It’s certainly fair to disagree with the process Le’Veon Bell has carried out in missing all of 2018 – so far. But his reasoning, if you’re able to examine it objectively, makes sense. Sitting out to reduce the risk of injury that could tank his marker value after the season. That stance was reaffirmed yesterday afternoon following Earl Thomas’ severe leg injury that left him in an air cast and flipping off the Seattle sideline as he left the field.
Bell commented on an Instagram post of Seahawks’ linebacker Bobby Wagner talking about the situation, agreeing that it’s worth being the “bad guy” in the eyes of the fans to preserve his health.
Le’Veon (@LeVeonBell) welcomes the burden of being seen as a bad guy by people who do not understand the business. I see him as a pioneer of sorts because many players in the future are going to benefit, tremendously, from what he is currently doing. pic.twitter.com/azcpw8HQj6
— Secure The Bag Media (@STB_Media) October 1, 2018
“smh exactly…get right bro @earl ! I’ll continue to be the “bad guy” for ALL of us”
Wagner told reporters the difficult situation Thomas was in. Either sit out and be criticized by fans or play and risk a severe injury, the latter of which unfortunately happened.
Many players were quick to reference Bell’s situation and all player holdouts in support of those players getting paid.
This is why players hold out… https://t.co/TsZhazyMvd
— Reggie Wayne (@ReggieWayne_17) September 30, 2018
People wonder why NFL players hold out or don’t sign contracts that don’t maximize their value.
Remember this injury when you take the owners’ sides and complain that a player should just “get his a$$ on the field.” https://t.co/2Wwou6A3pH
— Sage Rosenfels (@SageRosenfels18) September 30, 2018
Thomas, who showed up right before the season began and has been angling for either a new contract or new team, is set to be a free agent after the season. If the injury is as bad as it looks, his marker value has probably been cut in half, if not more.
While the odds are still more likely Bell returns right before the deadline in mid-November, perhaps Thomas’ injury changes his gameplan again, just as he changed things by not showing up to begin the season. It’s more incentive and evidence for him to sit out the entire year and completely avoid injury. As we’ve written in the past, the only risk would be the team attempting to tag him again, something they’re unlikely to do, and of course, losing out on an entire year’s game check.
It’s easy to argue Bell has handled this situation poorly, you’ll get no argument from me here, but his idea of minimizing risk by not playing is logical. Yesterday just provided another example of that.