With the Pittsburgh Steelers preparing for their Week 5 game against the Atlanta Falcons, the team is still stalemated with superstar running back Le’Veon Bell, who has yet to play a down this season as he continues to demand a better contract. While many have blamed Bell for Pittsburgh’s 1-2-1 start or questioned the wisdom of his holdout, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw believes the 26-year-old running back was justified in rejecting the three-year, $47 million contract that was recently offered to him.
“He’s worth a lot. He’s worth a lot more,” said Bradshaw, in an interview with TMZ Sports.
“There’s nobody like him in the NFL.”
Although Bradshaw admitted that he wasn’t sure how much Bell should be paid, he expressed optimism that the Steelers will make the playoffs despite their slow start, and would do so even if Bell continues to hold out. He added that the disgruntled running back should not be blamed if the Steelers end up missing the postseason, while also suggesting that the team’s quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, should “stay out of contracts” and not interfere as the Steelers and Bell work out their issues.
As previously noted by the Inquisitr, Le’Veon Bell doesn’t plan to stretch his contract holdout beyond the first half of the 2018 NFL season, as he recently announced his plans to return in time for the Steelers’ game against the Cleveland Browns on October 28.
More details on the long-term deal Le'Veon Bell turned down in Pittsburgh https://t.co/Jt13tEUrPo— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 5, 2018
While Terry Bradshaw made similar comments about the Bell situation in a September interview with Bleacher Report, he represents just one side of the coin when it comes to public opinion on the running back’s holdout. In an op-ed for the Sporting News late last month, Jeff Diamond referred to Bell’s decision to sit out the ongoing NFL season due to contract concerns as a “major misjudgment of potential market value” that has done “major damage” to his career as a pro football player. Diamond also expressed concern that Bell’s market value is “dropping by the minute” as he continues to sit out the Steelers’ games.
A second-round pick out of Michigan State in the 2013 NFL Draft, Bell rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns in the 2017 season, as he, Roethlisberger, and wide receiver Antonio Brown helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 13-3 regular season record. The Steelers later lost 45-42 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, despite Roethlisberger’s five touchdown passes.
As noted by 247Sports, the Steelers have up until the NFL’s trade deadline on October 30 to trade Le’Veon Bell.