Le'Veon Bell

USA Today

Le’Veon Update?

Just do something and end this.

November 06, 2018 - 11:36 am

Hey, you know something that we haven’t talked about enough? Le’Veon Bell. And if you thought the Le’Veon Rumor and Conjecture Machine had broken, you could not be more wrong. It was just refueling and it got all the juice it needed yesterday, thanks to a tweet.

At noon yesterday, Le’Veon Bell tweeted: “Farewell Miami” with a hand wave emoji!

And immediately, everyone rushed to Twitter and their keyboards to start breaking it down. What does it mean? It must mean that he’s taking his talents from South Beach to Pittsburgh, right? Maybe he’ll get there in time for the Thursday night game. 

Well, according to Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers aren’t expecting him by Thursday. Sorry to get your hopes up. Sorry to make you think that we might be just 48 hours away from this story finally ending.

But wait, there’s another deadline. It’s next Tuesday. And that is the deadline for him to report if he’s going to play at all this season. If he is not with the team by Tuesday, he can’t play at all in 2018. So that means that he has to show up by then, right? We finally have an absolutely hard and fast deadline whereby we will finally know what he’s doing, right?

Not exactly.

Because there seems to be a growing sense around the league that he might not play at all this season.

And here’s where it gets juicy, because here’s where we start talking about franchise tags, transition tags, and compensatory picks! How fired up are you to hear that, right?!? And if you love compensatory pick talk, how about some restricted free agency chatter? Maybe a little unrestricted free agency discussion? And don’t get me started on prorated contracts!

I’ve always said, when it comes to professional sports, the games are fun, but the real action isn’t on the field, it’s in the board room and it’s in fax machines that are sending deals back and forth. You know what’s more exciting than Le’Veon Bell breaking a tackle and taking it to the house? The possibility of a transition tag and what that means for free agency!!!!

Sure, the Steelers are 5-2-1 and have won four straight games. That’s cool. But not nearly as cool as the possibility of Pittsburgh having to match an inflated contract offered to Bell by another team next year. 

Of course not. 

Here’s the deal. Next Tuesday is our only hope. I know there have been plenty of deadlines along the way here. Plenty of days where Bell was supposed to report, where he had to report or else he’d lose something, and he still hasn’t reported. He’s treated supposed deadlines like would-be tacklers. 

And I don’t want to get our hopes up, but next Tuesday might be our last, best hope for a resolution here. He either shows up or he doesn’t. He either plays this year or he doesn’t.

It’s not like the Steelers are struggling without him. James Conner is a beast. I’m not saying he’s better than Bell, but I am saying that he’s putting up huge numbers and without the drama. So how eager are the Steelers to get Bell back? 

I’d never say that they’d turn a guy with that talent away, but they clearly aren’t hurting at the running back position without him, they have no idea what kind of football shape Bell will be in, or how the locker room would treat him when he returns. To say nothing of what it would do to the offense to have two backs who need carries.

Again, every offensive coordinator should be so burdened as to have to decide whether to give the ball to Le’Veon Bell or James Conner, but it could very well be a challenge and could break the flow of this team, just as its finding their stride. 

So what will Bell do? Here’s the simplest answer: who knows? Barring a recorded interview with Bell, pretty much anything that anyone says is conjecture and hearsay. 

Everything that everyone ever expected him to do, he hasn’t done. Throughout this whole tedious process, exactly nothing has gone to plan. From not reporting at the end of camp to some teammates taking a run at him in the media to now staring down the possibility of skipping the whole season, this has played out in a way that nobody expected, including Bell, because I doubt he expected Conner to go off the way he has.

So what happens this week and what happens next Tuesday? I don’t know. I just know I want it to end. Le’Veon, if you’re listening, I don’t care what you do, just do something and end this. Just put us out of misery. Because we’re sick of talking about it and wondering what the hell you are going to do. So just do something. Anything.