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Le'Veon Bell 2018 Outlook


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[Automated message: This outlook thread for the 2018 season will be locked on 2019-01-31. Please finish any 2018 discussions here, and take any 2019 outlook discussions to the 2019 outlook thread . If one does not exist, feel free to create one. Thanks!]

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15 minutes ago, SadFaceHappy said:

My theory: Bell and his camp have been winging it the whole time. 

 

new theory!

 

This one now must be the likely theory, being possible and having superseded all previous likely theories by sheer virtue of being the latest. ;)

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2 minutes ago, Shortnphat said:

It’s still odd with all the social media everyone has available to them that there really hasn’t been any photos or blurbs or anything in weeks with Bell, unless he’s in Moscow training Rocky style.

Another vaid point. For a guy who, for all intents and purposes "plans to have the best year he has ever had", why haven't we seen anything? Hell, even TO was seen benching in his driveway. Nothing to show Pittsburgh players (Hey, I'm with you in spirit. See me working out and training). Jameis Winston played catch with college kids, Josh Gordon took muscle selfies. But Bell, nothing.... Interesting. Maybe he is in an underground missile facility waiting to explode onto fantasy scoreboards! But yeah, mostly interesting. 

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26 minutes ago, Fantasy Gooroo said:

Another vaid point. For a guy who, for all intents and purposes "plans to have the best year he has ever had", why haven't we seen anything? Hell, even TO was seen benching in his driveway. Nothing to show Pittsburgh players (Hey, I'm with you in spirit. See me working out and training). Jameis Winston played catch with college kids, Josh Gordon took muscle selfies. But Bell, nothing.... Interesting. Maybe he is in an underground missile facility waiting to explode onto fantasy scoreboards! But yeah, mostly interesting. 

 

He was, at the strip club throwing his future big payday money at booty club dancers

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The winging it theory checks a lot of boxes.  It would help to explain why all of Bell's teammates seemed genuinely surprised that Bell did not report.  And it would help explain the inconsistent report dates and the great difficulty even usually sensible football minds are having to make sense of Bell's strategy and manuevers.

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33 minutes ago, Fantasy Gooroo said:

Another vaid point. For a guy who, for all intents and purposes "plans to have the best year he has ever had", why haven't we seen anything? Hell, even TO was seen benching in his driveway. Nothing to show Pittsburgh players (Hey, I'm with you in spirit. See me working out and training). Jameis Winston played catch with college kids, Josh Gordon took muscle selfies. But Bell, nothing.... Interesting. Maybe he is in an underground missile facility waiting to explode onto fantasy scoreboards! But yeah, mostly interesting. 

Apparently he texts James Conner during/after games

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My theory is that he changed his name to James Connor, killed the other James Connor, and has been playing for the Steelers for the last four weeks. He did it so he can get out of 'Bell's' old contract and hope to work some new contract magic for 'Connor'. 

 

 

It's also possible that the original James Connor was killed by a liquid metal linebacker from the future.

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12 minutes ago, Brotherbock said:

My theory is that he changed his name to James Connor, killed the other James Connor, and has been playing for the Steelers for the last four weeks. He did it so he can get out of 'Bell's' old contract and hope to work some new contract magic for 'Connor'. 

 

 

It's also possible that the original James Connor was killed by a liquid metal linebacker from the future.

 

yeah, but what about James Conner?

 

TIA

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21 minutes ago, SharkSwimmer said:

The winging it theory checks a lot of boxes.  It would help to explain why all of Bell's teammates seemed genuinely surprised that Bell did not report.  And it would help explain the inconsistent report dates and the great difficulty even usually sensible football minds are having to make sense of Bell's strategy and manuevers.

 

I don't think "winging it" is necessarily a fair assumption. I suspect the better explanation is that he had a plan going in, but it's gone awry. 

 

1. I do honestly think that he expected the team to not do as well without him, giving him a chance to show his worth both by his absence and then his presence once returned. Conner overachieved, giving him less chance to come in and outperform him.

2. I think the "week 7" rumors probably came from his camp in some way. Testing the waters to see the response. Only problem was the response from the Steelers wasn't "we'll work you in after the bye", it was "hey, we got this guy here, any other NFL teams want him?"

3. He started talking to the Steelers to maybe orchestrate a return, but wanted them to meet him halfway and pay him through the exemption. Steelers said "nope". I honestly believe that if the Steelers would have paid him through the exemption, he probably would have reported today.

