Every NFL offseason fans are glued to their television’s to see which big names have made the biggest moves (Changing teams through free agency, draft, etc) but now they have to begin to watch for another reason. NFL stars are now beginning to hold out of training camp, part of the season or even the whole season (More on that later) in order to receive better contracts that fit them in regard to how much they individually mean to their team.
The Le’veon Bell Effect
New York Jets running back is basically the face of the holdout committee. He used his leverage as a superstar player to basically give the Pittsburgh Steelers an ultimatum a year ago: Pay me or I’ll sit for an entire season. The Steelers decided against paying Bell a salary exceeding $14 million per year, while Bell also decided against signing a franchise tag for the second year in a row.
In the end, Bell forfeited his entire salary for the season while the steelers missed out on the postseason even after getting off to a 6-2-1 start to last season. Surely the Steelers missed Bell’s presence as a playmaker out of the backfield. Although rookie James Connor rushed for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns, it wasn’t the same as having Le’Veon Bell pour in 1,300 yards as well as 85 receptions as he did in the 2017 season.
His decision to sit came as a reward to him and also his body when he signed a deal with the New York Jets that was in the same $14 million range as the Steelers offered but the difference was the Jets offered way more in guaranteed money which is a big deal to a running back that’s nearing 30 and just led the league in touches a couple of seasons ago. Now he may have taken himself out of yearly playoff contention, but he’s getting more money for the repeated beating his body is going to take over the next half decade+