With the NFL season kicking off last night, and pretty much all of the other games kicking off Sunday afternoon, I feel the need to weigh in on the Le'Veon Bell holdout. I've done my whole preview and picks and all that stuff, so I do not need to touch on that again. Today is all about one player.
This Bell holdout has become a very hot topic issue. His lineman are calling him out. Others are in support of what he is doing. He is going to miss out on a big chunk of money if he misses multiple games. His coaches are frustrated. This is what he has done the past couple seasons, but he has always showed up right before the season starts. That doesn't seem to be the case this year though. It looks like he is more than willing to miss upwards of 10 games to prove his point.
Now, I have 2 different thoughts on the holdout. My first one is short. I feel like he is letting his teammates down just a bit. He wouldn't be the running back he is without the help of his O line, and Antonio Brown. Those dudes give him many opportunities that other running backs can only dream of. If he owes anything to anybody, those are the 6 guys that deserve to know what he is doing.
Now, for my biggest point, and, I cannot believe I'm siding with Bell here, he is doing the right thing. He has been the do it all back for the Steelers for the past 4 years now. He carries the ball 250-300 times a year. He also makes multiple catches out of the backfield and makes things happen. He is as patient a runner as I have seen. He is the only current back that helps his line by waiting for them to get in position to block. Some guys are a bit too fast when they see a hole, or too slow to get to an open hole. Bell waits on it, then makes something happen. He has prolonged their sexual assaulter of a QB career much longer than it should have been. That rapist, alleged, can just turn around and hand the ball off to bell 30 times a game and save himself from getting hit. Bell has taken some licks over the past 4 years. When he does get hit, he gets hit hard sometimes. He falls forward a lot, but that still takes a toll on a player that is used as much as him. He helps Antonio Brown, Ju Ju Smith Schuscter, and whoever they have at tight end, face single coverage when he goes out for a pass. The fact that a player like Brown can face single coverage when Bell goes out for a pass, that is enormous for this team. He is the best wideout in football, and single coverage on him is a death sentence for the corner that has to deal with that. That only happens when Bell is out there, going out for a pass. So his plan to holdout, and wait for free agency, I have absolutely no problem with him doing this.
It is a widely known fact that the NFL is toughest on its players. They use you up, and when you are no longer of use to your first team, they cut you or trade you. They will get rid of you the moment you show a slip, or someone younger comes along. Coaches are, in fact, praised for doing such things. So for Bell to holdout, and try and get his, I have zero issue. He deserves to get paid. He has done a ton for the Steelers franchise. He has help to make them relevant and a perennial playoff contender when he is out there. But, the moment he gets hurt, or shows signs of slowing down, they will cut him. He needs to get his money, hopefully guaranteed in his case, right now. His positon, running back, is a dying position in the NFL. LeVeon Bell might be the best of the new era of backs, guy that can rush for 1,200-1,500 yards and catch 50 plus balls. So the fact that the Steelers won't pay him, I say continue your holdout. Wait until some team, be it the Steelers or another team pays you. You deserve a big contract Mr. Bell. The NFL is a brutal, brutal business, and you should get your money however, and whenever you can.
I know if Bell sits 10 games, the Steelers will have to pay him franchise money. I'd say do that, unless they give him what he wants. He can do the same if the Steelers want to continue this stupid game of chicken next season. So, while I think he owes his line and Brown a reason why, I do not think he owes the Steelers a god damn thing. They will just use him and spit him out. So, wait and get your money Le'Veon Bell. You deserve to get paid.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is the franchise player for us here at SeedSing. We will not tolerate a holdout. Hopefully Ty knows this.
SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.