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Insider Only TIOPS Daily 5: Le’Veon Bell Watch, Trade Talks, Movement of NHL superstars & the Crosby Contract…..


TIOPS Daily 5

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" 1. As Le’Veon Bell remains MIA, the situation now turns to Saturday.

Does he finally report by 4:00 p.m. Saturday to collect his week 1 check and force the Steelers hand to pay him or not.

This will be fascinating to watch if Bell actually reports before Sunday.

The Steelers look weak if they cave in and don’t apply the 2-week roster exemption to Bell.

With how vocal that locker room has been this week towards Bell, the organization has the perfect situation to make a statement and make Bell lose two paychecks.

Here’s guessing if Bell shows up Saturday, though, Pittsburgh will pay him.

As frustrated as the organization is, its easy to see them wanting to turn the page and not alienate Bell.

2. The San Francisco 49ers lost their No. 1 running and have over $35 million in cap space.

How’s a 2nd round pick for Le’Veon Bell sound?

It might sound like a win-win on paper for both sides but if Pittsburgh even gave permission to the Bell camp to seek a trade (Bell would have to sign his tag first to officially facilitate a trade), a team trading for Bell still can’t sign Bell to a long-term deal until the off-season and would potentially just be renting Bell for this season, which severely limits any trade value as there are only 7 teams that could take on Bell’s cap hit straight up.

At the end of the day, though, what ultimately limits Bell’s trade value is that If Bell’s goal is to preserve himself for free agency in 2019, why would a trade change that?

Few organizations also see paying a running back $14-$15 million per season as smart business.

It would take the perfect storm for a trade to happen.

Right now the Steelers don’t see a trade market for Bell because of those factors and they remain perfectly fine to just rent him for another season, once he finally reports.

3. As teammates went public with their frustrations towards Bell, a narrative has started nationally with criticism towards the Steelers from pundits and former players that the Steelers are in the wrong for not paying the man Lev Bell.

The Steelers pay their stars and superstars top dollar and market value. That’s been going on for years.

In the Ben Roethlisberger era, the Steelers just don’t let star players out the door.

Troy Polamalu, LaMarr Woodley, were among highest paid players at their respective positions, to Ben Roethlisberger being one of the highest paid quarterbacks since 2008 now on two different contracts.

David DeCastro was given one of the latest contracts ever to a guard at the time of his signing, Antonio Brown’s AAV of $17 million was tops in the NFL until the Odell Beckham Jr contract.

Non-superstar players like Cam Hayward, Stephon Tuitt got contracts worth around $60 million in total value.

Pittsburgh’s structure in how they do guaranteed money is different than other teams but the big money contracts still set up where the team is pretty much locked in to those players for 3 to 4 years of the contract.

Le’Veon Bell not signed long-term is a rare occurrence and more on the player than the team.

One of the biggest frustrations with Bell that the Steelers have is a belief that Bell never took the time to actually understand their contract offer which Steelers officials privately contend was right on par with Todd Gurley’s eventual deal with the Rams that was signed after the franchise tag deadline.

Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" 4. Is the NHL going to start seeing more movement among star players in free agency over the next 2-3 years?

Unless Erik Karlsson lands in Tampa Bay, NHL exec’s believe he’s destined to hit the market In 2019.

As NHL players are often too loyal and always jumping to re-up for 8 years, a defenseman of Karlsson’s caliber going to July 1 just doesn’t happen.

Still a while to go and he may love wherever he’s eventually traded, but the feeling around the league for past couple months is that Karlsson has every intention of going the Tavares route.

Where the movement is starting to slowly happen for superstar players getting to July 1 or thinking hard of testing the market is players in situations with unproven or bad ownership groups.

All eyes are on Tyler Seguin in Dallas but his situation is different.

He actually wants to stay in Dallas and will likely work something out soon…..

Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" 5. One of the most important things former Penguins GM Ray Shero was able to do during his tenure in Pittsburgh was develop a culture where the stars/superstars gave no thought to wanting to leave.

Jordan Staal was the lone exception and that was a unique situation.

The Sidney Crosby 12 year contract that was signed in June 2012 was a cheat deal when you breakdown the entire contract (Crosby will make $3 million per season In the final 3 years of the contract) but it was a big, big deal to get Crosby to make that type of commitment.

Shero and Penguin ownership were among the main reasons why and it wasn’t as easy it seemed to be.

Crosby at the time had two contract proposals his camp worked out:

The 12 year contract he signed and a 5 year contract said to have carried a cap hit of Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at