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Le'Veon Bell

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Bottom line is the days of teams getting to avail cheap rookie deals may be numbered. The players are figuring out that 4-5 years of your prime on a day 2+ contract is wholly unbalanced out of their favor. This is especially true for chewed up and spit out RBs. College kids have an even bigger gripe along the same lines, but they have zero ability to change it, whereas the pros can (and will probably now will more often) hold out and create a boat of drama - like Mack did successfully, and now Leveon is mimicking. I'm a Raiders fan and drafted Leveon last week on one of my two (not two hundred) teams. But I am also trying see what's really happening here and consider the full ramifications from an unbiased view.

In Mack's case, I thought he should've taken a hometown discount (i.e. the Von Miller+ contract that was offered), but he wanted and received a contract that blew that one out of the water, even if at the team's detriment. This even after getting paid $18 MM in 4 years already as a former top 5 pick. In Bell's case, the Stillers offer is laughable. Especially when you consider his prime years were spent getting $4m for 4 years. He did himself no favors by smoking the reef, but c'mon. That production and that contract were so out of whack and this new 'offer' was so lame that I am not surprised at all to see him take a #### you stance. This especially after seeing Gurley get paid and Mack use the same #### you tactic to get PAID.

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24 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

So the principle is the Jags should pay dead money in 2012-2014 to compensate MJDs 2011 season? Ok, maybe I'll go with that if guys who underproduce on whopper deals give money back. The principle can't work 1 direction.

You don't have to pick the player's side or the owner's side to understand both have valid positions.

In the end owners and players make decisions out of self interest and self preservation. 

 

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When is the cutoff for him reporting to get a paycheck? 4 pm?

And if he lets that deadline go and gives up one paycheck, is it a stretch that means he’s willing to stay all the way out until Week 11?

Seems like one plan is show up just in time to get paid for the whole year.

The other is show up just in time to qualify for a year of service time. 

 

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1 minute ago, rawdog said:

When is the cutoff for him reporting to get a paycheck? 4 pm?

And if he lets that deadline go and gives up one paycheck, is it a stretch that means he’s willing to stay all the way out until Week 11?

Seems like one plan is show up just in time to get paid for the whole year.

The other is show up just in time to qualify for a year of service time. 

 

Seems about right. If he lets the first paycheck go, chances increase dramatically that he sits out 10

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I think that the owners and GMs who are dumb enough to sign an older running back with tons of miles on him to a huge long term deal are also the same owners and GMs who are dumb enough to not consider the locker room element or Bells attitude and priorities. 

The GMs who are smart enough to stay away are also the ones who would stay away because of the locker room, attitude, or off the field stuff.  Notice I didn't day owners here, the owners who get that involved are the ones dumb enough to sign him to a long term deal. 

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I don't see how he can miss almost 10 million this year missing games and then make up for that 10 million in his long term deal.  It seems like a long shot that he would be able to financially recover from a 10 week hold out, even if it didn't impact his next contract at all.  

If he's signing a huge deal like he reportedly wants, he is probably signing with a dumb team, so there is that I guess.   Doesn't seem likely they would pay him 10 million extra for saving his body though...  If they are concerned about or even factoring in his past workload they wouldn't sign him to a deal like that already... 

Edited by kittenmittens

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2 minutes ago, kittenmittens said:

I don't see how he can miss almost 10 million this year missing games and then make up for that 10 million in his long term deal.  It seems like a long shot that he would be a me to financially recover from  the hold out, even if it didn't impact his next contract at all.  

If he's signing a huge deal like he reportedly wants, he is probably signing with a dumb team, so there is that I guess.   Doesn't seem likely they would pay him 10 million extra for saving his body though...  If they are concerned about his past workload they wouldn't sign him to a deal like that already... 

Have you considered at all that the man is specifically making a statement to the Stillers (and other teams with similar attitudes towards young RBs)? Maybe he gets paid more or less longterm by using this tactic, but at least he isn't going to let them use and abuse him any longer (in his mind). Especially with MJD's thoughts in his ear, I can easily see this. And frankly, I'm not surprised, given what Pittsburgh has paid him so far and the awful deal they offered him. At least the Raiders offered Mack a legit deal and ultimately did him right by trading him for less than his actual worth to a team willing to concede to his demads. Pittsburgh took a #### you stance and refused to do either of those two things, so animosity from Bell seems like a predictable response - especially after seeing the Mack situation unfold.

