2018 Offseason Questions: Who Is Lying, Bell Or Schefter?

The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.

Question: Le’Veon Bell said one thing. Adam Schefter said another. Who is lying—or more accurately, who is correct?

Last week, over the course of Pro Bowl practices, Steelers running back, and pending free agent, Le’Veon Bell told reporters that he was in a good place when it came to where he currently stands with the front office and expressed optimism about a long-term deal being reached, even mentioning an artificial deadline of getting it done before the franchise tag can be applied.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter pretty much refuted what Bell said yesterday though. As Alex Kozora wrote, Schefter said that the team and the running back had not had contract discussions recently and that there was no discernable progress, in spite of what Bell had previously said.

Was Bell lying? Is Schefter lying? Does it matter? One of them is either providing or was provided with information that is false. Bell could have been under the impression that his agent was in talks with the front office when in fact he was not. Schefter could have been misled by whatever source he has about just what has taken place.

We don’t know and we are not going to know, but it does nicely complicate our understanding of where things stand. Many took the running back’s decision to participate in the Pro Bowl proceedings this past week as an indication that he was optimistic about a deal being reached, but we cannot draw any conclusions from that.

This is frankly getting annoying and it’s not really even the offseason yet, since the Super Bowl still has to be played. We’re already twiddling our thumbs about who said what and what is true and what is false and it’s not even February.

Whether or not there have actually been any discussions since the Steelers’ season ended, there likely will not be a deal reached prior to the February 20 ‘deadline’, and if they choose to apply the tag, that will open up a new can of worms. Of course, if they do not, he probably hits unrestricted free agency.

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