Le’Veon Bell And The Bucs

September 27th, 2018

Worth a rental?

Of course, the calculator-pecking crowd will yelp “small sample size” but that still doesn’t lessen the hurt.

Through three games, the Bucs rushing attack is about as lethal as a labrador puppy who spent all day chasing his tail in the backyard.

Currently, the Bucs are last in the league in total rushing yards and last in yards-per-carry at 3.0, which is actually down from last year’s mark of 3.7.

Meanwhile, the team’s No. 38 overall draft selection, running back Ronald Jones, is presumed healthy and has yet to wear a Bucs game uniform. Feel free to speculate; Joe will address that at another time.

So it would stand to reason the Bucs are likely looking to improve their rush numbers. Fortunately, the way the passing game has been humming with Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center, it’s easy to overlook poor rushing results.

Now there is a talented running back that happens to be in a contract dispute with his club and as a result, said running back is not playing. That would be Pittsburgh Pro Bowler Le’Veon Bell. And heavy metal headbanging Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, discussing NFL topics in the “Pick Six” podcast, actually invoked the Bucs while talking about Bell’s future and what city he could land in.

“The Bucs make a lot of sense,” La Canfora said.

Joe is starting to warm to Bell, but only as a rental. Bell is the highest-paid running back in the NFL ($14.5 million this season) yet that isn’t enough cash for him. And it’s not like he has been an angel with the Steelers, once suspended for refusing to take a mandatory whiz quiz.

Not to be forgotten, Bell was also pinched for weed with LeGarrette Blount as the two were trying to catch a Steelers’ team flight to Philadelphia.

Bell is an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The last sighting of Bell was last week when he was seen jet-skiing off of South Beach. If the Bucs were interested in him, first you’d have to find out what he is trying to stick up the Steelers for and then find out what his motivation level is.

Once, Joe coveted Bell as a trade target. That was before Bell’s selfish, malcontent stunt with the Steelers. Joe’s view hasn’t changed much but when it comes to the Bucs’ rushing attack, the cliche “any port in a storm” comes to mind.

If Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht could pry Bell loose for a third-round pick as a three-month rental, Joe would be open-minded to that. (Remember, the Eagles midseason last year traded a fourth-round pick to Miami for Jay Ajayi, who helped Philadelphia to a Super Bowl win.)

But who knows what motivates Bell these days (outside of possibly zeros on a check) or even if he would want to suit up for the Bucs?

If Bell is prepared to bail on the Steelers for most of the year, why would anyone expect him to be hyped to play with the Bucs?

54 Responses to “Le’Veon Bell And The Bucs”

  1. Wright Says:

    Hard pass. HARD PASS. We’ve been crying for years that we need a TEAM, not a player. I’m not about to sell the farm for a rental or our future for one of the most overrated positions in football. Not only that, with the soft QB rules and the NFL becoming more of a passing league every year, it’s a hard NO. Yes we need a running back, but we also need every other position on the team to be stocked up for the RB position to succeed. No thanks.

  2. Lunchbox Says:

    I’d love to have a guy with Bell’s production in our offense but there’s a lot about this that gives me pause. And no it’s not about the weed, although if that came up again, he’d get suspended again and wouldn’t help at all. My concern is, is this guy just gonna go Haynesworth on us if we pay him what he’s asking? Maybe. Also, regarding the weed, Tampa is a place with plenty of distractions which have gotten quite a few careers derailed. If he played up to his previous greatness, I don’t know if anyone could stop us, but I feel like there’s red flags about this guy. I say give RoJo a good honest shot out there. We didn’t draft him just to have him watch the games. Let’s see what we’ve really got.

  3. Lamarcus Says:

    Problem is who’ll be trading for his rights not the player and yes you better have a fat check and multi deal ready before anything happens

    So Ill offer no more than 4 or 5th depending on some draft class factors

  4. SteelStudBuc Says:

    What kind of sick joke is this. You’d have to be high on hallucinogens to actually consider this.

  5. SteelStudBuc Says:

    You know what… bravo Steelers. Don’t let selfish players dictate how u do things. Make them suffer. “I” before team equals gone.

  6. SteelStudBuc Says:

    This guy should be counting his lucky stars he ever played in the NFL. What a jackass

  7. Lamarcus Says:

    Licht is targeting squares anyway. After JW debacle, no way Licht touch any other known “flawed” personality and Licht should make a trade that impacts defense. That is what we need.

