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Le'Veon Bell

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23 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

I believe you are interpreting the CBA incorrectly. They get no IMMEDIATE draft pick compensation. Franchise tagged players and RFA tendered players can be signed if the new team is willing to part with draft picks. IMO, that's the no draft pick compensation part being applied here. I believe if they transition tag him and don't match, losing Bell would still be applied to the compensatory pick formula.

That's the other thing people aren't really discussing. PIT would only get a 

The section of the CBA I posted was specifically covering the use of the transition tag, and it specifically said “no draft pick compensation” shall be received.  I’m not sure how that can be interpreted as meaning they get compensated at a later date with draft picks.

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2 minutes ago, Steeler said:

I've seen speculation that the Steelers will stick to their formula and not be huge players in FA... instead using that money on resigning some of their players instead.

I suppose it's nice to try to keep core players on the roster . . . but that doesn't help improve the talent level of the team. It just means the same players stick around but for more money. Not sure that is a long-term recipe for success or the best way to stay competitive. Not saying that they should run out an overpay for a top tier free agent, but adding some new bodies to offset their losses is probably advisable.

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18 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

But it is not as simple as that. If they transition tag him, they would have to match whatever offer Bell receives to be able to trade him. That could mean shelling out $30 million in guaranteed money . . . which would all go against the Steelers immediately as a cap hit if Bell is traded. The team trading for Bell does not have to pay the signing bonus money or eat the cap hit . . . that would be on the Steelers.

I am not saying the Steelers are going to do it, just that it is an option.   The NFL salary cap and CBA rules are very nuanced so lots of things that may appear to be problematic can be worked out.   

Personally I think the Steelers are done with Bell and want nothing to do with him but that doesn't mean they won't hold onto all of their options for as long as they can.

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29 minutes ago, davearm said:

March 13: The 2019 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

Thanks.  So for this to work out he has to remain clean/sober/healthy for another 4 months.  Maybe longer depending on the language in whatever future deal he signs.

In the end, I just don't see him making up for the "lost" $14.5m.  He could sure sign a ~$25m guaranteed deal next year if things fall right for him over the next four months, but I've of the mindset that he could have played for $14.5m this year, and worst case still played next year for well over $10m guaranteed. 

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4 hours ago, Bayhawks said:

I'm not sure how matching an offer sheet given to Bell serves that purpose.  They'd be paying him (likely) more than what they were willing to pay him this last off-season, and that was before they knew Conner could do what he has done this year.  That massive sum of money could be better served to improve their defense.  And, if they did match a massive offer sheet, it'd be likely that that contract wouldn't make a trade likely, as why would another team want to take on that contract?  If you are suggesting that they'd turn around and trade Bell to the team that made the offer sheet, the Steelers would run the risk of the other team saying "you can keep him."  Then they have to deal with all that money tied up in their RB position, instead of where it'd help the team win more games.

This isn't that complex.  You keep assuming things again.  You have no idea how (likely) much they are willing to pay Bell.  You also have no idea how "massive" the offer sheet is going to be or how "likely" they would be able to trade him.  You also don't know that they think it's a "risk" they have to keep him.  Again, they are here to win games.  Good players make that  easier.  Keeping good players off opponents' rosters in the process makes that even easier. 

Pit lets people know they are up for a match-and-trade.
If someone is willing to give up a pick for him, they make an agreement.
If not, they consider matching anything he gets.
Maybe his best offer is lower than team expected and once they see how low it is teams start calling.
Maybe Bell gets a "less than massive" offer and PIT is willing to match it and just work him back into the offense.
Maybe PIT calls everyone's bluff and matches it and waits out a trade offer.  Worst case we're back to them having a really good player on their team.
Maybe Bell gets no offer and he is stuck with an $8M tag.

All I am saying is that the Transition Tag isn't necessarily off the table like you assume it is.  I agree it's more likely they just let it roll and take the 2020 comp but after what we've seen happen here nothing is a foregone conclusion and these are massive corporations that will take every opportunity available to maximize their return.

