lead to that is not getting ready for the season in Training Camp. Training Camp is not just for rookies. It is for veterans as well.
The Steelers are building to return to the AFC Championship and find their way to the Super Bowl. However, Bell sitting out does not help the team accomplish that goal. Antonio Brown has even made a plea for Bell to return to the team this summer.
Antonio Brown calls out Le'Veon Bell on SnapChat https://t.co/uSDLIIOCfa— Pennsylvania Sports (@pasports) July 28, 2017
Now with the news on Wednesday that Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract extension. This has to give Bell a negotiation chip with the Steelers in the offseason.
However, Bell is not helping his case by not showing up to Training Camp with the team. With this move, Bell is showing he is worried more about himself than the team's success.