Le’Veon Bell’s Teammates Are ‘Brainwashed’ Into Siding With Management, NFL Player Claims

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An NFL free agent has sided with Le’Veon Bell’s contract holdout, going to Twitter to charge that his complaining Pittsburgh Steelers teammates are “brainwashed” into siding with management.

Rich Ohrnberger, who last played for the San Diego Chargers in 2013-14 and hosts a sports talk show there, went on social media to blast Bell’s teammates for not sticking up for the All-Pro running back.

Bell continues to hold out for a long-term deal, missing all of training camp as the NFL season opener approaches. His teammates have sounded off about his absence in the local Pittsburgh press.

“What do you do?” offensive lineman Ramon Foster, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week. “Here’s a guy who doesn’t give a damn, I guess, so we’ll treat it as such. I just hate it came to this. He’s making seven times what I made, twice as much as Al [Villanueva] is making, and we’re the guys who do it for him.”

Center Maurkice Pouncey piled on in comments to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, calling Bell’s holdout “selfish.”

“Honestly, it’s a little selfish,” Pouncey told the newspaper Wednesday. “I’m kind of (ticked) right now. It (stinks) that he’s not here. We’ll move on as a team. It doesn’t look like he’ll be in the game plan at this point (for Sunday against Cleveland). (James) Conner looks great. We’ll worry about (Bell) in Week 2.”

The Washington Post stated Bell is expected to make $14.5 million under is the current contract, tops among running backs. That’s a fact that has not been lost on some of his teammates, like All-Pro guard David DeCastro.

“I think we’re all disappointed,” DeCastro told the Post-Gazette. “What’s the expression? We’re stuck with our foot in our mouths. We all thought he’d be here.”

The Post pointed out that Bell did not report to the team in 2017 until nine days after the season opener when he was not under contract. In the end, he was given a one-year franchise tag for the second year in a row instead of the contract extension he was seeking.

Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after rushing for an eight-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter during the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018. Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

The Post-Gazette wrote that if Bell sits for the entire season, he would remain under the same franchise tag next year, the one his is fighting against. If the star running back reports before the 11th week in the season, according to the newspaper, his salary for the weeks miss could disappear, but he would be an unrestricted free agent in 2019, putting up his services for the rest of the NFL to bid on.

While Ohrnberger touted that Bell’s move could help all players in the long run by referencing the union, that did not appear to sit well with many fans.