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13 minutes ago, Hankmoody said:

This isn't that complex.  You keep assuming things again.  You have no idea how (likely) much they are willing to pay Bell.  You also have no idea how "massive" the offer sheet is going to be or how "likely" they would be able to trade him.  You also don't know that they think it's a "risk" they have to keep him.  Again, they are here to win games.  Good players make that  easier.  Keeping good players off opponents' rosters in the process makes that even easier. 

Pit lets people know they are up for a match-and-trade.
If someone is willing to give up a pick for him, they make an agreement.
If not, they consider matching anything he gets.
Maybe his best offer is lower than team expected and once they see how low it is teams start calling.
Maybe Bell gets a "less than massive" offer and PIT is willing to match it and just work him back into the offense.
Maybe PIT calls everyone's bluff and matches it and waits out a trade offer.  Worst case we're back to them having a really good player on their team.
Maybe Bell gets no offer and he is stuck with an $8M tag.

All I am saying is that the Transition Tag isn't necessarily off the table like you assume it is.  I agree it's more likely they just let it roll and take the 2020 comp but after what we've seen happen here nothing is a foregone conclusion and these are massive corporations that will take every opportunity available to maximize their return.

Well @Anarchy99seems to think I’m interpreting the CBA incorrectly & they would still get a comp pick if they refused to match an offer sheet.  If he’s correct, I think your scenario is more likely.  If not, I’d be shocked if Pitt risks losing all compensation for losing Bell to move the likely 3rd roundpick from 2020 to 2019

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17 minutes ago, Bayhawks said:

Well @Anarchy99seems to think I’m interpreting the CBA incorrectly & they would still get a comp pick if they refused to match an offer sheet.  If he’s correct, I think your scenario is more likely.  If not, I’d be shocked if Pitt risks losing all compensation for losing Bell to move the likely 3rd roundpick from 2020 to 2019

He's correct.  The section you quoted is part of Article 10, which deals specifically with the various Tags.  Confirmed in Article 1, Definitions:

“Compensatory Draft Selection” means an additional Draft choice awarded to a Club in any Draft as described in Article 9 and Article 10.

“Draft Choice Compensation” means the right of any Club, as described in Article 9 and Article 10, to receive draft pick(s) from any other Club.

Compensatory pick system for lost free agents isn't even a CBA provision, it's some side agreement that I cannot yet source:

ARTICLE 6 COLLEGE DRAFT
Section 10. Compensatory Draft Selections: The rules and procedures regarding Compensatory Draft Selections previously agreed upon by the NFL and the NFLPA shall remain in effect, subsequent to any future changes as to which the parties may agree.

ARTICLE 10 FRANCHISE AND TRANSITION PLAYERS
Section 12. Compensatory Draft Selection: The rules and procedures for awarding Compensatory Draft Selections previously agreed upon by the NFL and the NFLPA shall remain in effect, subsequent to any future changes as to which the parties may agree.

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8 minutes ago, Bayhawks said:

Well @Anarchy99seems to think I’m interpreting the CBA incorrectly & they would still get a comp pick if they refused to match an offer sheet.  If he’s correct, I think your scenario is more likely.  If not, I’d be shocked if Pitt risks losing all compensation for losing Bell to move the likely 3rd round pick from 2020 to 2019

Ultimately you may be right on this one, but it looks like the rules (or the interpretation of the rules) may have changed recently. According to Over The Cap (the foremost unofficial authority on compensatory picks) posted the following . . .

Quote

In the past, transition tagged players qualified for the compensatory formula.  See Steve Hutchinson in 2007, who qualified in favor of Seattle despite being transition tagged and lost to Minnesota as part of the infamous “poison pill” incident in which the Seahawks retaliated by signing RFA Nate Burleson to a similar “poison pill” offer sheet.  However, in 2016 the NFL and NFLPA agreed to change this rule, and now transition tagged players should no longer qualify.  That year, this allowed Buffalo to get a 4th round comp pick for Da’Norris Searcy by removing Charles Clay (signed on a transition tag offer sheet from Miami) from the compensatory formula. As part of the agreement, 33 comp picks were awarded in 2016 instead of the standard 32.

LINK

However, that's the only mention I can find anywhere over transition tagged players, so I can't attest to how accurate that statement is.

