As the clock ticks loudly toward the deadline for a long-term deal between the Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell, it’s time for both sides to apply any and all pressure aimed at getting something done on the terms most favorable to them. From the player’s perspective, the ultimate leverage isn’t staying away until Labor Day; it’s staying away until the Tuesday after Week 10.
That’s the deadline for his arrival and acceptance of the franchise tender. Specifically, if Bell shows up before then, he gets $14.5 million (or $852,000 for each of the 17 weeks he’s with the team). If he shows up after then, he can’t; he’d be done for the year.
Then there’s the potential fan reaction to Bell skipping games. Already sensitive about the perception in Pittsburgh that he’s a bad guy for simply trying to get the best possible deal, Bell would surely hate the way fans respond to a decision to skip games that count.
Believe it or not . . . the agency was promoting that vocabulary, in that genre, Schnatter said during a Friday interview with Terry Meiners of NewsRadio 840 WHAS. And I made it real clear, ‘Listen, we’re not gonna go there, we’re not gonna talk about this.’ And they pushed me, and it upset me, and I just said, ‘Listen, other people have used that word. I don’t, and will not use that word and people at Papa John’s don’t use that.’ And that was the comment. But they actually wanted to get into that vocabulary, and I said absolutely not.
And, of course, part of the comments where I said somebody else said it got printed and the part where I said I never say that and I wouldn’t say that and that’s not the way I was raised, that didn’t get in it. But shame on me for even bringing it up. But the point is, you can’t use that vocabulary, you can’t use that word, and we will not, and I’m not going to, and I have not.
As a result, I think you’ll see an offense that’s adaptable at the snap, and multiple. The hope is that it will take receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, both heady gym rats, to another level. And in the run game, I’d expect a healthy introduction to the RPOs that were a defining characteristic of Philly’s 2017 offense. It should be noted, too, that there is some West Coast carryover, going from Pat Shurmur to DeFilippo.