Le'Veon Bell is obviously a worldly talent that is very hard to replace.
A Bell-Thomas swap is surely off the table now, though.
On Instagram, Bell stumbled upon the following comments by linebacker Bobby Wagner.
"I've got a lot of good relationships with players on the team", Bell said. "If I was him, I'd be pissed off".
"We've got to get the run game going more", center Maurkice Pouncey told me Monday. "He'd want to go to a team that values his skill set and winning". The Steelers (1-2-1) host Atlanta this Sunday and then travel to Cincinnati in Week 6. The Steelers have struggled over the last couple of weeks with the team now sitting tied at the bottom of the AFC North with 1-2-1 record through the first month. Their schedule isn't getting easier.
Running back Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tosses the ball forward after gaining a first down against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. The team is also 28th in the league in rushing yards per game with the services of Bell.
In fact, it seems impossible at this point.
No trade could be complete until Bell signs his franchise tag. One of the many problems, however, is that Bell can not negotiate a new deal, which makes him harder to trade to another team and creates major problems for the Steelers and Bell to make amends. In 2014, his only full season, Bell had 1,361 yards on the ground and 854 through the air.
Bell and his agent could argue they are entitled to more, and appeal it to an arbitrator, but the Steelers would likely take the position that the "2018 salary" wording in the CBA means $9.41 million if he's on the roster for 11 weeks, as opposed to the full franchise number of $14,544.