LE’VEON BELL (AP PHOTO)
Finally, I can take back my life!
OK, seriously, I’m sure you had way more important things to do and accomplish in your daily lives other than worry about whether or not Le’Veon Bell would ever report to the Steelers by yesterday’s Nov. 13 deadline.
Just so you know, while you were busy paying the Duquesne Light bill, picking up the kids from school, and trying to see how many of your crazy family members are coming to your house for Thanksgiving, Bell did not report to the Steelers. He is now ineligible to play for any team—including the Steelers—for the remainder of the 2018 season.
“As The Le’Veon Turns” has been a ratings blockbuster in Pittsburgh for the past few years. Bell, who has gyrated his way to three Pro Bowls and high praise for being one of the best all-purpose running backs in the game, wanted more money and a long-term deal from the Steelers.
Last season, he didn’t show up to play until the week before the season opener, because he wanted $15 million (the Steelers slapped the $12 million franchise tag on him). But he ended up playing the entire season, and performed well, as one would expect.
But this season, Bell took it to a new level. He wanted $17 million and a long-term deal, and the Steelers basically countered with another franchise tag of roughly $14.5 million and nothing too long and too guaranteed.
For the last 10 weeks, our lives have been shattered, our minds being held hostage, wondering, “Will he show up? Will he come back to us? We need him! It’s the only way we can truly succeed!”
Bell even would send messages on Twitter during games, complimenting the Steelers players who are doing well, like his valuable replacement, James Conner. Then last week, Bell was spotted at a L.A. Fitness in the North Hills, playing pick-up basketball of all things! So, of course he was going to report to the Steelers!
And at the end of the day, he never did. And, obviously, he never will.
So, now that the non-award-winning soap opera is over, maybe we can go back to having some sense of a normal life. Maybe we can go back to wondering about real-life issues such as, “Do I have enough in my bank account to cover that car payment? I wonder if I’ll be able to head to Chicago for Christmas, or can I not afford the trip? My water heater broke in the house, and it’s going to cost $600 to get it all fixed…”
My fellow Pittsburghers, how am I—we—to understand Le’Veon Bell’s gripe? Maybe he truly has one. He wants to be completely healthy in order to get a big payday in free agency from another team this offseason. He refused to play for $14.5 million this season, basically because the Steelers did not offer him $2.5 million more.
So, all he did was sit out each game, losing $850,000 per week this season in order to…stay…completely…healthy.
Let me be honest with you. I’m very concerned. Verrrrry concerned.
I hope that Bell, 26, who’s been front-page news in this Steel town for all these weeks, surely doesn’t get any termination notices from the electric company anytime soon. He hasn’t worked all season—he might not be able to pay it before they shut the lights off.
ROB TAYLOR JR.