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To ‘B’ Or Not To ‘B’

Le’Veon Bell isn’t a player that you can forget easily. He isn’t a running back that trails on the stat charts behind other top running backs. Bell plays and plays hard. But how much do you give up for a player that is constantly in the limelight for his football plays, but also for his off-field actions?

Since 2013 when he appeared in his first career game, I can remember how much Bell has grown with the Steelers organization. Through injuries, game suspensions, all the way up to his top highlights. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a Le’veon Bell fan.

But I’m also a team player. I can appreciate everything that Bell has done for the team, but I can’t wrap my head around how your only focus “is this team” but not show up for training camp.

Bell on his twitter stated very clearly, “I’m trying to win a super bowl…I can care less about what happens after this season…my biggest thing I’m focused on is this team I’m on right now, playing for/with my brothers, & bringing back a 7th ring! what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals.”

I had high hopes after seeing that tweet in January. I wasn’t worried about anything for the 2018 season.I was actually thrilled that this was a pro-football player openly saying he’s playing for the team, for the fans and the organization. Steeler Nation wants a 7th ring just as much as you do, Bell.

So when Steeler Nation has stuck with you through some suspensions and injuries, I wouldn’t say that the entire city of Pittsburgh is painting you as a villain, actually quite the contrary.

I won’t dismiss his accomplishments. Bell has had some amazing plays in his career with the Steelers that are hard to forget. One of my personal favorites from this past season against the Bengals was in week seven. Bell’s stiff arm on Dre Kirkpatrick was jaw dropping as he continued to run for 42 yards down the field with a total of 192 yards that game.

He is one of the most unique running backs that the NFL has ever seen and you can quote me on that. His patience, confidence, handle for the ball and his counterpunch for everything thrown at him is inevitable. The stats are there and if you don’t believe me, look it up.

But Steeler Nation is thrown through a loop when they hear their top running back threaten retirement before a playoff game. I mean, it was a playoff game. It would have been bad before any game, but you’ve got the whole Steelers fan base waving their towels for a 7th ring and you threaten retirement? How long can you justify someone’s actions before they talk themselves into a hole, a deep hole?

Bell wants $17 million a year, a number that I know a lot of fans and analysts rolled their eyes or laughed at. Bell is valuable and I’m sure most will agree with me, but he is already the highest-paid running back and wants to be paid as the league’s highest-paid receiver.

Will Bell no longer be apart of the ‘Killer B’s?’ The question is, should the Steelers be seriously considering a replacement for Le’Veon Bell? With the 2018 NFL draft coming up, this ranks a possibility. I would like nothing more than the Steelers to come to terms with Bell and get him under a long-term deal. But most players aren’t irreplaceable. So now Steeler Nation, I ask you, what is best for the future of the team?

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