Report: Steelers listening to trade offers for Le’Veon Bell |

Report: Steelers listening to trade offers for Le’Veon Bell

Getty Images
Running back Le'Veon Bell of the Steelers yells to the crowd on the sidelines prior a game against the Chiefs on Oct. 15, 2017, in Kansas City.

Did the Pittsburgh Steelers finally budge in their long-running saga with Le’Veon Bell? According to an ESPN report, maybe.

“Steelers now listening to trade offers for RB Le’Veon Bell, league sources tell ESPN,” read a tweet from the verified Twitter account of the network’s Adam Schefter posted Sunday afternoon.

The Steelers own Bell’s rights because they placed the exclusive franchise tag on him in March. Because the two sides did not come to an agreement on a longterm extension by a July deadline stipulated in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, either the Steelers nor any other team can negotiate a contract with Bell until after this season ends.

Bell is locked in at a $14.5 million salary – prorated for the games he is on an active roster for – this season. Bell has already forfeited more than $2.5 million of that by not signing the tender; he will lose $855,000 each week he does not.

A trade is complicated, though, because Bell’s stated reason for not signing and reporting is that he wants to avoid injury before he hits the open market in the spring. A trade to another team doesn’t change that — legally, at least. In practice and in theory, another team could make wink-nudge, informal promise of an extension to be signed in the spring.

Teams rumored to be a good fit for Bell include the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Steelers (0-1-1) are off to their worst start since 2013. In Bell’s place, backup running back James Conner has 39 carries for 152 yards and three touchdowns, plus 10 catches for 105 yards.

Bell, 26, has 7,996 yards from scrimmage in 62 NFL games over five seasons.

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.