Some Buccaneers fans – and the Pewter Report – have been holding out hope Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell could feasibly find his way to Tampa Bay this off-season. Those chances seemed to take a bit of a hit on the chin when wide receiver Antonio Brown agreed to re-structure his contract to make room for Bell to stay with Pittsburgh.
If you’re like me, then when you heard the news the Steelers would be able to free-up money courtesy of Brown, you thought it was pretty much over for the Buccaneers and Bell.
However, at second glance, Brown’s agreeing to “help” the Steelers wasn’t really so much about keeping Bell as it was about getting his own money just a little bit faster.
According to NFL.com, the star receiver helped his team keep the stud running back by…..agreeing to paid over $9 Million up front. Before the season even begins. Restructured as a signing bonus. Gee, what a swell guy Brown is.
In all seriouseness, it does of course help his team and the added bonus of his receiving more than $9 Million in one check is a perk of doing business he shouldn’t turn down. Ever.
However, it also kind of hurts this situation. See, now the Steelers have no reason to negotiate. If they so choose to stick to their tagging of Bell for the 2018 NFL Season, they can do so without making any other moves. Thanks to Brown.
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I doubt seriously Bell would ever throw shade at Brown for taking his money up front, but it does hurt his own bargaining power a bit.
So, if Pittsburgh and their star running back can’t come to an aggreement, then what are the chances he’s let go? None.
The Steelers may be a little crazy sometimes, but they aren’t stupid. The only way Bell is leaving Pittsburgh now is via trade or retirement, which he did threaten to do at one point.
But the trade angle is where the real potential for the Buccaneers really lies.
Of course, if you’re like me, there’s a part of you which really doesn’t think it’s going to happen anyway but the dreamer in you is holding on as long as you can. Kind of like buying a lottery ticket. You know you aren’t actually getting the prize, but it’s cool to imagine what you would do if you did.
Theoretically, Tampa does have a shot at Bell. In the sense that he hasn’t signed his tender, has stated he won’t sign his tender, and the Steelers appear too stubborn and too strapped for cash to give him the deal he wants.
What do you think the chances are of Bell landing in Tampa? None? Slim? Slim to none? If you were presented with the opportunity to trade for the running back, what would you be willing to give?