Le’Veon Bell’s current situation is unique. He didn’t choose to have the franchise tag placed on him, but is doing the best he can to negotiate and leverage himself for negotiations with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since the Steelers haven’t used the frachise tag on someone not named Bell since they placed it on Jeff Reed, not many can really give advice on Bell’s current situation. However, if someone were close, it would be Antonio Brown.
Brown spoke to the media Wednesday after the team’s second Organized Team Activities (OTAs) workout, and he had some advice for his friend, and teammate, Bell:
See what he had to say, per Aditi Kinkabwala of the NFL Network:
Antonio Brown knows EXACTLY how the #Steelers operate: “The first rule of getting better is showing up. You can’t make anything better without showing up.”— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) May 23, 2018
Antonio Brown doesn’t once question Le’Veon Bell’s decision to hold out and not sign his tender. But the best WR in the game says this: “Make everyone understand... he want to be here not just for this year but for years to come. Show up and get better. Show guys you’re serious.”— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) May 23, 2018
While Brown was always under contract, he knows what it is like to not feel appreciated, and or paid what he is worth. When Brown was grossly underpaid, he kept showing up. Eventually the Steelers rewarded Brown with a very lucrative contract.
The same can be said about Alejandro Villanueva. As a starting left tackle in the NFL, Villanueva was making less than one million dollars a year. With every right to not show and make a statement to the team, Villanueva kept showing up and was paid handsomely on the first day of training camp last season.
The advice is simple, but will it fall on deaf ears? My guess is nothing will change...regardless of teammates’ requests.
Time to check in on what else went down on the Steelers’ second OTA session:
When left is right, and right is left
In yesterday’s recap we wrote about the reports of Bud Dupree taking reps on the opposite side of the field. Media spoke to T.J. Watt about the switch, and, as expected, Watt was selfless in his willingness to do whatever it takes for the team to win.
Watt on whether he’s a LOLB or a ROLB: “Right now it’s left. This is Day 2 of OTAs so a lot can happen. Whatever it takes to win. I’m on the stairway to 7 just like every other guy in that locker room. Whatever the coaches have me doing, I’m on board.”— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 23, 2018
Fans shouldn’t put too much stock into this, but wait until training camp before drawing any serious conclusions. The more you can do, the better the defense will be.
T.J. Watt (No. 90) said he’s hunting ‘more splash plays’ in year two. He was working on that goal with assistant coach Joey Porter during Wednesday’s OTA session. pic.twitter.com/v0oVfpXEQ2— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 23, 2018
Joe Haden, Artie Burns and Trey Johnson work on footwork and pass-catching in OTAs. pic.twitter.com/zXA3N6ShJ3— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 23, 2018