  8. Cantankeris Says:

    Funny our per carry average should be lower since we got rid of Joe’s favorite backfield scape-goat. Think maybe Peyton Barber’s per carry average last season might’ve had something to do with defense’s playing the run a little differently when he was on the field? Seems like his per carry average this year is reflective of the way defense’s play the run against a starting RB, or at least, at the way they play run D at the times a starting RB is on the field.

    Though, this is all still puzzling, since nobody in their right mind is trying to take away the run to force the *cough* sure to be 0-3, at best 1-2, backup QB, “Tampa’s QB”, to throw the ball.

    I just can’t figure what the problem could be…

  9. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:

    Fitzmagic Goes Ocean’s 11 to Win the Bucs Job | Gridiron Heights S3E4


  10. THETRUTH Says:

    PASS!!! He already said he doesn’t want to get hurt, he already showed team is not first, he already has had issues.

    He will come in get hurt and be out for season , they say he is not in shape. than all the buc fans who cried to get him will say jason L should have never traded for him.

    WHY RUN WHEN YOUR SCORING PASSING ANYWAY, WHAT LETS SCORE LESS, if we score less we lose cause defensive scheme sucks (not players)

  11. John Says:

    At this point what would you really have to give up for him? Maybe a 3rd and conditional 4th? I dont see them getting much or wanting a whole lot considering the emergence of conner. When he plays hes hands down the best dual threat rb in the game. I say if your that down on rojo then see what u can get him for. Prob has 3 good seasons left in him. Can u imagine this offense with a guy like that running the ball? People might actually bite on the play action.

  12. Lucious Selmon Says:

    What you said.

    He’d prolly bail, anyway, after getting mauled his first game behind our line. 🙂

  13. DI Says:

    Plus you can’t offer less than the value of a third because that’s what the Steelers would get as a comp pick if they would let him walk next year. Sounds like a pass

  14. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    The truth is Le’Veon SHOULD be paid like a top WR not a top RB.
    He is not selfish to get what he is worth from a team that has used him at extremely high volumes and now they don’t want to pay up what he deserves.
    Besides OL, nobody gets hit.more, with more force, than RBs, and no RB touches the ball more than Le’Veon.
    The guy had 85 receptions last year. Plus 321 carries. That’s 406 touches!
    Mike Evans had 71.
    If we could even rent the dude for this season for a 3rd or 4th? Are you kidding me? Why the neck wouldn’t you do that if you are in win now or lose your job mode? This is a no brainer/ steal of this was ever pulled off IMO.
    Steelers are most likely going to ask for way too much though.
    The Steelers deserve what’s happening to them.
    Go BUCS!!

  15. Montana Buc Says:

    Trade Cam Brate straight up for Bell.

    I think the money would work with our available cap room.

    I wouldn’t sign him long term just a one year deal to get his 8 games in required to become an unrestricted free agent.

    Would we still owe him 14.5m or is it 800k less each week he doesn’t play?
    i.e. miss 5 games 14.5m-(5*800K)=10.5million for a 12 week rental.

  16. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Why invite trouble? Work with what we’ve got. Defenses will focus on stopping the pass and the runs will come.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    The only way the Bucs could afford Bell – even for just this year – would be to trade straight up for a player on the Bucs roster with a high salary (like DJax, McCoy or LD54).

    Bell obviously has no intentions of playing 1 year for $15M or he’d be with the Steelers right now. Sooooo – what’s the point of even talking about this unless we believe Licht is willing to pony up $15M+ per on a multi year commitment with a huge signing bonus for a RB….

    Not happening!!!

  18. Buc believer Says:

    Feel free to speculate??? Speculate??? What the hell Joe is there to speculate?? That Licht has failed AGAIN on a 1st AND second round pick?? One guy hurts his hammy FIRST F… practice then the other guy gets knocked over by a calm summer breeze! Then only thing to speculate is how the hell has Forest Gump err Jason Licht kept his freeking job!

  19. Jman Says:

    Jameis and Bell seem made for each other. Bell should switch up his drug of choice to alcohol. He and JAboob will have some fun.

