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James Harrison suggests Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell should fake injury upon return |
Breakfast With Benz

James Harrison suggests Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell should fake injury upon return

Tim Benz
James Harrison arrives at Heinz Field for a game against the New England Patriots earlier this season. The Patriots signed Harrison Tuesday after he was released Saturday by the Steelers.

We’ve made it all the way to Wednesday of a game week — Ravens week, no less — and no one on the Pittsburgh Steelers has said or done anything stupid.

That’s a new record for this club.

But fear not! We can rely on a former Steeler to come through for us in a pinch.

Oh, and a former Raven, too.

James Harrison went on the FS1 “Undisputed” show. He endorses the idea of Le’Veon Bell signing his franchise tag at the last possible moment, then faking an injury.

And host Shannon Sharpe cosigns on the idea.

Yup. That’s Harrison. The guy who personified blood-and-guts, tough-guy football in Pittsburgh for years, saying out loud that Bell should fake an injury.

It’s nothing that those of us in the media haven’t pontificated. It’s always been one of the eight million possibilities out there for how this twisted melodrama could play out. But it seems to carry more weight when you actually hear a former Steelers great endorse that as a strategy.

And it’s disheartening.

Now, if Harrison said, “Le’Veon, just sign the tag and start falling asleep and snoring in meetings,” that I would’ve expected. Harrison did precisely that last year.

Keep watching the video after that, too. Listen to Sharpe and Harrison bloviate by saying, “let him go.”

Yeah, right, boys. Just rescind the tag, Kevin Colbert! Let poor Bell become a free agent now so he can sign a deal elsewhere this season.

Why? How does that strategy help the Steelers at all? So Bell can play against you later in the year once he works himself into shape? So he can become a Patriot like you did, Harrison?

Please. It’s just the latest example of former players going on camera and not understanding how this process works. Or it’s simply them thinking that the player should get what they want all the time in a contract dispute.

At some point, yes, Bell is going to wear another uniform and line up against the Steelers. But it doesn’t have to be this year. And the Steelers should use that angle to their advantage. It’s why the owners bargained for it in the collective bargaining agreement.

Get over it, fellas. You sound like naive, big babies here. You are crying on behalf of the player who is attempting to pull a power play. Bell is using every club in his bag to leverage his position against the Steelers.

The Steelers are doing the same thing to him. And preventing him from hitting free agency for as long as possible — in other words, through this year — is a card they can play.

Don’t like it? Then your union shouldn’t have agreed to the terms of the franchise tag in the CBA. I wouldn’t expect two great minds like Sharpe and Harrison to grasp that, though.

Harrison and Sharpe are faking being broadcasters. It shouldn’t surprise us that they are telling Bell to fake an injury.

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