 

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10 minutes ago, kittenmittens said:

I don't see how he can miss almost 10 million this year missing games and then make up for that 10 million is his long term deal.  It seems like a long shot that he would be a me to financially recover from  the hold out, even if it didn't impact his next contract at all.  

If he's signing a huge deal like he reportedly wants, he is probably signing with a dumb team, so there is that I guess. 

Because NFL players understand their careers are always game to game. 

40-50 million guaranteed > 14 million guaranteed.

Sure if you look at it PURELY financial....he'll never make up that 14 million this year by sitting out. 

However, you have to factor in the risk of a injury (57.5% by sports injury predictor)that could end his career or affect his performance so teams use it as leverage in contract negotiations.

Once you consider that, it's an easy choice to sit out a year, rest and heal your body after huge workloads, and secure $40-$50 million.

 

Edited by Charlie Harper
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1 hour ago, msudaisy26 said:

You realize you are like 5 years behind everyone else? Back then no one was taking 1st round running backs and the position was going RBBC. Now lots of teams are taking 1st round backs again.

The shift is going back to every down backs the pay just hasn't caught up yet.

Not arguing, tho 1st game this year, ATL mostly used 2 RBs abd PHI used 4 

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37 minutes ago, msudaisy26 said:

That isn't how it works, but if you want it that way then the Jags should have paid him like an elite running back after the other seasons.

I know how it works. My point is you're suggesting an economic structure where one guy who outproduces a prior deal receives make up money, while 10 others who underproduced their contract just get free money - hey, that's the contract the team agreed to pay. That's not much of a structure. Just to be clear, I really don't care about Bell. Don't own him, don't root for or against the Steelers. I'll be happy to pull up in a year to talk about whether a decision to forfeit 5/8 of a guaranteed $14M (if it comes to that) ended up being a wise move.

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Here's my take, Bell shows up and signs tag 11/12/18, the Monday prior to wee 11 game

 

Have no idea what Steelers do after he signs that tag

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28 minutes ago, kittenmittens said:

I think that the owners and GMs who are dumb enough to sign an older running back with tons of miles on him to a huge long term deal are also the same owners and GMs who are dumb enough to not consider the locker room element or Bells attitude and priorities. 

The GMs who are smart enough to stay away are also the ones who would stay away because of the locker room, attitude, or off the field stuff.  Notice I didn't day owners here, the owners who get that involved are the ones dumb enough to sign him to a long term deal. 

He was 24 when this all started. Not sure how that is old. 

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The next CBA should address this by incorporating better performance bonuses for rookie deals. Tie the bonuses to some player-specific metrics and to team wins to balance out incentives. The current system of rookie deals being far and away cheaper than vet deals, even when players vastly outperform them is clearly broken. It doesn't work for the rookies and it doesn't work for the vets who are consistently cut for younger cheaper guys coming in that may or may not actually be better players. Create performance-based pay structures to balance out this issue and you'll have less of these holdouts (which will undoubtedly now become more common otherwise) and more veterans sticking in the league, instead of being cut for lesser players who are cheap late rounders - which should at least in theory, improve the level of play in the game. The owners end up paying the same in the end, but with better balance for young and old players who actually perform. Everybody wins.

The players were on a myopic witch hunt to curb rookie pay in the last CBA, but the law of unintended consequences bit. Win or learn.

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14 minutes ago, gethugefast1 said:

Not arguing, tho 1st game this year, ATL mostly used 2 RBs abd PHI used 4 

Look at last year. Unless injury or suspension. Right around half the teams in the league had or were going to have a bell cow. 

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12 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

I know how it works. My point is you're suggesting an economic structure where one guy who outproduces a prior deal receives make up money, while 10 others who underproduced their contract just get free money - hey, that's the contract the team agreed to pay. That's not much of a structure. Just to be clear, I really don't care about Bell. Don't own him, don't root for or against the Steelers. I'll be happy to pull up in a year to talk about whether a decision to forfeit 5/8 of a guaranteed $14M (if it comes to that) ended up being a wise move.

