Le'Veon Bell

USA Today

Le’Veon’s Holdout

This is becoming less of a standoff and more of stalemate.

September 12, 2018 - 11:58 am

It’s Wednesday. Of Week 2 in the NFL. And still no Le’Veon Bell at the Steelers facilities. This according to Adam Shefter earlier this morning... And not only is Lev not at the facility in the Burgh—dude’s not even on the depth chart anymore. 

First string—James Conner. Second string—Jaylen Samuels. Third String—Stevan Ridley. No string?—Le’Veon Bell.

The team put that updated info out yesterday. Is the team looking to send Bell a message?  What’s it all mean? Or does it really man anything at all. I mean, why would you list a guy on a depth chart who isn’t even under contract to play? Lev isn’t on the chart for the same reason I’m not on the chart. Neither of us have a contract with the Steelers. This doesn’t mean Bell’s dead to them, even if he’s acting like they’re dead to him. So if he’s not with the team or even on the depth chart, where the hell is Bell? In the club, of course. And we know that because TMZ found him there. Of course. 

TMZ reported last night—with photos and all—that Lev was in Miami Monday night at Rockwell partying into early Tuesday morning. And if the offensive line was already pissed enough to start counting this dude’s money to the media a week ago—you gotta wonder how bent to hell they are to see this cat at the club during his holdout. They’re coming off an embarrassing tie to the Browns, they’re grinding their asses off in the facility, while Lev is allegedly grinding on something else, allegedly, in the club. Being in the club mid-week during the season is not a good look. The optics aren’t good.

Then again, my man is technically unemployed. And summer vacay is still going for him.  Just don’t expect his teammates to understand that. They won’t. Because he’s not on the chart, he’s in the club. Dude’s not in the gym, he’s in the club.  Dude’s not in the dark room, he’s in the club. Dude’s not at the negotiation table, he’s in the club. And you tell how much his teammates don’t like him right now but how much they loved James Conner on Sunday.

Problem is, as good as Conner is, and as well as he played Sunday, he’s still not Le’Veon Bell. And they still couldn’t beat the Browns who they own. And now they have to deal with the Chiefs who are loaded. And Bell’s still not with them, he’s in the club. And he’s not blinking. Not blinking but in the club. And not making it rain in the club, but lighting more than $855k on fire in the club. And if he’s doing that, my man must really think he’s going to get back all this money he’s losing now, next year when he does become a free agent. But that’s hard to see given what David Johnson signed for, given Bell’s age, and given the way he’s handling this entire thing. 

Again, at this point the only person winning is James Conner. The Steelers aren’t because they don’t have one of their best players; and Bell’s not because he doesn’t have his money. And both sides are digging in.

This is becoming less of a standoff and more of stalemate. And Lev isn't blinking. He's partying. And it's a one man party. Because 53 other guys and a bunch of coaches are at work. And Lev's at the club. Generally, I’d say, either he’ll get paid or he’ll get traded, but in this case it doesn’t look like either is going to happen. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not this guy is willing to swallow his pride and report. Sure, it would be acknowledging defeat and it’s not a good look. But still a better look than sitting in the club torching nearly $900k a week when your extended family is out busting their ass doing work.

I’m all for these guys getting as much as they possibly can and doing whatever they can to get it. Except, in Bell’s case, it doesn’t look like this plan is working. In his case, holding out isn’t going to get him paid; only coming to work will. But he has to leave the club to do that.