That being said, I don't see why the Steelers would transition tag Bell. They aren't going to match the offer he would get from another team and I don't believe they could trade him by simply slapping the transition tag on him. I don't think there is much to gain by using the transition tag.

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1 minute ago, Hankmoody said:

He's correct.  The section you quoted is part of Article 10, which deals specifically with the various Tags.  Confirmed in Article 1, Definitions:

“Compensatory Draft Selection” means an additional Draft choice awarded to a Club in any Draft as described in Article 9 and Article 10.

“Draft Choice Compensation” means the right of any Club, as described in Article 9 and Article 10, to receive draft pick(s) from any other Club.

Compensatory pick system for lost free agents isn't even a CBA provision, it's some side agreement that I cannot yet source:

ARTICLE 6 COLLEGE DRAFT
Section 10. Compensatory Draft Selections: The rules and procedures regarding Compensatory Draft Selections previously agreed upon by the NFL and the NFLPA shall remain in effect, subsequent to any future changes as to which the parties may agree.

ARTICLE 10 FRANCHISE AND TRANSITION PLAYERS
Section 12. Compensatory Draft Selection: The rules and procedures for awarding Compensatory Draft Selections previously agreed upon by the NFL and the NFLPA shall remain in effect, subsequent to any future changes as to which the parties may agree.

With that being the case, doesn’t that preclude the scenario you are proposing; where the Steelers transition Bell & make it known that they will accept a trade of draft pick(s) towt Bell wall?  Since Draft Pick Compensation isn’t allowed & that means picks between clubs?

 

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Where are people valuing Bell going forward in dynasty?  Still a top 5 RB?  Obviously a lot is unknown, but as of today, where is he?  I offered Bell and my 2019 1st to a team that is out of it for either Mel Gordon or Hunt (yes, he has both and is somehow still out of it), and he is not all that excited about either offer.  Offered him for JuJu and a first round pick swap and that owner is not all that anxious either. 

Tough to gauge value on him right now.  I don't particularly care for Le'Veon the person though, and want to rid my teams of his stench.  Don't like rooting for players I don't like.

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32 minutes ago, Bayhawks said:

With that being the case, doesn’t that preclude the scenario you are proposing; where the Steelers transition Bell & make it known that they will accept a trade of draft pick(s) towt Bell wall?  Since Draft Pick Compensation isn’t allowed & that means picks between clubs?

 

No, it's a trade.  Once they match the offer sheet it's a contract and the player is no longer a Transition Player as defined in section 10.  That clause is to differentiate it from the Nonexclusive Franchise designation, which does carry Draft Pick Compensation.

It's actually explicitly addressed at the end of Article 10:

(h) No Consideration Between Clubs.
Nothing in this Subsection shall preclude a Prior Club from entering into a Player Contract with a player subject to a Tender, and subsequently trading that player under that Player Con-tract to another Club, provided that the player and the NFLPA must approve in advance any such trade that takes place during the Signing Period. If a Club exercises its Right of First Refusal and matches an Offer Sheet, that Club may not trade that player to the Club that submitted the Offer Sheet for at least one calendar year, unless the player consents to such trade.

Bell gets a little leverage, but if he's signing the offer sheet from them he's not then going to block the trade.  And PIT can still trade him to anyone else after the Signing Period regardless.

Edited by Hankmoody

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27 minutes ago, ChuckLiddell said:

Where are people valuing Bell going forward in dynasty?  Still a top 5 RB?  Obviously a lot is unknown, but as of today, where is he?  I offered Bell and my 2019 1st to a team that is out of it for either Mel Gordon or Hunt (yes, he has both and is somehow still out of it), and he is not all that excited about either offer.  Offered him for JuJu and a first round pick swap and that owner is not all that anxious either. 

Tough to gauge value on him right now.  I don't particularly care for Le'Veon the person though, and want to rid my teams of his stench.  Don't like rooting for players I don't like.

Yeah, too hard to say without knowing where he ends up.

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18 minutes ago, Hankmoody said:

No, it's a trade.  Once they match the offer sheet it's a contract and the player is no longer a Transition Player as defined in section 10.  That clause is to differentiate it from the Nonexclusive Franchise designation, which does carry Draft Pick Compensation.