Your numbers are a little off. It isn't free money and most of the guys that get  2nd contracts out performed their rookie contracts. So what about all that free production the team got?  

Edited by msudaisy26

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35 minutes ago, fruity pebbles said:

Seems about right. If he lets the first paycheck go, chances increase dramatically that he sits out 10

This is something that I have been having a hard time calibrating.

On the one hand, I do agree that actually missing a game and a check is stronger evidence of his resolve not to back down.

On the other hand, I wonder if that finally becomes the sobering moment for him that the team is just not going to give in

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5 minutes ago, LawFitz said:

The next CBA should address this by incorporating better performance bonuses for rookie deals. Tie the bonuses to some player-specific metrics and to team wins to balance out incentives. The current system of rookie deals being far and away cheaper than vet deals, even when players vastly outperform them is clearly broken. It doesn't work for the rookies and it doesn't work for the vets who are consistently cut for younger cheaper guys coming in that may or may not actually be better players. Create performance-based pay structures to balance out this issue and you'll have less of these holdouts (which will undoubtedly now become more common otherwise) and more veterans sticking in the league, instead of being cut for lesser players who are cheap late rounders - which should at least in theory, improve the level of play in the game. The owners end up paying the same in the end, but with better balance for young and old players who actually perform. Everybody wins.

The players were on a myopic witch hunt to curb rookie pay in the last CBA, but the law of unintended consequences bit. Win or learn.

Yeah, but I doubt that the current players who are part of the voting will ever be that inclined to fight for rookie pay as compared to other things.

I suppose if there were enough really great players still on their first contract at that time, they might feel emotionally invested enough to make that push.  

Are there any kind of seniority rules that affect who has the more or less say within the union?  Is it ultimately up to the NFLPA president and/or team reps to make the vote or how does that work?

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3 hours ago, ghostguy123 said:

If he does indeed skip 10 weeks, i would almost guarantee he skips the playoffs.  

There was some discussions or an article a few days ago about the precedent he would set by coming in week 10, collecting paychecks thru the end of regular season and then skipping out at playoff time. He would be the one screwing them in the end if Connor cant get it done. The way this has deteriorated, I can see that happening. Any other team signing him will simply say 'so what, here's your cash'. There's always some team that needs a guy like him. 

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1 hour ago, theplayer11 said:

. What is the Steelers points per game with and without Bell?

I would like to see the points per possession.  Seems like a more important number

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17 minutes ago, msudaisy26 said:

Your numbers are a little off. It isn't free money and most of the guys that get  2nd contracts out performed their rookie contracts. So what about all that free production the team got?  

Right, you're still focusing on the minority who out-produce. Not my point at all.

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Bell was offered a contract extension with 10 million in guaranteed money by the Steelers and he rejected it because he thought it was too little compared with the 45 million guaranteed that the rams gave gurley.

The reason bell didn't like the contract extension was because he felt he could get more guaranteed money if he played his guaranteed year on the franchise tag and then cashed in in free agency.

Now that he's been offered the franchise tag, he cannot renegotiate a contract or sign any extension with the Steelers or any other team unless the Steelers rescind the tag.  

The Steelers will not rescind the tag because it sets a bad precedent for the next time they use the franchise tag and because they wouldn't get a compensatory pick when he signs elsewhere next year.  Right now that looks likely to be a third round draft pick. 

The reason bell's holding out is that he thinks he will get less guaranteed money in his next contract if he is coming off a season with too many carries or if he gets hurt this year. Every week that he misses costs him a check worth roughly 850,000 dollars.  The most he can sit out is 10 games or else the Steelers can tag him again. 

He can't negotiate anything in his contract this year, so sitting out one or more games does not increase his leverage in contract negotiations. 

In a vacuum, there is no reason to sit out this long if you're not planning to sit out week one.  It would be really surprising for him to show up today. 

If you're looking to reduce wear and tear, then missing one ame doesn't help much. So if he's planning on missing games to reduce wear and tear,I wouldn't expect him to come back week two or three. 

However, the holdout may help his leverage with the coaching staff if he is asking them to do something like limit his carries every week. After holding out for a couple games, he may come back and say i'll play but if you put me out there for 30 carries i'll sit back out. 

