2018 Steelers: For Whom the Bell Tolls

dcmissle

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Antonio Brown was AWOL yesterday.

Mike Tomlin’s seat has to be getting very warm right now.
Not that it's an excuse, but you know the back story on this, right?

Imagine a now retired Pats' employee, someone who used to work for Stacey James, ripping Gronk.

WTF is going on in Pitts?
 
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I'd be livid if I was a teammate. Picture a co-worker disappearing and not telling you when they are coming back because they rightfully deserve a raise they aren't fully getting. While initially you may be supportive, as the work level increases and stress rises knowing you're covering for one of the star employees and would be doing far better if they are around resentment grows. Then you see them on video on vacation on a Jet Ski next to a Yacht as you're trying to salvage the current situation.

In the end this will cost Bell money. If he holds out until Week 10, he'll lose about 10mm in game check revenue, plus I'd assume some sponsorship revenue. Then you have the situation where he's getting less work in the final 6 games, if they are even in playoff contention (and really they look on the verge of exploding culture wise), so getting the next big offer + 1 year older in age seems less likely. Plus you need that offer to be >10mm more than you would have received this year. While a rookie comes in and takes over a significant portion of your stats, decreasing the perception of your value.
I'm not sure I understand this take. In office jobs, any key stroke doesn't have the potential to be your last and there aren't positions with vastly different earning potentials and career lengths. Running backs are by and large done by 30-33 and the more carries you get the faster it comes.

If he is still himself in those last six games, he will get paid. The value of that contract may be slightly increased by reducing his carries by 250-300 this year. But the value of missing work loads is nebulous. More importantly, by missing 10 games he reduces his injury risk by ~63% (not including playoffs). Recent running backs are getting guarantees of 20+ mill he may just be looking at that 8.5 lost as an insurance policy to get him 2.5 fold more money.
 

sodenj5

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Not that it's an excuse, but you know the back story on this, right?

Imagine a now retired Pats' employee, someone who used to work for Stacey James, ripping Gronk.

WTF is going on in Pitts?
I heard. Still doesn’t excuse Brown from being a no-show on Monday though. Tomlin just had his press conference and didn’t throw Brown under the bus, but made it pretty clear that he wasn’t given the day off.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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If Steelers continue down this path, I can see Trader Lynch dangling a gift box full of picks for AB and pair him up with Jimmy G.

Niners still have around $40m in cap space, 3rd most in the league. Pittsburgh saves around $900k on Brown's $7.9m salary. He's 30 years old and on the second year of his big $68m contract signed last year.
 

Super Nomario

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If Steelers continue down this path, I can see Trader Lynch dangling a gift box full of picks for AB and pair him up with Jimmy G.

Niners still have around $40m in cap space, 3rd most in the league. Pittsburgh saves around $900k on Brown's $7.9m salary. He's 30 years old and on the second year of his big $68m contract signed last year.
Antonio Brown is untradeable. His cap hit this year is just shy of $8 MM; that jumps to $28 MM if he's traded. Pitt would need to clear $20 MM of cap space to trade him. In the offseason, maybe.

EDIT: changed to make clear this is talking about Brown, not Bell.
 
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BigSoxFan

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He's untradeable. His cap hit this year is just shy of $8 MM; that jumps to $28 MM if he's traded. Pitt would need to clear $20 MM of cap space to trade him. In the offseason, maybe.
Well, they are clearing about $850,000 per week right now :)
 

pappymojo

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The only question I have is why Seth Wickersham never bothered to have any meals near Heinz Field.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'd be livid if I was a teammate. Picture a co-worker disappearing and not telling you when they are coming back because they rightfully deserve a raise they aren't fully getting. While initially you may be supportive, as the work level increases and stress rises knowing you're covering for one of the star employees and would be doing far better if they are around resentment grows. Then you see them on video on vacation on a Jet Ski next to a Yacht as you're trying to salvage the current situation.

In the end this will cost Bell money. If he holds out until Week 10, he'll lose about 10mm in game check revenue, plus I'd assume some sponsorship revenue. Then you have the situation where he's getting less work in the final 6 games, if they are even in playoff contention (and really they look on the verge of exploding culture wise), so getting the next big offer + 1 year older in age seems less likely. Plus you need that offer to be >10mm more than you would have received this year. While a rookie comes in and takes over a significant portion of your stats, decreasing the perception of your value.
He's not a coworker or asking for a raise. He isn't under contract. He has an open employment offer that he has chosen not to take thus far. Also comparing the NFL and its ridiculous anti-competitive labor situation to your job is silly.
 

Red Averages

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Ok, not the best example, but does not refute the point that teammates should be livid. I apologize for trying to add some perspective instead of just stating that.
 

