Dunlap: Jealousy Could Be At Play In Bell Decision

Colin Dunlap
July 18, 2018 - 10:43 am

© Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Sure it's about the money. Certainly the guaranteed money and the salary and the term and all that. 

That's the biggest factor as to why Le'Veon Bell is most likely about to begin his final season as a Pittsburgh Steeler. 

But, you know what, maybe there's more. 

Perhaps a good old fashioned case of jealousy. Yep, that's the thought here --- the guy is tired of being third-fiddle behind Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. 

It is the Brown part, in my estimation, that could really be irking him because it is just natural on any football team for the quarterback to be the big dog. 

Think about all of this. Think about how Bell, no matter what he does on the football field, will never gain the traction as a marketable quotient here in Pittsburgh the way Brown has. Now, some of that has to do with Bell's past and missteps, but another portion of it has to do with Brown's James Brown-meets-Joe Namath kind of quality that he carries himself with. And, again to me at least, this is a reason Bell is looking to high-tail it out of Pittsburgh after this season. 

He will never be able to escape Brown's shadow. 

Brown is a guy who, for the most part, all he needs to do is smile --- doesn't even need to say a word --- and companies climb all over each other eager to fly him to Los Angeles and have him endorse their product. Just today, they decided to plaster his big smile on the cover of the latest Madden video game.

Whatever it is, he has it. He has oodles of it. He has it times a million and then two more times over. 

Brown has the fame, he has the money, he has the radiance and magnetic quality where it seems like a crowd buzzes to follow him wherever he goes. 

And he's never, ever, ever, ever run afoul of the law. His deepest transgression, it appears, was using Facebook to capture sacred locker room moments and blast them live into public view --- and, again, that was done to try to bolster his visibility. 

On the other hand, while an all-world talent, Bell hasn't anywhere near the visibility. 

You could watch television for a year and won't see him on it as many times as you see Brown in 12 hours. It's all so puzzling because Bell is one of the top --- if not the  ​top --- all-around weapon in the NFL.

No one will convince me this isn't a factor in Bell's decision not to accept the Steelers' very fair offer. I'm of the opinion it is a big factor. The guy, for a variety of reasons, will never be Antonio Brown. People here will never look at Bell as the same, they will never jockey each other to meet him or be as wide-eyed as they are when they see Brown. 

There's only room for one Belle at the Ball. 

And it ain't Bell, it's Brown. 

So that's part of the reason Bell wants to take his ball and go elsewhere. ​

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