Note - I am not aware of any player in nfl history who held out, returned to his team, then resumed his holdout.  I'm not sure whether it can be done without impacting his contract year status. If not, returning to the team damages his leverage. 

If he sits out playoff games as a contract negotiation tactic, he would be the first player ever to do it and could irreparably damage his reputation. I don't expect that at all. 

Realistically I think the most likely case is for him to hold out until he can't hold out anymore. The second most likely case is for him to return in late September after he sits down with Tomlin and agrees to limit his carries.  

If bell does sit out 10 weeks and plays the final 6, that will include week 17, so for fantasy purposes, you really only get 5 weeks. And the first week probably won't be great. And he'll have a higher than normal injury risk.  All in all, he's a very dangerous pivk in redraft, but a great acquisition for s deep team in October when his owner is starting to fade from contention. So i'd rather own lots of rb depth and then try to trade for him later 

In keeper/dynasty, I think his trade price goes up every week starting with week 4. Once it's clear he's holding out 10 weeks but before they're officially out of contention, you may be able to get him for a good starting rb. But be careful not to overpay, because you don't know what kind of team he'll sign with next year. 

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16 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

Right, you're still focusing on the minority who out-produce. Not my point at all.

They aren't the minority. The majority of players that get a 2nd contracts have out produced their rookie deals.

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Besides locker-room pressure, what is to stop him from signing today, and then refusing to play for more than X amount of snaps or touches per game? Would they be able to respond by suspending him without pay?

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You understand you're typing the words "who get a second contract" (i.e. the minority) and ignoring the majority who underperformed, right? I think we need to just agree we don't view this scenario the same way if you think MJD has principle to his statement that he should have held out for a megadeal he only would have performed 7 games under.

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Just now, LawFitz said:

Besides locker-room pressure, what is to stop him from signing today, and then refusing to play for more than X amount of snaps or touches per game? Would they be able to respond by suspending him without pay?

If I was him this is what I would do in a sense. Sign today, so I miss week 1. That is minus 25 touches basing it off 400 for the year. Players take themselves off the field all the time, stingers, fatigue, whatever. I would do this a couple times a game and I bet he could shave another 5 to 8 touches a game off his totals while getting the full 14.5 million, and only see about 300 touches.

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3 minutes ago, LawFitz said:

Besides locker-room pressure, what is to stop him from signing today, and then refusing to play for more than X amount of snaps or touches per game? Would they be able to respond by suspending him without pay?

"Conduct Detrimental To The Team"? Or is that all done with?

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If the reports that the steelers offered only 10 mil in guarantees is true, i can see why he wants to play hardball. Dont think id make any concessions either. I mean J Mckinnon got nearly twice that in guaranteed money.

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1 minute ago, BigJim® said:

You understand you're typing the words "who get a second contract" (i.e. the minority) and ignoring the majority who underperformed, right? I think we need to just agree we don't view this scenario the same way if you think MJD has principle to his statement that he should have held out for a megadeal he only would have performed 7 games under.

 

I see what you are saying and it is flat wrong. Sure the minority of nfl players don't get a second contract, but most of these guys are making league minimums or just above. Do you know what a guy making the league minimum should be? A practice player, a lottery ticket and emergency player and they are doing that. You can't underperform those contracts.

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15 minutes ago, LawFitz said:

Besides locker-room pressure, what is to stop him from signing today, and then refusing to play for more than X amount of snaps or touches per game? Would they be able to respond by suspending him without pay?

 I’m not sure but it seems like “refusing to play” would violate terms in the contract. I mean he could fake injuries I guess but there likely would be some kind of recourse for the team in that case I would guess also.

 

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11 minutes ago, fruity pebbles said:

If the reports that the steelers offered only 10 mil in guarantees is true, i can see why he wants to play hardball. Dont think id make any concessions either. I mean J Mckinnon got nearly twice that in guaranteed money.