Cellar-Door

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Ok, not the best example, but does not refute the point that teammates should be livid. I apologize for trying to add some perspective instead of just stating that.
They shouldn't be livid, maybe they are, but he doesn't owe them or the team anything He didn't sign a contract with the team, he is a free agent. Are they livid with Dez Bryant?

Also he's doing something that may well have positive ramifications in the overall labor struggle that benefits them.

Now sure some of them probably are pissed because they are idiots who grovel to management for scraps and feel that everyone should follow suit, but that makes them stupid for being livid not justified.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I'm not sure I understand this take. In office jobs, any key stroke doesn't have the potential to be your last and there aren't positions with vastly different earning potentials and career lengths. Running backs are by and large done by 30-33 and the more carries you get the faster it comes.

If he is still himself in those last six games, he will get paid. The value of that contract may be slightly increased by reducing his carries by 250-300 this year. But the value of missing work loads is nebulous. More importantly, by missing 10 games he reduces his injury risk by ~63% (not including playoffs). Recent running backs are getting guarantees of 20+ mill he may just be looking at that 8.5 lost as an insurance policy to get him 2.5 fold more money.
Exactly. Teams like the Jets, for example, have $89 million in free cap space next year, a QB on a rookie contract and would love to add him. His holdout this year may increase his value rather than decrease it.

Steelers gambled and look like they've lost. Bell & Steelers are using the CBA, I don't blame either one. "Teammates" should STFU.
 

snowmanny

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Were players livid at Mankins when he skipped half the season? I don't recall that.
 

singaporesoxfan

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I'd be livid if I was a teammate. Picture a co-worker disappearing and not telling you when they are coming back because they rightfully deserve a raise they aren't fully getting. While initially you may be supportive, as the work level increases and stress rises knowing you're covering for one of the star employees and would be doing far better if they are around resentment grows. Then you see them on video on vacation on a Jet Ski next to a Yacht as you're trying to salvage the current situation.
The heart of the anger is that his teammates are picturing him as a co-worker when he's actually more like a contractor that they worked alongside and got close to, but who hasn't signed a new contract and so shouldn't show up
 

DrewDawg

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It could be, and obviously I don't know, that he may have told them that he'd be in on a certain day, then changed his mind. He may have implied to teammates (not management) that he'd be back for game 1.

Either way, rather it's them dealing with it than us.
 

Ralphwiggum

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He’s not a free agent, as someone mentioned above. If you want to make an analogy to the workplace that the rest of us live in (which is stupid) it would be more like the co-worker who wanted to take a job with a competitor because he/she knew that he or she could get paid way more money but who was being forced by the company to stay home and not work (and not get paid) instead, unless they reported to work to get paid much less than they were worth, to do a job they didn’t want to do anymore. I don’t know of any company that I have ever worked at where everyone wouldn’t be more pissed at the company, and be solidly behind the employee for trying to do what’s best for him/her.
 

Salem's Lot

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He’s not a free agent, as someone mentioned above. If you want to make an analogy to the workplace that the rest of us live in (which is stupid) it would be more like the co-worker who wanted to take a job with a competitor because he/she knew that he or she could get paid way more money but who was being forced by the company to stay home and not work (and not get paid) instead, unless they reported to work to get paid much less than they were worth, to do a job they didn’t want to do anymore. I don’t know of any company that I have ever worked at where everyone wouldn’t be more pissed at the company, and be solidly behind the employee for trying to do what’s best for him/her.
Exactly. If NFL owners want to stop guys from holding out then they can start guaranteeing the contracts like every other major sport. I personally think every top player should hold out every year unless they get a reworked deal with a bunch of up front cash every year.
 

Dan Murfman

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So apparently Ben had an encounter with Stormy back in 2006.
Daniels says she saw Trump the next day after they had sex when he invited her to a club in the VIP section of a golf course (it was in a club at her hotel). That is where she met Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, she says. He was chatting with Trump, and at the end of the night Trump asked Roethlisberger to walk her up to her hotel room. She says he asked her for a “good night kiss.” She refused. She says he pushed lightly on her door as they stood outside her hotel room.

“I was terrified. I am rarely terrified,” Daniels wrote, saying Roethlisberger responded, saying, “’Come on.’”

She closed the door and writes that Roethlisberger “stood outside, not leaving” while knocking at her door for several minutes but eventually left.
https://deadspin.com/it-will-surprise-no-one-that-stormy-daniels-says-ben-ro-1829206857
 

DrewDawg

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Cleveland and Indy have the most, but if they trade him it's definitely not going to be to Cleveland and likely not to AFC team.

Beyond that, SF is third, then 7 more AFC teams.
 

sodenj5

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Is that illegal?
No. It’s legal. Misread that at first. The Steelers essentially own his rights this year. He would have to sign the franchise tag before being officially traded. Miami did the same thing with Landry.
 
