Steelers and Leon Veon Bell both made closing slots until Tuesday’s deadline to wipe out an agreement that would have taken him back to Pittsburgh this season, but no side could complete an agreement, says league sources to ESPN.  Steelers was told that if they were willing not to use their franchise or transition tag at Bell after this season he would consider reporting to the team according to sources. But Steelers rejected Bell’s request because they thought the tag was too important.
Payment this year was never Bell’s priority. He could still get what he wanted in the long run while turning NFL’s economic model on his head.
The Steelers packed up Le Veon Bell’s locker one day after he did not show up and players raid it.
This creates a bridging between NFL’s management council and the NFL Players Association in a possible precedent over Bell’s future, a case likely to be decided by a arbitrator, according to league sources.  The Board of Governors believes that Steelers will be able to use a $ 9.5 million transfer code on Bell this offseason that would give Pittsburgh the chance to match all promotions as Pro Bowl drives back characters with another team. The Council believes that $ 9.5 million salary should be based on his salary this year, which Bell lost by not reporting.
However, NFLPA believes that the transition cable must be $ 14.54 million – which would be 120 percent of Bell’s pay from the last franchise tag he played in 2017.
The NFLPA will argue, as stated in the collective agreement, that Bell’s tag should be based on the previous year’s “negotiated” contract. However, there were no negotiations on the $ 14.54 million franchise tag used on Bell this season, which has opened the door for this deviation.
No player has ever been in such a situation. If the league wins the decision, it will add even more leverage to teams using franchise and transition tags. If NFLPA wins, it will give the players more rights if they decide to skip seasons when they are tagged.
But Bell can also win by losing. Some sources believe he is more likely to land another offer sheet from another team if Steelers gets him to $ 9.5 million instead of the $ 14.54 million that NFLPA will demand.
Conversely, while Bell’s absence can end up hurting Steelers this season, it helps them next season.
Steelers may transfer the $ 14.54 million in payroll capital that they had attached to Bell’s franchise tag and apply it on their hood as credit for next season – and that’s their plan, according to league sources.
“It’s a beautiful thing”, a source familiar with Steelers thinking told ESPN.
The stalks are usually one of the layers that face the paycheck, desperately seeking ways to come up with more cap space. In recent years, they have had to restructure the players’ contracts at the start of the league year in March in order to make movements in the freeboard and draft.
If Steelers decides to use a tag on Bell, some of the space space will be used. But if and when Bell lands with another team, the $ 14.54 million credit will apply to Steelers cap.