Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell has sent a message of support to Earl Thomas after the Seattle Seahawks safety broke his leg on Sunday, and has vowed to continue being "the bad guy" over his contract holdout.
This was an excellent opportunity for Bell to get his version of things out and perhaps clear the air.
The Steelers are hopeful of getting more than a third-round pick for Bell - they would get a late 2020 third-round pick as compensation for him leaving as a free-agent, in all likelihood - and would prefer to deal him to the NFC, sources said.
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Bell told ESPN.com he's ready to play today, but after being hit with a second straight franchise tag, it's a matter of principle.
Le'Veon Bell just want to get paid what he is worth while he can since the National Football League stands for Not For Long, but the CBA gives the Steelers all the leverage.
If Bell returns to the team by the bye week, he could play his first game in Week 8 against the Browns. Bell said he never told players or coaches when he would return. "But whenever your down - we only got six plays and we're down 14-0 - the game plan changes dramatically". But I think they understand the decision. At the end of the day, they said what they said in the media.
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Really, it makes too much sense for this trade not to happen. It was a little disappointing, but I understand their side. If Bell joined the team, it would cost the Steelers $11.3 million if they chose to use their transition tag, which is less that the franchise tag they used this year.
Bell, 26, and the Steelers couldn't come to terms on a long-term deal by the league-mandated mid-July deadline, with the Steelers offering a deal worth a reported $70 million over five years - $14 million per season - that included $33 million in guaranteed money. Bell will forfeit $853,000 for each game he misses. The Eagles are reportedly interested in Bell, while the Jets and 49ers have "also made exploratory calls". He'd want to go to a team that values his skill set and winning. "If a team wanted to, they could definitely do what they needed to do to make me happy and satisfied". "I'm a lot stronger than I was".
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