Did you get sucked in? I sure did.
When Le’Veon Bell posted on every social media platform he would be going live on his official Instagram page at 8:00 p.m ET (which turned into 8:20 p.m. ET), I logged in to see what the Steelers All-Pro running back had to say.
In a session which Bell labeled as a chance to answer questions, and explain himself, not much was said. We all received a tour of his spacious west coast home, he spoke kindly of Todd Haley, talked about holding out, then changed his mind and said he would be there Week 1. Did say he wouldn’t be at offseason workouts, or preseason, without a contract, and then continued to ask questions to followers like, “Is water wet?”
That about sums it up.
I left the viewing with more questions than answers, but one thing I know for certain — it is time for Bell to just be quiet.
Nothing good comes out of this type of talk, and his live video was tame compared to what he said in a recent Billboard article, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
“When the end of July comes, wherever we’re at ... if I sign, everybody’ll be happy, but if not, I guess I gotta play it by ear,” Bell told Billboard. “If I’ll be out till Week One, if I’ll be out till Week Ten, or if I’m gonna be there at all. It depends on how I feel at that time and moment.”
Bell also added that he’s “definitely hoping for something to get done” with the Steelers before the July 16 deadline.
Nonetheless, Bell clearly was feeling the heat from the fan base when his “demands” were released via ESPN recently, and if he didn’t care about this perception he wouldn’t be going public to answer fans’ questions. While the motive might be pure, Bell should be getting some council telling him these type of situations don’t go well with the Steelers.
Ask Mike Wallace, and Wallace wasn’t as vocal about his displeasure in negotiations as Bell currently is.
While looking for players who didn’t do it “right” might be easy for some, finding those who played their hand well is much easier. Cameron Heyward, David DeCastro, Antonio Brown and most recently Alejandro Villanueva.
All had legitimate gripes about how much they were being paid compared to their production on the field, yet they kept showing up and were handsomely rewarded for doing so. When Bell talks about his lack of compensation, and his overall “value”, no one had a bigger reason to be angry about this same situation than his teammate Brown. Brown was out-producing the best receivers in the game, and being paid peanuts compared to his counterparts.
Reports were Brown considered holding out, but realized his best bet was to keep showing up. Which he did, and we all know how that story unfolded.
I’m not suggesting Bell doesn’t have a legitimate bone to pick with the production he is putting on the field, but at the same time he has to decide whether he wants to be a Steeler for his entire career, or if the money is more important. If his main motivation is the latter, there is a good chance he will find that pot of gold somewhere other than Pittsburgh, PA.
While Bell didn’t answer any of those burning questions during his riveting Instagram live video, the hope is now he goes silent...for once.