Remember shortly after the trade deadline when Le’Veon Bell dropped a mini-bombshell, saying the Pittsburgh Steelers inquired about trading for him? No trade obviously happened but Kevin Colbert was asked about those rumors on Pro Football Talk with Mike Florio and Chris Simms.
In classic Colbert fashion, his answer about the deadline call was vague but he seemed to actually give an answer to what happened.
“At a trade deadline, my job is to provide with this is who is available,” Colbert said. “That’s my job. I have to know these players are available. So we’re going to check every player we think is available and that’s really the situation. How those things grow, who knows, but it’s my job to provide that information.”
So what’s Colbert saying? He’s basically getting at that he gave a standard, courtesy call to the Jets to see if Bell was really on the block since there were non-stop rumors Adam Gase was shopping him. He seems to say a phone call like that is common to get a lay of the land, let the rest of the organization who’s available, and if the team still has interest, proceed from there.
Whatever interest they had in Bell was clearly minimal because there’s no indication the talks went anywhere.
While rumors still swirl trying to connect Bell back to Pittsburgh, a reunion won’t happen. Even knowing the Jets would be on the hook for the guaranteed portion of his four year, $52 million deal, the Steelers simply lack the cap flexibility to take on his base salary. It sounds as if Bell will remain a Jet through 2020 anyway, making this whole thing moot.
Like Antonio Brown, the odds are really good Bell never wears a Steelers’ uniform again. For separate reasons, Bell didn’t burn bridges the way AB did, but given his contract and the nature of the running back position, Pittsburgh’s unlikely to have serious interest.
You can check out the whole interview on PFT below.