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Le'Veon Bell won't be tagged

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Steelers won’t use any tag on Le’Veon Bell

Posted by Josh Alper on February 20, 2019, 12:53 PM EST

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/02/20/steelers-wont-use-any-tag-on-leveon-bell/

Running back Le'Veon Bell will be a totally unrestricted free agent come March 13.

There’s been speculation since last season that the Steelers might use a transition tag on Bell in hopes of getting better compensation back than they might wind up in line for through the compensatory draft pick system. That would have involved a lot of jumping through hoops, including Bell’s willingness to sign the tag and let the Steelers trade him after two years of acrimony because of franchise tags.

None of that jumping will be required because General Manager Kevin Colbert quashed that theory on Wednesday.

“Le’Veon is still a great player,” Colbert said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “We can’t afford to use any other type of tags. Le’Veon will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year.”

Bell’s agent can start talking to teams on March 11 and the No. 7 free agent on PFT’s annual listprobably won’t be waiting long to hear from teams interested in getting him on the field for the first time since 2017. Whether those teams are looking to pay what Bell was hoping to get from the Steelers will be a big storyline in the early days of free agency.

Edited by michaelredd9

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Let the bidding commence. This is definitely one of the most interesting offseason topics. Where he goes and what he gets is going to be very big for other RBs that come due for a new contract in the coming years.

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 looking very forward to him being a complete bust elsewhere without a top 3 oline, HOF QB and HOF WR.. no doubt someone will over pay.. my guess is the Jets 

Edited by Gourdeau

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The interesting part of this for both Brown and Bell is that the best teams cannot afford them but why jump ship to a lesser team? I'd much rather have an offseason of this sort of thing than arrests and domestic violence.

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37 minutes ago, DMD said:

The interesting part of this for both Brown and Bell is that the best teams cannot afford them but why jump ship to a lesser team? I'd much rather have an offseason of this sort of thing than arrests and domestic violence.

 

Probably for the best. I wonder if teams will be concerned that he hasn't played football in quite some time. I'd find it hard to believe that he gets more than what Pittsburgh had originally offered. It will be interesting.

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For the sake of pride, I bet Bell goes to the highest bidder.  He needs to justify sitting out last year.  Unfortunately for him, his running style is predicated on waiting for his blocking to develop.  He won't be good without good blocking.

 

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17 minutes ago, michaelredd9 said:

For the sake of pride, I bet Bell goes to the highest bidder.  He needs to justify sitting out last year.  Unfortunately for him, his running style is predicated on waiting for his blocking to develop.  He won't be good without good blocking.

 

 

Agree. He's already out of a years pay. I'm just wondering how big his market will be. Especially with how many good young RB's are in the league now. 

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21 minutes ago, League_Champion said:

 

Probably for the best. I wonder if teams will be concerned that he hasn't played football in quite some time. I'd find it hard to believe that he gets more than what Pittsburgh had originally offered. It will be interesting.

 

He's put on a lot of weight from what I see on his Instagram. 

 

No doubt in my mind he doesn't touch 14 mil a year. 

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1 minute ago, Gourdeau said:

 

He's put on a lot of weight from what I see on his Instagram. 

 

No doubt in my mind he doesn't touch 14 mil a year. 

 

Agree. I think he really misjudged the market. 

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Scary part for him is that holding out a year, having torn an ACL in the past, he's at least slightly more risky than a player with no gap or injury past. And yet he's going to be all about the guaranteed money.

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I will never understand losing out on 14.7 million

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20 hours ago, Gourdeau said:

 looking very forward to him being a complete bust elsewhere without a top 3 oline, HOF QB and HOF WR.. no doubt someone will over pay.. my guess is the Jets 

 

This is exactly what I was thinking.  He could suddenly be very average in a hurry.

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He's going to need to lose 30-40 pounds, if I were a team considering him I'd want him in shape before I sign him. Very risky. 

