NFL Network's Ian Rapoport: Bell Trade 'Incredibly Complicated But Not Impossible'

Teams using caution in inheriting Steelers running back

Matt Koll
October 04, 2018 - 11:07 am
Le'Veon Bell

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- It's the storyline that never seems to end. When and will Le'Veon Bell step on the field as a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2018?

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier this week that the Steelers are now actively shopping Bell and that the ask is a second round pick and a "good player" in return. Rapoport joined The Fan Morning Show on Thursday to further explain things and talk about whether or not this is actually going to happen.

"The actual price makes sense because if you think about the kind of quality of player and performer that Le'Veon Bell is, he should get a lot in return. When guys of his caliber are traded, a second rounder is probably about right," said Rapoport. "So, the actual ask is not crazy."

"The problem is, because of the rules, teams are not allowed to negotiate a long-term deal and you can't even have a 'wink nod' agreement because you're not even allowed to discuss it. So would someone pay a second round pick and a player for someone who could be a rental? You could say, 'well Bell would get traded and then if he liked it, he could sign.' Well yeah, but what if either he gets injured or what if he runs for 1,500 yards in eight games? Would he say, 'alright, let's do that deal at $14 million?' Well, no he might want more now."  

"It's just incredibly complicated, hard for me to imagine something happens but not impossible." 

Rapoport also had Chargers running back Melvin Gordon on his new "Rapsheet and Friends" podcast and said that Gordon strongly supported Bell in his decision to miss time because of his contract.   

"This is probably the strongest stance I've heard from another player saying, not only is it OK what Le'Veon Bell is doing, but I support it. If he does [get to a similar point in his contract], it sounds like he might even be willing to do the same thing. That's how strongly he believed in what Bell is doing." 

Rapoport still thinks the Steelers are a good team despite their 1-2-1 record and thinks they are capable of reeling off five or six wins in a row and getting themselves right back in the thick of things.     

Ian also believes Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will play for Atlanta Sunday and had some interesting thoughts on the division of stats between Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. You can hear the entire interview with NFL's Network's Ian Rapoport on The Fan Morning Show below.

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