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Football footnotes: Jets reportedly concerned about Le’Veon Bell’s weight |
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Football footnotes: Jets reportedly concerned about Le’Veon Bell’s weight

Tim Benz
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers running back LeVeon Bell celebrates with receiver Antonio Brown after Brown’s touchdown against the Bengals in the first quarter Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Heinz Field.

In this edition of “Friday Football Footnotes,” the Jets are worried that Le’Veon Bell is too heavy and that Antonio Brown may want too much money in a new contract. Also, a Troy Polamalu flashback. And the latest reason why Deion Sanders is a jackwagon.

Is that Le’Veon Bell or Jerome Bettis?

At least one team is worried about something besides Le’Veon Bell’s bank account getting too fat.

The Jets have long been a potential suitor for Bell if he should hit the open market. Now we know that will be the case after Kevin Colbert said Wednesday that the Steelers won’t use a transition tag on their former All-Pro running back.

Manish Mehta wrote in the New York Daily News that “the Jets would take Bell at the right price.”

It is unclear what that price would be, though. He reports Bell is going to ask for at least $48 million over the first three years.

That may push New York away based on two concerns.

Mehta says the first is that the team is worried about Bell’s “motivation after he lands a big pay day.”

Secondly, Mehta hears that Bell may have gotten too tubby during his year off.

“Word on the street is that Bell, who’s playing weight is about 225 pounds, ballooned to around 260 pounds at one point during his year-long hiatus,” he writes. “There’s a fair amount of concern from the Jets about what kind of shape he’s in at the moment.”

Maybe Bell needs some of those late-night cardio sessions like Antonio Brown.

Mr. Big Chest has a nice ring to it. Mr. Big Gut doesn’t.

What about A.B.?

Oh, we aren’t done with Gang Green! Shouldn’t they have an interest in Antonio Brown, too?

Yes. Yes, they should. Robbie Anderson, a restricted free agent, was New York’s best receiver last year. He had 50 catches on 94 targets and 752 yards. No other receiver on the team had more than 40 catches and 502 yards.

Having Brown, who had 104 receptions and 1,297 yards last year, as a weapon could be a substantial upgrade for Sam Darnold. So will they roll the dice on Brown’s attitude, mentality and compensation?

Here’s what Mehta said on that front:

“My understanding is that the Jets have not yet engaged in trade talks with the Steelers, but the smart money is that a conversation will take place in Indianapolis next week at the Scouting Combine.

“There’s a feeling on One Jets Drive that Brown, who wants a reworked contract with guaranteed money, will call the shots on his next destination … and that they’re not one of his top few preferred choices.”

If someone gets in Brown’s ear and reminds him of the Mr. Big Chest marketing opportunities in the Big Apple, he’ll change his mind.

Not ready for ‘Prime Time’

NFL Network’s Deion Sanders sent out this tweet about the Steelers.

Sanders’ opinion-making is worse than his open-field tackling.

It didn’t exactly end well for the Steelers with Brown and Bell, did it? But I notice he left that out of his analysis.

What are you getting at “Prime Time?” Who do you mean is the “elephant in the room?” Ben Roethlisberger or Mike Tomlin? Or both?

Instead of being passive-aggressive, why not come right out and say it?

I wonder why he didn’t. Hmm?

How’s that for passive-aggressive? Two can play this game.

From a national media perspective, the blame shifting away from Bell and Brown and onto anyone else in Black and Gold is excruciating.

There’s something missing

On Thursday, Fox Sports tweeted this montage of Troy Polamalu highlights.

That was great. I noticed one significant play missing, though.

Hey, just because Pete Morelli wanted to act like it didn’t happen, doesn’t mean Fox had to do the same.

Didn’t see that coming

Here’s a non-Steelers one.

Broncos quarterback Case Keenum described himself as “definitely shocked” and “disappointed” that the team has constructed a trade with Baltimore for Joe Flacco.

Keenum went to Denver last year on a two-year contract worth $21 million. It’s unclear if he will be traded, released, or kept as a backup to Flacco.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Keenum said on Jason Romano’s Sports Spectrum podcast. “There’s still a lot up in the air. This is very fresh.”

Keenum will get $7 million regardless of whether he is on the Denver roster.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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