It's actually explicitly addressed at the end of Article 10:

(h) No Consideration Between Clubs.
Nothing in this Subsection shall preclude a Prior Club from entering into a Player Contract with a player subject to a Tender, and subsequently trading that player under that Player Con-tract to another Club, provided that the player and the NFLPA must approve in advance any such trade that takes place during the Signing Period. If a Club exercises its Right of First Refusal and matches an Offer Sheet, that Club may not trade that player to the Club that submitted the Offer Sheet for at least one calendar year, unless the player consents to such trade.

Bell gets a little leverage, but if he's signing the offer sheet from them he's not then going to block the trade.  And PIT can still trade him to anyone else after the Signing Period regardless.

Maybe I’m confused about what you are suggesting Pitt might do; I’m reading it as you think they could place the transition tag on him but let other teams know that they will match an offer sheet then trade him for a draft pick.  Is that correct?

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1 minute ago, Bayhawks said:

Maybe I’m confused about what you are suggesting Pitt might do; I’m reading it as you think they could place the transition tag on him but let other teams know that they will match an offer sheet then trade him for a draft pick.  Is that correct?

Yes.

 

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1 hour ago, matttyl said:

Thanks.  So for this to work out he has to remain clean/sober/healthy for another 4 months.  Maybe longer depending on the language in whatever future deal he signs.

In the end, I just don't see him making up for the "lost" $14.5m.  He could sure sign a ~$25m guaranteed deal next year if things fall right for him over the next four months, but I've of the mindset that he could have played for $14.5m this year, and worst case still played next year for well over $10m guaranteed. 

Healthy, of course.

Clean/sober... maybe?

As a player not under contract to an NFL team, is Bell still subject to the league's testing program?  I dunno.

Does the league even test during this part of the year?  I dunno that either.

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Just now, Hankmoody said:

Yes.

 

OK; that would require Bell to consent to the trade.  I don’t see why he’d do that, to help out the Steelers.  Based on how the situation played out between the two sides, I don’t see why he’d want to help them get more compensation for his services.

Also, the language you posted from the CBA said that the awarding of comp picks can change if the two parties agree.  The link that @Anarchy99posted seems to suggest that there was a change to that agreement in 2016.  

If true, we are back to what I posted previously: Pitt would be risking the loss of any draft pick compensation (and relying on Bell being willing to consent to a trade where he gains nothing), by applying the transition tag.  It’s not impossible, but I think it’s unlikely.

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1 hour ago, Rodrigo Duterte said:

Don't judge Le'Veon Bell yet: How Bell could change old NFL thinking. 

It's amusing to read all the one-sided "expert" opinions of a star RB on a fantasy football message board.

What a fantastic article and what I tried to present in my first post in this thread a page or so back.

It's very easy to take the immediate gains and potentially cost yourself money in the long run.  It takes a certain amount of discipline and balls to walk away from what he did in hopes of getting more.  Good for him and I hope it works out. 

And I also believe that he did this for more than himself.  The system is broken and needs to be fixed and it won't happen until someone as high profile as him does what he just did. 

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8 minutes ago, Bayhawks said:

OK; that would require Bell to consent to the trade.  I don’t see why he’d do that, to help out the Steelers.  Based on how the situation played out between the two sides, I don’t see why he’d want to help them get more compensation for his services.

Also, the language you posted from the CBA said that the awarding of comp picks can change if the two parties agree.  The link that @Anarchy99posted seems to suggest that there was a change to that agreement in 2016.  

If true, we are back to what I posted previously: Pitt would be risking the loss of any draft pick compensation (and relying on Bell being willing to consent to a trade where he gains nothing), by applying the transition tag.  It’s not impossible, but I think it’s unlikely.

The 2016 change allowed comp picks to be traded. 

He'd consent to the trade because he'd be playing for the team he wants to play for.  There's nothing stopping them from trading him to any other team after the Signing Period is over.  Why would he care if PIT is getting something out of it as long as he's getting what he wants?  And if he doesn't and they end up not matching, they still get their 2020 comp pick.  The only risk on PIT is if he gets no offer and then doesn't sign the tender - then they're right back where they were this year.  But that would mean Bell' on his ### for two years and out $30M and I don't see that happening.

