The Le'Veon Bell Waiting Game Isn't Over Yet

CBS insider Jason La Canfora takes us through what's next

Matt Koll
November 14, 2018 - 11:07 am
Le'Veon Bell

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- FINALLY a resolution to the ongoing contract situation between Le'Veon Bell and the Steelers.

We've waited and waited since training camp to see when and if Bell was going to show up to the Steelers facility. We have our answer (he's not), but the Le'Veon Bell waiting game continues.

We wait for the answer to this question: Who "won" and who "lost" in this situation? Is there a winner and loser?

NFL Today's NFL on CBS insider Jason La Canfora joined The Fan Morning Show Wednesday morning and encapsulated the situation this way...

"They [the Steelers] saved $15 million and they are poised to be perhaps the one-seed in the AFC and we'll see what their fate is in January. He [Bell] is $15 million poorer but perhaps $15 million healthier I guess and we'll find out in March," said La Canfora.   

Simple enough, but part of the talk surrounding Bell has been about what his market value will be once he sits out a full season and tries to get that guaranteed money contract he is seeking. Jason says that while it's early, the feedback he's gotten from NFL executives has been...interesting. 

"It behooves all these teams to say there's not going to be the market you think, right? If you might be in there you want there to be fewer teams to compete with and you want to try to be able to get him as cheaply as possible. But, the prevailing thought I'm hearing and it's very early, is that the media is out of step with the market on this one," said La Canfora. "The idea that he's still going to get paid and he'll be fine and he'll prevail in the end and he's saved his body and wear and tear and all that...I'm not sure that he's just going to have all these suitors lining up to pay him and he'll have the pick of the litter and he'll get way more money than he could have gotten with the Steelers on a long-term deal in 2017 or 2018."

"Will one team do it? Maybe. But is it going to be Todd Gurley money? I don't think so." 

While there are no clear answers yet, La Canfora explained that Bell's camp did make a huge error in this whole process that could come back to bite them in the end. 

"I think where they really screwed up badly was the message they sent to the rest of the league ahead of the trade deadline," La Canfora said. "Don't call for us. Don't come after us. That bizarre interview he (Bell) did where [he said] 'I want to be a Steeler for life.' What do you mean you want to be a Steeler for life?"

"The other guy is performing as good as you for 30 times less money, like, you need to go somewhere else. The teams that might have explored a trade were turned off by all the rhetoric coming out of him and his agent. I mean, go play somewhere else for half a season and look like Le'Veon Bell and somebody might give you $35-40 million guaranteed. That's what I didn't understand. That to me was such a miscalculation. That was your chance to say, 'Oh yeah, look at what he's doing there? Watch me do it here.' But they didn't want to leave which...why wouldn't you want to leave? I don't get it." 

Jason also doesn't expect the Steelers to go "hog wild" in free agency next year with the money saved on Bell because the market often times involved overpaying for players that so often don't play up to their contracts and the Steelers want none of that. 

You can hear the entire interview with NFL on CBS' insider Jason La Canfora on The Fan Morning Show below. 



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