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KiltedFool

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One of the few bright spots of the whole Bell fiasco is every week he doesn't show up and sign the team gets roughly $855k cap space back.
 

dcmissle

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This situation reminds me of Emmit Smith’s with the Cowboys. It lasted a few games, Charles Haley blew up — “goddammit, we cannot win with a rookie RB!!!”— and Jerry folded.

This is not to suggest Steelers will fold on $. I don’t believe they will. And it’s not to lay all the Steelers’ problems on LB. Steelers are in a very different place than that Cowboys team was.

But the disruptive impact seems the same, and the need for closure mounts as the problems pile up. Especially if things do not go well tonight, a trade in the near future would not surprise me.
 

Super Nomario

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This is not to suggest Steelers will fold on $. I don’t believe they will.
For the record, they cannot. The league deadline for negotiating has passed. Bell plays under the franchise tender or not at all.

I think this is the part where Bell's teammates are frustrated with him; there is nothing the team can do at this point to get him to report.
 

dcmissle

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For the record, they cannot. The league deadline for negotiating has passed. Bell plays under the franchise tender or not at all.

I think this is the part where Bell's teammates are frustrated with him; there is nothing the team can do at this point to get him to report.
They could agree not to franchise him again.
 

finnVT

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My math could be wrong, but I believe a 3rd straight franchise tag would entail a salary at 144% of the previous year, which would put it in the neighborhood of $21mil. I don't think there's any chance they do that regardless of how this plays out (although I'm not entirely clear on which year's salary it's pegged to, so this could be high).
 

KiltedFool

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Can't see a circumstance where the Steelers would even be willing to tag him again, Bell is well on the way to poisoning that relationship permanently.
 

RedOctober3829

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deep inside Guido territory

BigJimEd

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Can't see a circumstance where the Steelers would even be willing to tag him again, Bell is well on the way to poisoning that relationship permanently.
Just due to holding out or has he done other things?

What will teams offer and will it be enough for Pitt? I really don't know what teams might be willing to give up. He's one of, if not the, top RB but his contract will be expensive.
Steelers can't sign him to long term this season but does that carry over to new team if traded?
 

The Mort Report

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The Jets are going big-game hunting again. Gang Green has reached out to the Pittsburgh Steelers to express interest in trading for disgruntled All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell, according to sources. The Jets have not made a concrete offer for Bell yet, but they believe that the Steelers are serious about moving the dynamic offensive weapon.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/ny-sports-leveon-bell-steelers-running-back-20180924-story.html#
So if I'm understanding the rules correctly if he's traded the team acquiring him would be in the same position of not being able to work a long term contract and he'd have to play out the FT, correct? If I were the Jets why would I waste resources in a year that they aren't competing when they can just sign him for money in the offseason? Sure you could get him in early and give yourself a better shot at him but at what cost?
Especially when he's probably chasing every last dollar and it wont matter from where.
Also, I haven't seen any guesses as to what he would cost to acquire, but I'd imagine the conversation starts with a first for the Steelers. Now if he's traded I cant see him costing that much, but I could see a contender panicking and doing something dumb
 

dcmissle

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What do they Steelers get if they don’t tag him? We’re talking in the 2020 draft.
 

RedOctober3829

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So if I'm understanding the rules correctly if he's traded the team acquiring him would be in the same position of not being able to work a long term contract and he'd have to play out the FT, correct? If I were the Jets why would I waste resources in a year that they aren't competing when they can just sign him for money in the offseason? Sure you could get him in early and give yourself a better shot at him but at what cost?
Especially when he's probably chasing every last dollar and it wont matter from where.
Also, I haven't seen any guesses as to what he would cost to acquire, but I'd imagine the conversation starts with a first for the Steelers. Now if he's traded I cant see him costing that much, but I could see a contender panicking and doing something dumb
Yes he'd still have to play out the tag. There is no advantage of getting him this year if you're a non-contender except for the exclusive negotiating window right before free agency. But I can't see Bell not testing the market.
 

dcmissle

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What Bell probably would give them, which he probably won’t give the Steelers, is games before week 10.
 

The Mort Report

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What Bell probably would give them, which he probably won’t give the Steelers, is games before week 10.
Sure, but its not like Bell is the missing piece that will throw them in title contention. And if we are being honest, if the Jets plan is to target him in FA, wouldn't they prefer he sits til week 10? Less miles and less chance of an injury
 

KiltedFool

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They can't even trade him until he signs the tag I believe. So they'd likely have to have a trade roughly laid out and in front of Bell that he'd agree to prior to him signing. The timing and coordination gets weird because of who has leverage under what circumstances. He may not suit up at all, I've seen rumbles here and there that he doesn't need the service time to reach free agency but I don't truly understand it. The Steelers' minimum case is he holds out all year and walks and they get full relief for his salary against the cap and a compensation pick, likely a 3rd rounder.