 

Edited by Hankmoody

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13 minutes ago, Hankmoody said:

The 2016 change allowed comp picks to be traded. 

He'd consent to the trade because he'd be playing for the team he wants to play for.  There's nothing stopping them from trading him to any other team after the Signing Period is over.  Why would he care if PIT is getting something out of it as long as he's getting what he wants?  And if he doesn't and they end up not matching, they still get their 2020 comp pick.  The only risk on PIT is if he gets no offer and then doesn't sign the tender - then they're right back where they were this year.  But that would mean Bell' on his ### for two years and out $30M and I don't see that happening.

 

According to the link @Anarchy99posted, transition tagged players no longer qualify for comp picks.  As I said before, if that’s the case, I don’t see Pitt taking that risk.

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Bellmis a top ten RB no matter where he lands.   If he somehow drops in Indy or Philly, top 5.  

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Oh that's a new one, sorry, you didn't direct link it so I thought you were referring to his post from a few hours ago.  That's a pretty cool rabbit hole I'm looking into but if that's right they may not risk it. 

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3 hours ago, gianmarco said:

What a fantastic article and what I tried to present in my first post in this thread a page or so back.

It's very easy to take the immediate gains and potentially cost yourself money in the long run.  It takes a certain amount of discipline and balls to walk away from what he did in hopes of getting more.  Good for him and I hope it works out. 

And I also believe that he did this for more than himself.  The system is broken and needs to be fixed and it won't happen until someone as high profile as him does what he just did. 

Not saying the system isn't broken but I'm not sure the franchise tag is Exhibit 1A that it is. As with any union / CBA scenario, it's one of a thousand issues and bargaining chips that are given (or taken) by one side or the other. In relative terms, how many players are suffering under the cruel injustice of the franchise tag? Not many and most have earned (or will yet earn) at a level the average player can only dream about.

If it's a priority, the union can get the tag eliminated but it's going to cost them dearly via some other concession (or concessions). What will the owners ask Joe Blow on special teams to give up so the Lev Bells of the world aren't exploited so much?

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10 hours ago, habsfan said:

Not saying the system isn't broken but I'm not sure the franchise tag is Exhibit 1A that it is. As with any union / CBA scenario, it's one of a thousand issues and bargaining chips that are given (or taken) by one side or the other. In relative terms, how many players are suffering under the cruel injustice of the franchise tag? Not many and most have earned (or will yet earn) at a level the average player can only dream about.

If it's a priority, the union can get the tag eliminated but it's going to cost them dearly via some other concession (or concessions). What will the owners ask Joe Blow on special teams to give up so the Lev Bells of the world aren't exploited so much?

Excellent post.   The franchise tag may not be fair but it affects so few players and even fewer players are tagged twice.  I have a feeling there are more pressing issues to address in the CBA for most players.

 

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18 hours ago, davearm said:

His opportunity to earn the $14.5M for this season is surely gone.  No question there.

What this does to his final career earnings is impossible to say.  We don't know what sitting out a year will do to his lifespan as an NFL RB.  If he has X amount of carries in him, then his career won't be any shorter at all; he'll just play to an older age.  If he will be done at age Y regardless of # of carries, then he has indeed shortened his career by a year.  Naturally, the answer is probably somewhere in between those two extremes.

Regardless, he will almost certainly earn more than $14.5M from today forward, so I don't view that amount as lost, in an overall sense.  He's just not getting it in 2018.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1n5CQe1krI

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15 hours ago, zoonation said:

Bellmis a top ten RB no matter where he lands.   If he somehow drops in Indy or Philly, top 5.  

Not top 10 half of the league.  Borderline top 10 RB in a third of the league.  Back to arguably RB#1 on a handful of teams.

Having said that, I still predict he gets the $ he is after... even if it is signing with a team like the Dolphins or Browns.

Edited by matuski

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48 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

Excellent post.   The franchise tag may not be fair but it affects so few players and even fewer players are tagged twice.  I have a feeling there are more pressing issues to address in the CBA for most players.

 

This is very true.  At most, you could have 32 players per year impacted by the franchise tag.  The NFLPA has, and will likely continue to, prioritize issues that impact a much higher percentage of the players when negotiating with the NFL.