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From the NY Daily Snot Rag [commonlly known as the NY Daily News]

by Manish Mehta [Obnoxious Jets beat reporter who often fabricates things to get clicks]  My snide comments are in [brackets]

 

https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/ny-sports-jets-mailbag-bell-brown-20190220-story.html

The Jets believe that Bell is a quality player, but there are reservations inside the building about his motivation after he lands a big pay day. [maybe this team learned its lesson from lazy Revis who was slow, fat and out of shape when he got that last, incredibly over priced, Jets contract].  Frankly, I think that sentiment is unfounded given what people who know Bell have told me about his competitiveness and work ethic. He made a business decision last season that few players have had the courage to make in NFL history. But I expect him to be a dominant player when he returns.

There’s also concern on One Jets Drive about how much tread the 27-year-old Bell has left on his tires given his 1,635 touches in five seasons.

Then there’s this: Word on the street is that Bell, who’s playing weight is about 225 pounds, ballooned to around 260 pounds at one point during his year-long hiatus. There’s a fair amount of concern from the Jets about what kind of shape he’s in at the moment. (You’d have to think that Bell has lost most of his extra baggage by now). [I read one rumor that had him nearing 280 lbs.]

All that being said, the Jets would take Bell at the right price. What exactly is that price? Well, my understanding is that he’s looking for a deal that pockets $48 million in the first three years.

I’ve been told that the Jets are not going to break the bank for Bell. It would be a shame if Gang Green made a token low-ball offer to arguably the best dual-threat running back of the past decade.

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21 hours ago, michaelredd9 said:

For the sake of pride, I bet Bell goes to the highest bidder.  He needs to justify sitting out last year.  Unfortunately for him, his running style is predicated on waiting for his blocking to develop.  He won't be good without good blocking.

 

 

forget the Jets who have an abyssmally bad OL.

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2 hours ago, stevegrab said:

He's going to need to lose 30-40 pounds, if I were a team considering him I'd want him in shape before I sign him. Very risky. 

 

I know, what happened? He blew up like a tick. You'd think someone looking for a huge payday would take better care of himself.

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33 minutes ago, League_Champion said:

Where does all this leave the Steelers? No AB, no Leveon and an old half crippled Big Ben. Is this the beginning of the rebuild? 

 

No worries, Connor and JuJu got this.

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14 minutes ago, Def. said:

 

No worries, Connor and JuJu got this.

 

I like Juju a lot. Connor didn't look good at times. I'm not sure he's the permanent answer. 

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Connor could be the answer this year even though he never really looked like he got more than the offense would have allowed most decent RBs. The lack of AB impacts the whole offense though. JuJu looked great last year but that was with the defenses accounting for AB. What happens when JuJu is the No. 1 WR? Bell brought more to the table than Connor obviously, but Connor could be good enough.  I'm more interested in what a non-AB passing game is like. It's a lot different being across from arguably the best WR in the game compared to being the only WR that a defense worries about. James Washington is a big winner here to be sure. But Brown's halo helped Emmanuel Sanders, Martavis Bryant, Marcus Wheaton, etc.. JuJu seems like he is the real deal and better than those others. But - his big 2018 (111-1426-7) came with Brown turning in 104-1297-15. You have to assume that JuJu will do well from his sheer volume of targets. But it will be interesting to see how the offense changes.

 

I haven't heard anyone really say it, but Roethlisberger looks like the player that takes the brunt of Brown leaving.

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5 minutes ago, DMD said:

Connor could be the answer this year even though he never really looked like he got more than the offense would have allowed most decent RBs. The lack of AB impacts the whole offense though. JuJu looked great last year but that was with the defenses accounting for AB. What happens when JuJu is the No. 1 WR? Bell brought more to the table than Connor obviously, but Connor could be good enough.  I'm more interested in what a non-AB passing game is like. It's a lot different being across from arguably the best WR in the game compared to being the only WR that a defense worries about. James Washington is a big winner here to be sure. But Brown's halo helped Emmanuel Sanders, Martavis Bryant, Marcus Wheaton, etc.. JuJu seems like he is the real deal and better than those others. But - his big 2018 (111-1426-7) came with Brown turning in 104-1297-15. You have to assume that JuJu will do well from his sheer volume of targets. But it will be interesting to see how the offense changes.