  20. Andrew Says:

    People are so naive. ripping bell because he wants contract security. Saying he is a bad guy. The Steelers have treated him like the rental his entire career. If he got hurt this year, he would be an injured 28 yo rb. Would probably get a one year deal. Then be 29 on the FA market. That doesn’t work for many rbs.

    Steelers are the ones at fault here. Also, why would he play for any team that traded for him without a long term deal? You are missing the entire point as to why he isn’t showing up right now.

  21. BucEmUp Says:

    We hardly ever throw the ball to our rbs….he would be wasted here just like every player on our defense is being wasted

  22. FromBktoPaBuc Says:

    Men don’t comment on another man’s money or his woman

  23. Realbucfan941 Says:

    They need to hire a consultant to help with this run game. Their blocking opening rushing lanes is piss poor. May not help but swallow your pride and try.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m on the fence with Bell. On one hand, he is a rare talent. On the other, he’s a head-case.
    I can’t fault the guy for wanting big $$$. Does he fit here? That’s my only question.
    Seems to me that we need DEFENSIVE help more than a RB.

  25. The Buc Realist Says:

    Maybe instead of another running back, that they just fix the “real” problem!!!!! If you trade or pick up a guard, might be closer to fixing the problem!!!!!!!! The “real” fans are just happy that drug martin is not hear on the roster!!!!!! there would be too many its DM22 bringing down the running attack articles!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. ArmyBucsFan Says:

    I can’t believe some of our “fans”! We have an opportunity no matter how small it may be to pick up a Future hall of fame RB WHO PROBABLY HAD MORE TOUCHES LAST YEAR THAN OUR ENTIRE OFFENSIVE STARTED LAST YEAR COMBINED! He had 85 receptions for 655 receiving yards and 321 carries for 1,291 rushing yards. That’s 406 touches and 1,946 total yards from scrimmage last year alone. The entire Bucs offense rushed for only 1,450 last year with an entire stable of running backs. Paying a player what he deserves should never be seen in a negative way especially if that player has been the most dominant player in his position in nfl history. Le’Veon would automatically transform this teams offense to the most feared and dominant the NFL HAS EVER SEEN. We’re doing good now but what happens when the rest of the nfl teams start just playing the pass and daring us to run. Do you think our current 3 ypc is going to make a bit of a difference. We need a play maker !!! We need Bell.

  27. JA Says:

    “Through three games, the Bucs rushing attack is about as lethal as a labrador puppy who spent all day chasing his tail in the backyard.” Now, that’s a metaphor! Impressive writing Joe(s).

  28. Joe Says:

    Thanks JA!

  29. ArmyBucsFan Says:

    I also like to mention we shat the bed in this years draft picking up Vita Vea and Rojo who are both a waste of cap and roster space. If you cannot be healthy enough or cannot perform on a high enough level to play in the pros well I’m sorry….NEXT!!!!!! If we are truly in a win now mentality then we would go after Bell and make a huge push in the playoffs. With bell on our team our defense wouldn’t have to be that good because we would be putting up 30+ points a game at minimum. This would be the first time in BUCCANEER HISTORY THAT WE DIDNT HAVE TO RELY ON OUR DEFENSE TO BAIL US OUT.

  30. Alphabucfan Says:

    I agree with Bucs realist. I-like needs to do a better job of run blocking pass protection is deff better than last year but still running the ball has not changed even tho our running backs have

  31. orlbucfan Says:

    Let’s bring in a REAL head case to stir up the pot, er, locker room. NOT!!!! Don’t need Bell; and sure don’t want him. Go Offense, Defense, Special Team, Sunday!! 3-1!

  32. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Just pay the man and make him a Buc!!!!

  33. Mort Says:

    He didn’t bail on the Steelers. They negotiated in bad faith and never intended to sign him to a long term deal. That’s literally what the franchise tag was created to allow the club more time to do. And they’ve had a couple years at this point. He warned them and they told him to pound sand. He is exercising his right to not show up because he did NOT under contract and has no obligation to show up.

  34. Oneilbucs Says:

    Go deep why do you hate on Winston so much ? A lot of white people love to call black quarter backs dumb. Winston could have went to any college he wanted to and not just for football, he also could had offers for academic as well go look it up Winston had a 4 point o GPA in high school. The same thing people say about fizpatrick and Harvard. Winston had a academic scholarship to go to Harvard as well and Stanford university. So I don’t know about him being dumb or slow. And that’s facts…….