Which is why what Bell did matters.  Until the NFL conceded that a player who doesn't play under a tag still advances to the next tag rate, the assumption was that not playing would allow a team to use the same tag rate on the player the next year.  So, if a player was tagged, they could refuse to sign and play, but they'd find themselves in the exact same situation the next season.  Now that the NFL has said they wouldn't press this issue, the teams/owners would face a losing court battle if they tried to operate under the old assumption.  And, since teams have to have the cap money available to sign any franchise players who might sit out, teams risk substantial cap "penalties" if they franchise players who don't sign/play.

I'm not suggesting that teams won't use the tag anymore, but if a player says he won't play under the tag; teams might be less likely to apply the tag, or more willing to work out a long-term deal (especially with 2nd/3rd tags).  Otherwise they could find themselves with a player who isn't playing but is forcing them to withhold tens of millions of dollars from their salary cap in a given year.

What Bell has done is give more leverage to the players.  How much leverage is up to debate, but he did strengthen the players leverage and weaken the owners leverage with regards to the franchise tag.

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18 minutes ago, Bayhawks said:

 

What Bell has done is give more leverage to the players.  How much leverage is up to debate, but he did strengthen the players leverage and weaken the owners leverage with regards to the franchise tag.

Minimal.  I can't imagine many or even any other players would sit an entire year like he just did especially when he just gave up 14.5 million guaranteed in hope's of maybe 30 million guaranteed.  

If it was some QB who could get a 200 million dollar deal I suppose they could sit rather than make 20-25 million or whatever it is, but the team would just keep tagging him.

Bell is a special unique case for a unique individual.  I don't see what he did changing much of anything other than showing other players how silly it is to give up a ton of money.

Imagine if Bell were to sustain a major knee injury or Achilles inury or something before he is able to sign his deal.  He would be a poster child for why you should sign the tag.

Edited by ghostguy123

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On 11/14/2018 at 6:42 AM, JuniorNB said:

Very curious to see how much Bell ends up signing for in the off-season. Has a ton working aganst him now. 

1. Injury prone  2. Drug problems  3. Selfish attitude/no regard for teammates  4. Been easily replaced twice now (Williams n Conner)

Red flag after red flag.  Yet some team will be looking to make a splash and sell season tickets. It's going to be interesting.

I agree and it only takes one team. I would be shocked if he didn't get a huge deal.

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not sure why the Browns keep getting mentioned, they have Chubb/DJ. Chubb looks like one of the best young RB in the game.

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49 minutes ago, Bayhawks said:

This is very true.  At most, you could have 32 players per year impacted by the franchise tag.  The NFLPA has, and will likely continue to, prioritize issues that impact a much higher percentage of the players when negotiating with the NFL.

Which is why what Bell did matters.  Until the NFL conceded that a player who doesn't play under a tag still advances to the next tag rate, the assumption was that not playing would allow a team to use the same tag rate on the player the next year.  So, if a player was tagged, they could refuse to sign and play, but they'd find themselves in the exact same situation the next season.  Now that the NFL has said they wouldn't press this issue, the teams/owners would face a losing court battle if they tried to operate under the old assumption.  And, since teams have to have the cap money available to sign any franchise players who might sit out, teams risk substantial cap "penalties" if they franchise players who don't sign/play.

I'm not suggesting that teams won't use the tag anymore, but if a player says he won't play under the tag; teams might be less likely to apply the tag, or more willing to work out a long-term deal (especially with 2nd/3rd tags).  Otherwise they could find themselves with a player who isn't playing but is forcing them to withhold tens of millions of dollars from their salary cap in a given year.

What Bell has done is give more leverage to the players.  How much leverage is up to debate, but he did strengthen the players leverage and weaken the owners leverage with regards to the franchise tag.

Do you (or does anyone) have a link to the NFL's/Pittsburgh's concession on this point?  I thought that it just got leaked to the NFL Network but that there was no official position on this.  In the absence of an official position I don't think that the NFL can be bound.  There are rumors all the time that don't come true, i.e. Josh Gordon sitting out the beginning of a game; Bell reporting week 1, week [insert any number], etc.

