Time to Sell Bell?
One reason I love playing Dynasty is that a question like this has no easy answer. There are some considerations to make when you’re talking about moving a piece like Le’Veon Bell.
Because no dynasty is built the same, let’s list some of the information you should consider before getting into trade talks.
The Contract Dispute
Bell’s contract disputes can really go back to 2016 when he first made it clear that he’s looking for a big payday. As he should, the guy has only earned $16 million over the first five years of his career and he’s arguably been the most effective Running Back in football. But he and the Steelers couldn’t come to terms, reportedly turning down an offer of $70M over 5 years.
The reason the contract dispute is worth watching is to evaluate if Bell will play this year or not. As a result of his holdout, he’s is losing roughly $850,000 a week from his $14.5M franchise tag this season.
So there’s financial pressure on Bell, who will lose more this year than the difference of what he’s seeking and the Steelers are offering, and performance pressure on the 2-2-1 Steelers who are currently in the basement of the AFC North to convince Bell to play or move him for some assets.
Bell has until week 11 to report to the Steelers or else he forfeits his season and won’t be eligible to play. Which means he’s not going to be around for the end of your playoff run.
We’re already coming into week 6, so even if Bell comes back, we have to start to consider the condition he’ll be in. He’s a professional, so I don’t doubt that the physical tools will be intact, but I don’t know if he’ll be mid-season form and maintaining the pace of the players out there. More importantly though is his mental condition and if he’s prepared to step in and make an immediate impact or will the lingering cloud of this messy relationship affect his play.
It’s hard to bet against a guy who’s averaged 128.9 yards from scrimmage in each game of his career. He’s a complete back who touched the ball as much as anyone in the NFL and is always reliable for a heavy workload.
So the gamble for Bell owner’s will be to consider the timeline, his talent and if he’ll be in top form if he does opt to return.
You’ll have to consider the Bell factors against your own. If you’re sitting in the basement of your league with Bell rotting on your bench, it might benefit you to sell those dynamic stats to a trade partner and try to secure a good young player and some picks in the process.
If you’re sitting with a neutral or winning record at this point, it might be harder when you consider the upside of having Bell around come playoff time. I wouldn’t move him in this position unless I knew my return was someone that made me better in another position and I had the depth to break ties with Bell.
If you’re playing in any format that would allow you to maintain Bell’s services going forward, then I would probably hold on to him another week or two and see how trade rumors unfold. One thing is for certain, next year Bell is going to be playing football, and likely for a new team, so I would want to see where he lands and evaluate his potential in a new offense.
Lastly, if you’re just tired of dealing with Bell, be it suspensions or contract talks, do yourself a favor and just get out of that relationship. I was once in this boat, the abusive relationship of never knowing if your RB is showing up for week 1 or not. I’m here to let you know, you deserve better, your team deserves better!