Dunlap: Changing My Tune On Bell, Let Him Walk

Colin Dunlap
March 06, 2018 - 6:02 am
Le'Veon Bell at Pro Bowl

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

I’m changing my tune.
That’s allowed — things change. Situations evolve. Circumstances take twists and turns. People end up doing things differently than they did in the past and you come to a different conclusion about them.
I’m drifting over to the “it might be OK to let Le’Veon Bell walk” camp. Am I fully sold, two boots firmly planted in the camp? No. Not yet. But I sure as heck am starting to hedge that way. And I’m hedging heavily that way.
To be clear, I was hellbent on the notion that the Steelers needed to hammer out a long-term deal with the spectacularly-talented running back. I was certain, up until recently, that what was best for business for all involved was A Whole Lotta Lev moving forward.
Now, I’m not so sure.
What changed this? His insistence on being a perpetual knucklehead. I thought he could be a reformed knucklehead, but now I’m not so sure. More to the point, his insistence on having his contract situation play out publicly and seemingly challenge and goad the organization and, by extension, Art Rooney II.
You see, I have lived in Pittsburgh a lot longer than Bell and I’ll give him a succinct yet strong history lesson: when it comes to contract disputes, people with the surname Rooney are undefeated, untied and unscored upon against football players.
Ask Franco Harris.
Ask Mike Merriweather.
Ask Hines Ward.
In this case, you don’t bluff or scare Art II. If you want to talk all that nonsense about retiring, go ahead — Art II won’t be painted into some corner or frightened by hollow threats. He’s an attorney by trade and an Irishman by blood, Art II will laugh off such nonsense without barely giving it a second thought.
I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Also, where is Bell’s agent in all of this? Why is he being his own spokesman. Isn’t it Agent 101 to step in and be the bad guy in situations like this so as to keep your client out of the court of public opinion? To me it should be. Instead, Bell is doing a wonderful job of making himself try to look like some aggrieved party when no one in the world wants to hear about a rich guy crying poor mouth because he wants to get richer.
I don’t know about you, but I was on-board with a Le’Veon Bell extension. I was in the past. Now I’m starting to agree with the people who think — albeit he’s a wonderful talent — he’s more trouble than what he’s worth.