Sports

Leon Bell returned to Pittsburgh, but still tweeting instead of reporting to Steelers

Leon Bell returned to Pittsburgh, but still tweeting instead of reporting to Steelers

Le & # 39; Veon Bell has made the Pro Bowl three times in five seasons. (Doug Benc / Associated Press)

Le & # 39; Veon Bell is reportedly back in Pittsburgh. But the displeased way back would apparently post tweets rather than report to the Steelers.

A short Twitter post from Bell on Monday, in which he said goodbye to Miami, where he trained as he outplayed his NFL team, gave many the impression that his next stop would be Pittsburgh. That seems to have been the case, but until now he was more interested in playing basketball than in the sport he could have played millions this season.

On Wednesday, he was also interested in defending his long absence with the Steelers, who placed a $ 14.55 million franchise tag on Bell this summer after failing to reach a long-term agreement. In order to get a lucrative deal from another team in the free agency next spring – as long as he stays healthy – the triple Pro Bowler has so far been rejected to sign the one-year bid, each costing more than $ 855,000 week since the regular season began.

"I do not apologize for what I believe is good for myself, my family and the rest of my peers, period," Bell said in a Twitter message that was shown in reverse text. "Even if you really want to find the time to find out what I mean, you've proved my point."

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, who noted that "there was no indication Wednesday that Bell had visited the team's facility," a manager at a Pittsburgh gym confirmed that Bell was shooting shooting on Tuesday. He has until this next Tuesday, November 13, time to sign with the Steelers if he wants to play football this season, but there may be considerable financial incentives for him not to do this.

As Fowler pointed out, it is highly unlikely that the Steelers would post a third straight-franchise tag to Bell after this season, because that would oblige them to pay him more than $ 20 million, an exorbitant amount for a non-quarterback, for the 2019 campaign. However, the team would have the option to apply a transition label, which would mean that he would have to pay 120 percent of his previous salary.

Because Bell has not been paid this season, that salary could come from the 2017 season when he earned $ 12.1 million, so the transition day would bring him about $ 14.5 million next year. But if he signs before Tuesday and, for example, pays out six games in full, that would mean that he earned $ 5.13 million this year, and 120 percent of that would be about $ 6.2 million.

If that were the case, Bell and the players' union would almost certainly dispute any attempt by the Steelers to establish such a relatively low figure for 2019 for him, but he might decide to avoid that scenario simply by to sit out. season. If he did, it would cost him a year of NFL-service, which would have consequences for his pension, health care benefits, 401 (k) plan and other financial calculations.

It has been speculated that Bell and the Steelers may have come to an informal understanding, one in which they agree to just let him run in a free agency without putting a tag on him, if he takes the rest of the team away from him. stays season. It is possible, if the Steelers still have to clearly indicate that they are willing to go along with this arrangement, that his arrival in Pittsburgh is intended to encourage them to do so.

The Steelers would have reason to prefer Bell to stay away, as the team achieved a solid 5-2-1 record in his absence, with back-up running James Conner making his own Pro Bowl bid. When Bell did not report for week 1, he was subjected to unusual criticism from some teammates, and he might prove to be an uncomfortable, if not completely divisive, presence in the Pittsburgh locker room.

"This Leon-ding thing is just a cloud about us at the moment," said an unknown Steelers player on Wednesday against NFL Networks. Aditi Kinkhabwala. "Just make a decision, sign or not, go in or out, and let's all move forward."

"Almost everyone has an opinion about my life and is worried about what I do … Do not judge me of my decisions, because maybe this is not what you would do," Bell said another of his reverse Twitter messages. "But most people do not take the time to just read between the lines … and that's clear on them."

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