Exactly.  I mean, he was due to make $14.5M this year under the franchise tag.   Why and how would it have made sense for him to sign a deal with only $10M in guaranteed money?  (Unless it was $10M in addition to the $14.5M - but that isn't how it was reported)

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8 minutes ago, Alex P Keaton said:

Exactly.  I mean, he was due to make $14.5M this year under the franchise tag.   Why and how would it have made sense for him to sign a deal with only $10M in guaranteed money?  (Unless it was $10M in addition to the $14.5M - but that isn't how it was reported)

NFL Network reported the contract Pittsburgh offered included $33 million guaranteed in the first two years and a value of $45 million over the first three years (not all guaranteed).

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1K71YV

Edited by Cowboysfan8
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23 minutes ago, LawFitz said:

Besides locker-room pressure, what is to stop him from signing today, and then refusing to play for more than X amount of snaps or touches per game? Would they be able to respond by suspending him without pay?

Bell's goal is to get the biggest contract he can and he believes that he needs to minimize wear and tear on his body in order to accomplish that.  Therein lies the dilemma. Right now, he's an unquestioned top 3 RB in the league. If he gets the team to limit his number of touches (a big if), let's say he ends up with 250 carries and 65 receptions and falls out of the Top 5 in the NFL in rushing yards.  Are teams reluctant to give him the huge payday because they feel he's not a Top 3 or 5 talent any longer?  Not to mention the continued potential blowback from some teammates and fans who feel that he's prioritizing himself over his team. It's a tricky calculation for him -- wanting to preserve his value and his body at the same time. That's why the safest bet is to come in for Week 11 when his legs will be much fresher than defensive players and his chances for putting up elite numbers are significantly higher.  Each path has risk but if his sights are set completely on the biggest possible contract and the most guaranteed money, coming in after Week 10 likely gives him the best chance of accomplishing his goal.

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1 hour ago, Long Ball Larry said:

This is something that I have been having a hard time calibrating.

On the one hand, I do agree that actually missing a game and a check is stronger evidence of his resolve not to back down.

On the other hand, I wonder if that finally becomes the sobering moment for him that the team is just not going to give in

I would be very surprised if the Steelers gave in at this point.  

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9 minutes ago, Cowboysfan8 said:

NFL Network reported the contract Pittsburgh offered included $33 million guaranteed in the first two years and a value of $45 million over the first three years (not all guaranteed).

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1K71YV

This report disputes that some.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/07/17/report-final-leveon-bell-offer-had-10m-fully-guaranteed/

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6 minutes ago, ghostguy123 said:

What if he played the first 6 games and then held out?   

Would that have been an option for him?

Good question and my guess is the one major financial difference is he would be subject to fines plus missed game checks whereas now he only misses game checks.

Other than that  I think would be a gigantic gamble on his part and I'd not like his chances for it to payoff. NFL teams might understand not signing now, but I don't think they'd understand someone actually walking out on their team.

 

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13 minutes ago, msudaisy26 said:

 

I see what you are saying and it is flat wrong. Sure the minority of nfl players don't get a second contract, but most of these guys are making league minimums or just above. Do you know what a guy making the league minimum should be? A practice player, a lottery ticket and emergency player and they are doing that. You can't underperform those contracts.

Here's a link to the MJD draft. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2006/draft.htm

If I'm following your position, MJD should have had a 2012 megadeal in part to make up for the fact he'd outperformed his rookie deal. Fair enough. My point is I'm fine with that, as long as there's a reciprocal formula for Reggie Bush ($62M)/Laurence Maroney(/Lendale White's of this league who were (in retrospect) excessively overpaid . I don't think it can or should be done, I'm just saying that is the only reason I would pay for prior performance... if it did work both ways (that guaranteed money to all players was tied to production). Lot's of unearned pay on that list... most rookies don't live up to the hype. That's really the only point I'm making... that it's a bit contradictory to say MJD should retroactively be paid as if he was a Reggie Bush, and Reggie Bush should also be paid as if he performed like MJD.

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2 hours ago, BigJim® said:

So the principle is the Jags should pay dead money in 2012-2014 to compensate MJDs 2011 season? Ok, maybe I'll go with that if guys who underproduce on whopper deals give money back. The principle can't work 1 direction.

As long as they can't take money back because of injury I'd agree to that. 