 

Now he's in a situation where it's very difficult to win. If he comes back on Nov 13, and the Steelers use the exemption, he has at most 5 weeks of games and pay. If he gets injured, he's royally screwed. If he plays badly, he's royally screwed.

 

His only option to improve his situation heading into FA is to come in and ball out, leading the team to a deep playoff run, but the Steelers aren't going to shuffle Conner off to the side and let that happen. They don't want to lose the locker room since Conner got them here, and they don't want to give Bell an audition to show off his skills since they know he won't be a Steeler next year.

 

However, what is working in his favor is that with Conner doing so well, and with the Steelers not wanting a headache like this in 2019, it's increasingly unlikely that they'd tag him again. They don't need to, and spite can only be carried so long. So all of the "report by Nov 13" deadlines are meaningless if they don't tag him. He'll be an UFA. 

 

When you look at how the situation developed through the season, every individual bit actually makes sense for both sides based on the incentives. It just consistently went the wrong direction for Bell, which is why we're now at a stage where it's unlikely he can raise his stock by reporting, and where his best remaining option is probably to stay away and just wait for 2019 and his opportunity to become an FA.

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41 minutes ago, bwarbiany said:

 

I don't think "winging it" is necessarily a fair assumption. I suspect the better explanation is that he had a plan going in, but it's gone awry. ...

 

This is the best post I've seen in a while.  And to sum it up, Bell and his camp clearly overplayed their hand here.

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46 minutes ago, bwarbiany said:

 

I don't think "winging it" is necessarily a fair assumption. I suspect the better explanation is that he had a plan going in, but it's gone awry. 

 

1. I do honestly think that he expected the team to not do as well without him, giving him a chance to show his worth both by his absence and then his presence once returned. Conner overachieved, giving him less chance to come in and outperform him.

2. I think the "week 7" rumors probably came from his camp in some way. Testing the waters to see the response. Only problem was the response from the Steelers wasn't "we'll work you in after the bye", it was "hey, we got this guy here, any other NFL teams want him?"

3. He started talking to the Steelers to maybe orchestrate a return, but wanted them to meet him halfway and pay him through the exemption. Steelers said "nope". I honestly believe that if the Steelers would have paid him through the exemption, he probably would have reported today.

 

Now he's in a situation where it's very difficult to win. If he comes back on Nov 13, and the Steelers use the exemption, he has at most 5 weeks of games and pay. If he gets injured, he's royally screwed. If he plays badly, he's royally screwed.

 

His only option to improve his situation heading into FA is to come in and ball out, leading the team to a deep playoff run, but the Steelers aren't going to shuffle Conner off to the side and let that happen. They don't want to lose the locker room since Conner got them here, and they don't want to give Bell an audition to show off his skills since they know he won't be a Steeler next year.

 

However, what is working in his favor is that with Conner doing so well, and with the Steelers not wanting a headache like this in 2019, it's increasingly unlikely that they'd tag him again. They don't need to, and spite can only be carried so long. So all of the "report by Nov 13" deadlines are meaningless if they don't tag him. He'll be an UFA. 

 

When you look at how the situation developed through the season, every individual bit actually makes sense for both sides based on the incentives. It just consistently went the wrong direction for Bell, which is why we're now at a stage where it's unlikely he can raise his stock by reporting, and where his best remaining option is probably to stay away and just wait for 2019 and his opportunity to become an FA.

Agree, though I don't think you've really departed from a 'winging it' supposition. The situation you describe is winging it, to me.

My only disagreement is that his best option, IMO, is to sit all year.  He has enough on tape.  Coming back at all only presents risk - that he could get injured or look diminished. 

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32 minutes ago, Fantasy Gooroo said:

Where will James Conner likely be drafted next year?

Def top 3. Think about it, however this year plays out, Leveon is not coming back to Steelers at the start of next season. Conner will be their lead RB. 

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I will say this, he has definitely been perfomring like a top 3 back thus far. Congrats to all the sharks out there who managed to nab him before the onset of Bell's holdout. In the end, I would like to see Bell end up with a team where he can ball out. I think he is an excellent weapon when he is on the field. Owned him (when he wasn't holding out) and no match up was ever difficult. The offense could rely on him through the air as well (much like they do James). Pittsburgh has a great system for RBs. 

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3 hours ago, pastorofmuppets2 said:

 

yeah, but what about James Conner?

 

TIA

 

Clearly that's not his name. Otherwise the liquid metal future linebackers wouldn't have been looking for him. Man, some people can't see past the show to the deep state football world operating behind the scenes.

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