As the saga of Le’Veon Bell continues, a conversation with former running back Maurice Jones-Drew suggests Bell’s workload is a factor of his absence.
Le’Veon Bell’s absence has dominated the NFL headlines for the early duration of the NFL season. Bell, who has stated he wants a larger salary per season, has watched himself become the most polarizing player in the NFL — from media, fans and teammates alike.
While a new and improved contract appears to be at the heart of the situation, a conversation between Bell and former running back Maurice Jones-Drew may have revealed that Bell’s workload may be a contributing factor for his holdout, too.
Per the NFL.com, Jones-Drew said:
[Bell] was happy for James Conner after that performance but that performance justifies why he’s not there right now. If you’re going to give James Conner 31 carries, imagine how many you’d give to Le’Veon Bell?
Bell has until Week 10 to sign his $14.54 million dollar franchise tag so that he can be available for a pending free agency in 2019. Since it appears this would be Bell’s last season in Pittsburgh, whether he signs or not, it would be wise for Bell to return sooner than later. But if Bell is concerned about his pending workload upon return, then there are only two ways he can approach this situation.
a) Bell can see this as the Steelers viewing him as a valuable asset to the team and will depend on his contribution to take the team to the Super Bowl.
b) He can continue to believe they aren’t looking out for his long-term health.
No answer is right or wrong in this scenario: It really all boils down to perspective. Either way, the Steelers are moving along without Bell by placing James Conner in his spot for the time being. As long as Conner doesn’t mind the workload, that is.