We are 6 days away from the start of the 2018 NFL season and many teams have high hopes including my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Steelers once again are one of the top teams in the AFC with a chance to go to another Super Bowl.  Just as a repeat of last year, this doesn’t come without some distractions as star player LeVeon Bell has yet to sign his $14.5M franchise tag and appear to Steelers camp.

LeVeon was rumored over the weekend to appear in Pittsburgh on Monday, but today came and still no LeVeon.”We are disappointed Le’Veon Bell has not signed his franchise tender and rejoined his teammates,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement Monday. “Coach [Mike] Tomlin and the coaching staff will continue to focus on preparing the players on our roster for our regular season opener on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey told ESPN: “He’ll be here Wednesday. Count on it.”

Pouncey said teammates are not concerned with Bell’s absence because they know he will show up ready to play.

Last season, Bell took his physical Sept. 1 and showed up for practice Sept. 4, the Monday before the season opener, before playing a full year on a $12.12 million franchise tag.  Bell, who has averaged nearly 130 yards from scrimmage per game since entering the league in 2013, would forfeit $853,000 for every game week he goes unsigned.  Bell has stayed away from the team as a way to avoid injury and exercise his leverage as he seeks a contract extension.

I’ve watched with the rest of my Steelers fans all off-season regarding the contract negotiations with LeVeon Bell and his rap songs talking about the struggles and how he is disrespected and the videos coming out of Bell at the strip club and appearing pass out behind the wheel of his vehicle. It’s time to trade him and get some value from him before we lose him. It’s time for the season and we need everyone on board. Either hop on and be ALL IN or GET OUT! This is a big season for the team and we do not need any extra distractions.  Just like the NBA madness of Durant from OKC to Warriors and PG from Pacers to the OKC…..the Steelers need to get some trade value from Bell before he walks away.  Even some 2nd & 3rd round draft picks would be positive for the team in the future.   The LeVeon Bell experiment has run its course in Pittsburgh and it is time for both parties to move on!   Bell and his agent have both said they want to have LeVeon remain a “Steeler for life”, but if that statement is true, wouldn’t you be working harder and be with your teammates on a very important season?

There is still that small 5% chance that the Steelers and LeVeon work out a contract, BUT it will be a cold day in hell before that happens.  I would love to have LeVeon back for long-term, but with all the distractions and the money he WANTS and the money he DESERVES are too far off.

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