Le'Veon Bell, not Steelers, to blame for contract standoff, fans say
Le'Veon Bell has shown he can shed tacklers, but can he run past the growing number of fans upset that he didn't sign a long-term contract with the Steelers before Monday's 4 p.m. deadline and may sit out at least part of training camp?
Judging by a sampling of social media comments, Bell is to blame for the two sides failing to reach an agreement, which means the Pro Bowl running back will play on a one-year, $12.12 million contract for the 2017 season.
Facebook reaction to the Tribune-Review's coverage Monday of the failed contract negotiations seemed to put Bell in the cross-hairs, although the Steelers didn't escape their share of scrutiny.
Fans appeared to focus their ire on Bell's arrest during his rookie season for marijuana that has contributed to two suspensions and his history of being injured in the playoffs.
Wrote Peter Fiehrer of Chicago:
Added fan Todd Kinkus:
Bell didn't help his cause with blue-collar fans when he told ESPN that, "I'm not in a rush to sign for something I'm not valued at if I feel I'm worth more than what they are offering me."
Bell also seemed to take a shot at the Steelers when he wrote on his verified Twitter account that "I guess I just gotta get better..." It was a statement he echoed on Snapchat and Instagram.
I guess I just gotta get better...— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) July 17, 2017
The response to Bell's Twitter post was harsh:
Must be a hard life to not take $12 million and then complain about it.. #realworld— Jason Price (@1stlinegoon) July 17, 2017
There are PLENTY of RBs out there. $12 million is already too much. We lost to NE with him (sorta) we can lose to NE without him.— Tom Kelly (@SteelerTomMD) July 17, 2017
And when it was suggested by the media that since Bell has not signed his franchise tender, he might not report for training camp, the heat kept coming:
Needs more time to make another rap album. Should have a new song to update how much he should make.— Michael Cramer (@mcramer7244) July 17, 2017
The Steelers, of course, weren't absolved of any blame on social media.
You guys better sign him to a true contact. What else does he need to prove?— Blake Niedermeyer (@62niedermeyer) July 17, 2017
Pay Le'Veon Bell. The team is good without him. They're great with him. He's a game changer & a clutch player. I hope we don't lose him.— DoYourOwnResearch (@SheilaPThatsMe) July 17, 2017
Why Wouldn't you pay him? He doesn't really need to prove himself anymore— Parker (@Flexburghs) July 17, 2017