 

I haven't heard anyone really say it, but Roethlisberger looks like the player that takes the brunt of Brown leaving.

 

Yup, it's an entirely different dynamic now. Juju will draw the #1 corner and Connor will see more 8 man fronts. It dramatically changes.

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I am not optimistic about the Steelers.  AB makes them better when he's happy, but he also is a major negative right now and they need to move on.  Connor is fine but not the talent Bell was.  Hard for me to see how they are going to be better next year

Edited by purplemonster

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30 minutes ago, DMD said:

Connor could be the answer this year even though he never really looked like he got more than the offense would have allowed most decent RBs. The lack of AB impacts the whole offense though. JuJu looked great last year but that was with the defenses accounting for AB. What happens when JuJu is the No. 1 WR? Bell brought more to the table than Connor obviously, but Connor could be good enough.  I'm more interested in what a non-AB passing game is like. It's a lot different being across from arguably the best WR in the game compared to being the only WR that a defense worries about. James Washington is a big winner here to be sure. But Brown's halo helped Emmanuel Sanders, Martavis Bryant, Marcus Wheaton, etc.. JuJu seems like he is the real deal and better than those others. But - his big 2018 (111-1426-7) came with Brown turning in 104-1297-15. You have to assume that JuJu will do well from his sheer volume of targets. But it will be interesting to see how the offense changes.

 

I haven't heard anyone really say it, but Roethlisberger looks like the player that takes the brunt of Brown leaving.

 

22 minutes ago, League_Champion said:

 

Yup, it's an entirely different dynamic now. Juju will draw the #1 corner and Connor will see more 8 man fronts. It dramatically changes.

 

Small sample size but relevant 

 

Juju stats in games without AB or Bell 

 

2017 week 16 vs Texans on Road

6 Catches 75 Yards 1TD

Bell played 1 half 

 

2017 week 17 vs Browns 

9 catches 143 Yard 1TD

Bell did not play 

 

2018 Week 17 vs Browns 

5 Catches 37 Yards 1 TD 

 

JUJU will be a fine #1. He wont be AB but the Steelers always find receivers, Ben always produces no matter who is at WR.  AB has not been the only receiver on the field for defenses to focus on during his career either. He's had Sanders Wallace and Hines Ward lined up with him up until 2014. Then Bryant for 2 good years before he went silent, not to mention Lev Bell and now JUJU. He's had some quality guys.

 

Its also worth pointing out that, again small sample, but in 5 games played without Ben in his career AB averages 4.8 catches for 68 yards and only scored twice. For his career he averages 8 catches for 108 yards and .75 touchdowns a game. 

 

Ben has only played 3 games in his career without AB since 2013 when AB became a full time starter. He Had over 300 yards twice and 240 Yards in the other.  

 

I've said it before I'll say it again, AB is not the greatest of route runners,  He's fast as hell and has crazy feet but its Ben's abilty to extend plays and ability to sling it mixed  with ABs speed that is the key to his success in my opinion. Ive seen a ton of Ints thrown towards AB where he ran a terrible route, I don't see him, at this stage of his career being nearly as successful with an average QB. Give him Rodgers or Russell Wilson, he can dominate no doubt but there is a chemistry between he and Ben on the field that can't be duplicated. 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, purplemonster said:

I am not optimistic about the Steelers.  AB makes them better when he's happy, but he also is a major negative right now and they need to move on.  Connor is fine but not the talent Bell was.  Hard for me to see how they are going to be better next year

 

I think locker room chemistry is understated. I'm optimistic that the removal of both those me guys will help the TEAM dynamic, not to mention the yield that AB is likely to return for trade. Steelers also have significant cap space. There is a reason they are always in the mix and that is great scouting and Colbert is a great GM. Traditionally they aren't super aggressive in FA but they are also in uncharted territory with the amount of cap they have and the Ben window is closing so I expect them to go a little outside the line in terms of their norm  

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