It is July, which means football is right around the corner. July 27th the Pittsburgh Steelers report to Latrobe, PA for another training camp. Although we still have a few weeks of the “dog days” of the NFL offseason, it doesn’t mean there isn’t news to still be discussed.
We take you around the world wide web to give you your daily dose of black and gold, along with making BTSC your one-stop-shop for all things Steelers.
Six years ago, former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch was a member of the NFL players’ association executive committee when team owners locked the players out and caused a 132-day work stoppage. A new collective bargaining agreement was agreed upon in late July, but Steelers players declined to sign it because they thought it gave too much power to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Now there are four years remaining on the CBA, and Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said last week the players have to be willing to strike to get what they want. Four years is a long time, but the NFLPA could be setting the stage for another work stoppage before the current deal expires in 2020.
Did Batch see this coming?
“It’s hard to predict,” Batch said Thursday during a break at a Steelers youth camp at West Allegheny High School. “I’ve been out of it now five years. I’m not in depth with the strategy going into the next CBA. Richard is on the executive committee like I was. Is that a hint to where they might possibly go? I don’t know. All I know is they locked us out in 2011. That’s where we are. Players haven’t struck since 1987. People forget that. Everyone now is talking about players striking. People forget just [six] years ago the owners locked the players out.”
“There is no ill toward a guy,” said Batch, who will continue in his role as a Steelers analyst this year with KDKA-TV and the Steelers Radio Network. “Everyone’s situation is different. Hines was a four-time Pro Bowler. He was vastly underpaid. Everybody understood that situation. He reported. And guess what? His deal got done. Everyone’s situation is different.”
Batch said Bell’s situation should not be compared to Ward, Wallace or Villanueva because the Steelers exercised their right to place the franchise tag on him. The Steelers decided not to sign him before his rookie contract expired and had the past four months to negotiate a deal before Monday’s deadline...
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Le'Veon Bell has shown he can shed tacklers, but can he run past the growing number of fans upset that he didn't sign a long-term contract with the Steelers before Monday's 4 p.m. deadline and may sit out at least part of training camp?
Judging by a sampling of social media comments, Bell is to blame for the two sides failing to reach an agreement, which means the Pro Bowl running back will play on a one-year, $12.12 million contract for the 2017 season.
Facebook reaction to the Tribune-Review's coverage Monday of the failed contract negotiations seemed to put Bell in the cross-hairs, although the Steelers didn't escape their share of scrutiny.
Fans appeared to focus their ire on Bell's arrest during his rookie season for marijuana that has contributed to two suspensions and his history of being injured in the playoffs.
Bell didn't help his cause with blue-collar fans when he told ESPN that, "I'm not in a rush to sign for something I'm not valued at if I feel I'm worth more than what they are offering me."
Bell also seemed to take a shot at the Steelers when he wrote on his verified Twitter account that "I guess I just gotta get better..." It was a statement he echoed on Snapchat and Instagram.
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The Ravens made several moves Thursday.
They waived defensive back Daniel Henry with an injury designation, and placed offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor on the non-football injury list.
The Ravens also placed receiver Aaron Bailey and defensive end Patrick Ricard on the physically unable to perform list.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes won’t be missing any of his first NFL training camp due to a contract dispute.
Mahomes was one of the few unsigned 2017 draft picks left in the league until the Chiefs announced on Thursday afternoon that he has agreed to a contract with the team. Like all first-round picks, Mahomes’ contract runs four years with a team option for a fifth season.
Mahomes went to Kansas City with the 10th overall pick after the Chiefs made a trade with the Bills to move into the spot. They gave up a third-round pick and next year’s first-round selection for a player who is expected to serve as a backup to Alex Smith for at least one season before taking over as the team’s starter.
With Mahomes under contract, there are six unsigned picks left around the league. Five of them are first-round selections, including three of the top six picks, but things could start to move with Mahomes and second overall pick Mitchell Trubisky agreeing to deals in the last two days.