In what seems to be the longest break-up in history, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Le’Veon Bell will remain together for what seems to be at least another six months, give or take. Some members of Steeler Nation are incensed the star running back refused a contract extension to remain on the team past 2018, while others are glad about it. Whatever the feeling, most parties seem to harbor ill will against him...but still will take the touchdowns he produces.
Bell reportedly turned down $70 million to remain in black-and-gold. I guess Bell doesn’t want the 778,642 Cap and Cheeses from Primanti Brothers that that kind of cash can buy. Seriously, that kind of money is something the common man could really only dream of. Most would gladly take 3-percent of that and be stark-raving glad. But we didn’t win the genetic lottery to have that even be close to a possibility.
I work in sales. I don’t have the luxury to make demands. If I decide to not report to a quarterly training and opt to do my own training at home in front of my laptop wearing nothing but my Underroos, I can. But they’re going to find someone that will stay in compliance to their goals, not my personal ones. The production from my replacement would probably be equal, or possibly even better. Deep down, I know I’m a good and productive employee, but I also know that I’m a dime-a-dozen talent, not a one-in-a-million.
Now with all of that being said, if I were to decide that I wanted to start looking...nobody (except current management) would begrudge me for taking more money elsewhere. I have the right to do so. Nobody would tell me that I have an obligation to stay with my company. People would say to me, “Go for it. You deserve more money”. If my employer felt that they could give me a bump, but not one which “company A” was offering at the moment, they might wish me well and gather everyone in for an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen in my honor.
Why can’t we have this attitude with Le’Veon Bell?
Sure I get how millions upon millions of people don’t care if I fail to close on every sales call, or provide value to the customer while reviewing features and benefits. Nor is anyone, besides my family, emotionally invested in my performance or buy replicas of my suit and tie. But I’m starting to feel that the financial decisions of athletes are their own and none of my business.
Personally, I would love to see Bell think of his teammates and the success of his organization. But Bell has expressed how he feels he is playing for something bigger than just money...status and bragging rights. He claims he wants to open the door for other running backs in some kind of modern-day pied piper. I don’t get it, but he does.
I also feel he’s gambling a lot of his future away to gain status for just a little more money. If he gets injured in an unexpected manner like Ryan Shazier did, he will forever regret his decision. But, once again, he has every right to do so, as ill-advised as it may seem.
I’ve heard fans saying Bell is a selfish and greedy player and have suggested his actions as acts of treason. Others want the Steelers to cut ties with him right this instant and are wishing injury on him. That’s pretty harsh.
I find some of Le’Veons’s actions immature, but I have a twenty-five year old and I question his thought process sometimes. I wish No. 26 would look more at the big picture. But some of the fans should too.
The same fans that say he isn’t worth the money are mad he won’t sign. If Bell would have accepted the reported offer, fans would feel the Steelers are mortgaging the team for one player. It’s kind of a no-win situation, and he’s wearing the “bad-guy” hat.
I’m fine with Bell playing for his supper and gambling his future. If he has a great season and the Steelers win a ring, he’s going to command a bigger payday and he’d deserve it. The Steelers would get their seventh Lombardi and fans would be temporarily elated. At that point, if the Steelers decided they didn’t want to pay for his services, like the Jets or Browns could, they should just buy an ice cream cake and wish him well.