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37 minutes ago, wakelawyer said:

Do you (or does anyone) have a link to the NFL's/Pittsburgh's concession on this point?  I thought that it just got leaked to the NFL Network but that there was no official position on this.  In the absence of an official position I don't think that the NFL can be bound.  There are rumors all the time that don't come true, i.e. Josh Gordon sitting out the beginning of a game; Bell reporting week 1, week [insert any number], etc.

It was reported by NFL network, which is owned by the NFL.  I'm not sure how legally binding that would be, but I'm sure that if this situation were to go before a court, a player's lawyers would argue that the media representative of the NFL reporting this, and not being "corrected" by the NFL is binding.

What's more, this NFL network report came shortly after Bell returned to Pittsburgh, shortly before the 11/13 deadline.  I would assume that the report was a result of that.  Speculation is that Pittsburgh didn't want Bell to come back (maybe they'd have a wink-wink deal to not franchise him if he stayed away, they'd use the roster exemption on him, etc), so when he looked like he was, the NFL released the report.  I would also assume that Bell and/or his agent got this information from someone directly, which is what led to him deciding against signing on 11/13.

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41 minutes ago, wakelawyer said:

Do you (or does anyone) have a link to the NFL's/Pittsburgh's concession on this point?  I thought that it just got leaked to the NFL Network but that there was no official position on this.  In the absence of an official position I don't think that the NFL can be bound.  There are rumors all the time that don't come true, i.e. Josh Gordon sitting out the beginning of a game; Bell reporting week 1, week [insert any number], etc.

Agreed, there has been no precedent set here.  Not yet anyway.

If nothing else, the next CBA will have to be more explicit about what happens if a player sits out a year.

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1 minute ago, Bayhawks said:

It was reported by NFL network, which is owned by the NFL.  I'm not sure how legally binding that would be, but I'm sure that if this situation were to go before a court, a player's lawyers would argue that the media representative of the NFL reporting this, and not being "corrected" by the NFL is binding.

What's more, this NFL network report came shortly after Bell returned to Pittsburgh, shortly before the 11/13 deadline.  I would assume that the report was a result of that.  Speculation is that Pittsburgh didn't want Bell to come back (maybe they'd have a wink-wink deal to not franchise him if he stayed away, they'd use the roster exemption on him, etc), so when he looked like he was, the NFL released the report.  I would also assume that Bell and/or his agent got this information from someone directly, which is what led to him deciding against signing on 11/13.

The NFL isn't under obligation to correct any/every piece of bad information that the media puts out there.  C'mon.

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1 minute ago, davearm said:

The NFL isn't under obligation to correct any/every piece of bad information that the media puts out there.  C'mon.

The NFL owns the NFL network; it's not ESPN reporting it, or CBS, it's the NFL themselves.  C'mon.

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7 minutes ago, Bayhawks said:

The NFL owns the NFL network; it's not ESPN reporting it, or CBS, it's the NFL themselves.  C'mon.

That's not relevant.  And the NFL Network isn't "the NFL themselves".

Think of all the reporters covering individual teams on behalf of NFL.com or the individual team websites.  The league office has to monitor everything all 100+ of those people write or say on air, and if they don't issue corrections, then anything they say automatically becomes official league policy?  That's obviously absurd.

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17 hours ago, davearm said:

Healthy, of course.

Clean/sober... maybe?

As a player not under contract to an NFL team, is Bell still subject to the league's testing program?  I dunno.

Does the league even test during this part of the year?  I dunno that either.

If he gets pulled over speeding, and they do a field sobriety test and find he's drunk/high - don't you think that would affect his ability to obtain a new high level deal?  Has nothing to do with NFL testing.

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19 hours ago, matttyl said:

Thanks.  So for this to work out he has to remain clean/sober/healthy for another 4 months.  Maybe longer depending on the language in whatever future deal he signs.

In the end, I just don't see him making up for the "lost" $14.5m.  He could sure sign a ~$25m guaranteed deal next year if things fall right for him over the next four months, but I've of the mindset that he could have played for $14.5m this year, and worst case still played next year for well over $10m guaranteed. 