  35. Anonymous Says:

    It would solve our rushing problem

  36. joestang Says:

    Something is wrong with rojo. coaches can see hes not even close to being a running back in the NFL. terrible pick, we could have had so many other backs instead. Another wasted high draft pick.

  37. TBTemojin Says:


  38. Dapostman Says:

    I believe the Steelers will receive a compensatory 3rd round pick if Bell leaves as a free agent after this year. So to trade for him you’d need to give a 3rd or better. This is one reason why bad teams stay bad. The good teams have good players who leave via free agency and are awarded with compensation via the draft. Bad teams not so much. I think the Bucs got a 7th round pick when Glennon left.

    #Get After It!

  39. Optimistic In CT Says:

    rather pay him than winston

  40. Jman Says:

    there’s no doubt JABoob is not iq dumb. But his common sense is as high as the peak elevation in the Everglades.

  41. DayOnePaul Says:

    So how many draft days to I get to the second round and start screaming “running back” to Jason Licht until he hears me? Instead, we continue to keep pulling undrafted or low round draft picks off the toilet paper roll, looking for an Earnest Graham or a Pierre Thomas, only to keep tossing them down the plumbing. It’s infuriating!

  42. Buccfan37 Says:

    Other teams are interested in Bell also. I doubt the Bucs are anywhere close to a preferred team he would choose to play for. He likes the spotlight so I look for him to return to the Steelers or go to a bigger market team.

  43. 813bucboi Says:


    I would rather trade a 3rd to JAX for dante fowler…..watching GMC whiff on ben with 2minutes left was heartbreaking to say the least…..we need a DE that can finish games in the 4th quarter…..

    joe, I think its time for you to let @tmax out of the cooler…..he may have gone over the top a few times but he’s been right regarding GMC……

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  44. Rob Says:

    Bell is refusing to play for the Steelers without a long term deal. What makes anyone think he’d play for the Bucs without one?

  45. buc15 Says:

    ^^^^^ yep and we can’t afford him. Case closed

  46. lewis Says:

    This sundays game will make or break the bucs if we cant beat Chicago were in for a long one

  47. Jason Hull Says:

    Jason Licht hasn’t proven he can draft very well why not go get a proven player who will make are offense the best the league hands down

  48. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Joe, Saints and Eagles have the top two rushing defenses in DVOA respectively. Pittsburgh is ranked 22nd but the Buccs were behind most of the game and Barber only saw 8 attempts with one long run of 18 yards early-on. The Bears have the four best ranked defensive DVOA…..and we havent even give ROJO a chance.

    Super Bowl winning teams often to dont sink much cap space into their RB…let alone give up draft capital for an RB. Bell was a second round pick I believe….

  49. Mike Johnson Says:

    What a laugh! Wish we could pick up Bell. Pittsburg has a knack for developing/trading and drafting..Beastly players with..Powerhouse strength. That was more than evident when they played us. They tossed our secondary players like they were..Play Dough! I agree with you here Lewis. This is a very important game against the Bears. Almost a..Must win for us. And it will be even more difficult than Monday’s game. You see the Bears actually do have…A DEFENSE. And they bring it. As all of you will soon see. Good Luck Bucs. Play hard and leave it all on the field.

  50. Bossmode Says:

    How is Bell selfish for asking to get paid, Steelers low ball him weeks later David Johnson and Todd Gurley get paid. A good trade value would be a third rounder and Spence Noah since he can see the field. So at least you can salvage some face.

  51. Realbucfan941 Says:

    How is 17mil a year low ball? That was the reported offer his agent agreed to earlier and he nixed! So more than that is just plain dumb at this stage in his career. I don’t know if Barry Sanders could even get to 1k yards with the way this team has been run blocking. I wish the colts didn’t take the ND guard right before the bucs! Rather had him than vea. The right side of the line will struggle this week for sure.

  52. Bucsace Says:

    So……Where is Ronald Jones?

  53. horse liver Says:

    Joes must know what an idiotic decision it would be to pay Bell to come off his jet ski into a starting role for $19 million and the cost of players/ picks.

    Fortunately Licht and Koetter know this, but nice article for generating clicks.

    You can do better Joes.

  54. lambchop Says:

    Albert Breer on the MMQB also mentioned Bell to Bucs as a rental.