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1 hour ago, bostonfred said:

Bell was offered a contract extension with 10 million in guaranteed money by the Steelers and he rejected it because he thought it was too little compared with the 45 million guaranteed that the rams gave gurley.

The 45m guaranteed on Gurleys contract turns out to be 22m. Other than that your point stands

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2 minutes ago, msommer said:

The 45m guaranteed on Gurleys contract turns out to be 22m. Other than that your point stands

Dude are you really going to argue Bell should have signed a deal giving him a 4+ million dollar pay cut and no guarantee on the second year? It was honestly worse than offering nothing. 

Edited by Milkman
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Just now, Milkman said:

Dude are you really going to argue Bell should have signed a deal giving him a 4+ million dollar pay cut and no guarantee on the second year?

Please do not put words in my mouth.

The point was to show that just as Bell's "guarantee" of 33m was really 10m, Gurleys "guarantee" of 45m was realle 22m.

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1 minute ago, msommer said:

The 45m guaranteed on Gurleys contract turns out to be 22m. Other than that your point stands

And the $18M reported on McKinnon's is just $11M and that's taking into account his 2018 base pay.

Somehow Bell's agent got people thinking NFL teams offered RB's multi year guaranteed contracts. I"m not sure any RB in the league not on a rookie deal has a guaranteed base salary in 2019 and what I mean by that is contracts that don't become guaranteed until like April 1 in 2019.

Typically the signing bonus is so big on marquee FA's that it essentially guarantees the second year to avoid cap acceleration.

 

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1 minute ago, menobrown said:

And the $18M reported on McKinnon's is just $11M and that's taking into account his 2018 base pay.

Somehow Bell's agent got people thinking NFL teams offered RB's multi year guaranteed contracts. I"m not sure any RB in the league not on a rookie deal has a guaranteed base salary in 2019 and what I mean by that is contracts that don't become guaranteed until like April 1 in 2019.

Typically the signing bonus is so big on marquee FA's that it essentially guarantees the second year to avoid cap acceleration.

 

Gurleys contract is a bit like that in that the salaries for 2019 and 2020 as well as the roster bonus for 2020 "mature" on the same day, 3rd league day in 2019. Cutting him prior to that accellerates a signing bonus cap hit of about 16-17m so likely Gurley will actually see a large part of his 45m, barring catastrophic injury this season.

But that last money is not guaranteed now

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11 minutes ago, menobrown said:

And the $18M reported on McKinnon's is just $11M and that's taking into account his 2018 base pay.

Somehow Bell's agent got people thinking NFL teams offered RB's multi year guaranteed contracts. I"m not sure any RB in the league not on a rookie deal has a guaranteed base salary in 2019 and what I mean by that is contracts that don't become guaranteed until like April 1 in 2019.

Typically the signing bonus is so big on marquee FA's that it essentially guarantees the second year to avoid cap acceleration.

 

Why not just guarantee it then.......? Bell is likely playing now. No?

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15 minutes ago, Milkman said:

Dude are you really going to argue Bell should have signed a deal giving him a 4+ million dollar pay cut and no guarantee on the second year? It was honestly worse than offering nothing. 

There is no way this happened. You’re full of it. This is a franchise that extended AB, Ben, Decastro, Pouncey, Heyward and Villanueva. A franchise that had Brett Keisel, Aaron Smith, Hines Ward,Ike Taylor, Heath Miller and Troy Polamalu their whole careers and that carried James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, Alan Fanaca, James Farrior the majority of theirs. They take care of their guys. They’ve made Bell the highest paid back this year and last, even if the guarantees were only 10m (and I doubt that that fabricated number by Ian Rapoport is correct) he would have made the first two years on the contract, AT WORST. So you have 14.5m on the franchise tag, 10m guaranteed bonuses and 30m the first two seasons with a cap hit so astronomically high there is no damn way they cut him outside of him pulling an Aaron Hernandez. Sounds like a hell of a lot of money to me, especially for a position where the Super Bowl RB’s were Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis and James White.

Edited by Bojang0301
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little over 1/2 hour to report; Bell tweeted a few hours ago' "if only youu saw the last thing Malcolm txted me" *about Mac Miller death

https://twitter.com/LeVeonBell/status/1038471418630098944?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^tweet

Edited by gethugefast1
a few

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