Folks that think Bell made the right move by sitting out 2018 tend to cite that he avoided injury this season so that he could make more money in the future.  If we are going to play the injury game, what happens if Bell has a devastating injury in 2021 and cannot play any longer?  He only gets the guaranteed amount of the 2019 contract and will never make up the 2018 paycheck of $14.5. 

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16 minutes ago, matttyl said:

If he gets pulled over speeding, and they do a field sobriety test and find he's drunk/high - don't you think that would affect his ability to obtain a new high level deal?  Has nothing to do with NFL testing.

Point taken.  I was thinking more narrowly about the league's substance policy, but you're right.

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18 hours ago, Rodrigo Duterte said:

It's funny how fans will root for the corporate behemoths that are NFL teams, over the little man that is the player.

 

Yeah!  Who could possibly live on $14.5M for half a year’s work?  Everyone needs to verbally abuse Steelers’ management wherever they go in public!  Rock on!

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13 minutes ago, DocHolliday said:

Folks that think Bell made the right move by sitting out 2018 tend to cite that he avoided injury this season so that he could make more money in the future.  If we are going to play the injury game, what happens if Bell has a devastating injury in 2021 and cannot play any longer?  He only gets the guaranteed amount of the 2019 contract and will never make up the 2018 paycheck of $14.5. 

Well the counterpoint to that is that he already "made up" for the 2018 paycheck of $14.5 when he signed for more than $14.5 in guaranteed $$$ in early 2019.

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1 minute ago, davearm said:

Well the counterpoint to that is that he already "made up" for the 2018 paycheck of $14.5 when he signed for more than $14.5 in guaranteed $$$ in early 2019.

 

Which does not take into account the year of earning power that he lost.  He isn’t going to play indefinitely.

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2 hours ago, Bayhawks said:

This is very true.  At most, you could have 32 players per year impacted by the franchise tag.  The NFLPA has, and will likely continue to, prioritize issues that impact a much higher percentage of the players when negotiating with the NFL.

Which is why what Bell did matters.  Until the NFL conceded that a player who doesn't play under a tag still advances to the next tag rate, the assumption was that not playing would allow a team to use the same tag rate on the player the next year.  So, if a player was tagged, they could refuse to sign and play, but they'd find themselves in the exact same situation the next season.  Now that the NFL has said they wouldn't press this issue, the teams/owners would face a losing court battle if they tried to operate under the old assumption.  And, since teams have to have the cap money available to sign any franchise players who might sit out, teams risk substantial cap "penalties" if they franchise players who don't sign/play.

I'm not suggesting that teams won't use the tag anymore, but if a player says he won't play under the tag; teams might be less likely to apply the tag, or more willing to work out a long-term deal (especially with 2nd/3rd tags).  Otherwise they could find themselves with a player who isn't playing but is forcing them to withhold tens of millions of dollars from their salary cap in a given year.

What Bell has done is give more leverage to the players.  How much leverage is up to debate, but he did strengthen the players leverage and weaken the owners leverage with regards to the franchise tag.

Not to get "political" but at the core of this is the fact that NFL players as a whole don't fit the union "model" very well. Sure there are many issues that affect them equally and that they care about collectively but unions live and die by solidarity and the fact that some of these guys drive to work in a Bentley and others show up in a 2014 Camry is a huge problem for collective bargaining.

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6 minutes ago, Bronco Billy said:

 

Which does not take into account the year of earning power that he lost.  He isn’t going to play indefinitely.

It takes account of the fact that his next contract guarantee is expected to be larger than the $14.5M guarantee he had in front of him this season.

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18 minutes ago, davearm said:

It takes account of the fact that his next contract guarantee is expected to be larger than the $14.5M guarantee he had in front of him this season.

He sat out this season so that he could avoid that career-ending injury in order to get a larger paycheck in the future.  I understand the reasoning but don't agree with it since you cannot predict the future though.  He could have a career-ending injury in 2021 and not get to collect all of that big contract that he sat for and may have not been injured in 2018.   

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32 minutes ago, davearm said:

It takes account of the fact that his next contract guarantee is expected to be larger than the $14.5M guarantee he had in front of him this season.

By signing his tender and playing the 2018 season he would have gotten $14.5 million -AND- the next contract guarantee.   

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