Him holding out and putting himself before the team two years running, the Steelers won't tag him again at the rate that would require, the only reason any team might do it would be for spite, and they don't operate that way.

It really looks like two years running the team thought they had a deal in place and then Bell saw someone else getting more and went Veruca on them. I'm tired of the antics, he's had chances to reinvigorate the market for running backs but he'll never be Revis. The Steelers by most reports made very good offers more than once. Hell with him, he's talented but he's turned into Willie Beaman, and he's likely to get the truckload of money he wants on a team going nowhere. Teams that have the cap space and are willing to make a bad investment on a running back don't tend to win championships, like the Patriots thread says "you can't be good everywhere" and having Brady for less than market is a competitive advantage. Paying a tailback double can hamstring the roster elsewhere.

Steelers season is likely already shot, and I'm also getting a little tired of AB's antics too. And yes those damn kids need to stay off of my yard.
 

Ale Xander

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Is a trade centered around Bell and a LB for Michel and draft pick(s) at all feasible? How much more salary would we (Pats) have to add, if any?
 

maufman

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Is a trade centered around Bell and a LB for Michel and draft pick(s) at all feasible? How much more salary would we (Pats) have to add, if any?
If @Super Nomario is right about the cap math then any deal is going to be challenging (if not impossible) from Pittsburgh’s perspective.

He's untradeable. His cap hit this year is just shy of $8 MM; that jumps to $28 MM if he's traded. Pitt would need to clear $20 MM of cap space to trade him. In the offseason, maybe.
Maybe there’s some kind of stretch provision that would make the cap math work, but if they’re going to burden the 2019 cap and forfeit the 2020 3rd rounder they’ll get if they do nothing and let Bell walk, Michel isn’t a good enough return, even without asking them to throw in a starting-caliber LB as well. Maybe it would work if the Pats included a high draft pick, but the Pats won’t do that with no assurance that Bell isn’t just a rental.
 

Super Nomario

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Is a trade centered around Bell and a LB for Michel and draft pick(s) at all feasible? How much more salary would we (Pats) have to add, if any?
I don't see this making sense for either side. Bell's a great player but he's a free agent at the end of the season and I don't see them re-signing him for what he's demanding, at which point they need a RB again.

If @Super Nomario is right about the cap math then any deal is going to be challenging (if not impossible) from Pittsburgh’s perspective.
That's Brown, not Bell.
 

DrewDawg

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Sure, but its not like Bell is the missing piece that will throw them in title contention. And if we are being honest, if the Jets plan is to target him in FA, wouldn't they prefer he sits til week 10? Less miles and less chance of an injury
Unless they think the AFC East is wide open.
 

The Mort Report

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Unless they think the AFC East is wide open.
I absolutely believe as the way things are going now it is wide open, but if I was a fan of the Jets(just threw up a bit in my mouth), I’d want the team to realize TB is not forever, that the best shot to take over the division is probably aim at starting the window in 3 years. Winning the East would be nice for them, but it shouldn’t be the goal this year of it means sacrificing future assets
 

maufman

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I absolutely believe as the way things are going now it is wide open, but if I was a fan of the Jets(just threw up a bit in my mouth), I’d want the team to realize TB is not forever, that the best shot to take over the division is probably aim at starting the window in 3 years. Winning the East would be nice for them, but it shouldn’t be the goal this year of it means sacrificing future assets
You’re not going to win with a rookie QB, but when you bet big on a QB prospect, you want to take maximum advantage of that 3-4 year window after his rookie year when he’s still (relatively) cheap. So I’m guessing the Jets are targeting a window that begins next season, not 3 years from now.

Even so, I don’t see the Jets trading for Bell with no assurances that he’ll re-sign. To the extent a trade makes sense for anyone, it would have to be a contender who thinks Bell is enough of a difference-maker this year to justify giving up a 2019 3rd rounder for the rental. (If the Steelers can only get the equivalent of the 2020 3rd rounder they’ll get as compensation if they do nothing, I think they’ll stand pat.)
 

Dehere

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This team is very likely done for this season. Two home losses already and a failure to get a win @CLE. Their schedule is a bear. First place schedule plus the NFC South in interconference. They've got at least eight games left in which they'll be underdogs and it's not a stretch at all to imagine them dropping six of the next seven. Hope they ship Bell out of the conference and start planning for the future.
 

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For the record, they cannot. The league deadline for negotiating has passed. Bell plays under the franchise tender or not at all.

I think this is the part where Bell's teammates are frustrated with him; there is nothing the team can do at this point to get him to report.
Not to be hyper-technical but re the bolded, this website says that PIT could increase this year's payment to Bell (they can't negotiate a long-term contract). I don't know if this is correct or incorrect and practically speaking I agree that PIT does not have the desire (not to mention the cap room) to increase this season's payment to an amount that would make Bell happy.