Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Some want to make Le’Veon Bell look bad for making a good business decision

PFT Live recaps the Carolina Panthers' blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and break down why Cam Newton and company played so poorly.

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has made difficult business decisions that have made him the target of criticism and derision, given that his strategy has consisted of withholding services. Now that it appears that Bell will make the ultimate (and rare) business decision to skip an entire season of football, his critics are doing everything they can to make him look bad.

Unnamed sources (i.e., agents who don’t represent Bell but who would surely love to) tell Adam Schefter of ESPN that Bell’s decision to skip a season will cost him $200,000 in benefits.

“I don’t think it even enters his mind,” one of the unnamed sources (i.e., one of the agents who doesn’t represent Bell but who would surely love to) told Schefter. “When you lose a credited [season] and retire, you wish you had it then. But you’re not thinking about that now.”

There are two problems with this attack on Bell and his business strategy.

First, what’s another $200,000 when Bell already will be surrendering $14.54 million in salary? So the final cost of sitting out isn’t $14.54 million but $14.74 million. Fine, good, whatever.

If, as expected, Bell doesn’t show up by Tuesday, he’s doing it because sitting out gives him a path to free agency in March 2019, where a team other than the Steelers will offer a significantly better contract than what the Steelers have offered. It will be more than $14.54 million better. It also will be more than $14.74 million better.

Second, the suggestion that Bell will forever lose $200,000 in benefits presumes that skipping a year now won’t add a year to his career later. The only way to know whether Bell will lose that credited season for benefits purposes will be to know that he won’t replace 2018 by picking up a season on the back end of his career that otherwise would have been the first year of his retirement.

It’s speculative either way, but it’s something that should have been mentioned. It wasn’t, possibly because that would undermine the obvious effort to make Bell look dumb for doing what at thi