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Can the Steelers Afford to Let RB Le’Veon Bell Walk This Offseason?

The biggest question about the Steelers this offseason will have to do with what they do with all-world running back Le’Veon Bell.

Forget the fact that he came out a few days before the AFC Divisional Game and threw out a threat to sit out the whole season or possibly retire if he’s franchised again, the Steelers have to decide with this guy the right offer to give him to make sure he’s in house all of 2018 and beyond.

Of course there’s also some worries about how invested he is with coach Mike Tomlin. As Ed Bouchette wrote on Friday, Bell didn’t appear to care much for certain rules the coach laid down, like showing up two hours early for games.

Bouchette even pointed out that Bell was nowhere to be found for the walk through before the Jags game.

Not only did Bell arrive much later than that for the playoff game against Jacksonville (as well as one coach), he missed practically the entire Saturday walk-through the day before, showing up about five minutes before practice ended.

Not good.

Can the Steelers win without Bell? Steeler fans really don’t want to have to answer that question, as with him they are still the most dangerous offensive team in the AFC.

Without him? That’s a scary thought, and one that the team likely does not have to want to answer.

So it will be an interesting call this offseason as to what the team will do – pay the man what he wants and risk the issue of not being able to lock up some younger players long term, or let him walk and let the immediate success of the team suffer.

It’s a question that likely is at the forefront of every Steelers meeting right now and will be for some time.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

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