The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Does Le’Veon Bell deserve a place in the Steelers’ Hall of Honor?
An individual NFL team’s personal ‘hall’ or ‘wall’ or whatever method of distinction that they might employ has no formal standard, nor intrinsic merit. It’s just something that some organizations do to pay some respect to some of their alumni.
The Steelers began their own Hall of Honor a relatively small handful of years ago, though they have begun to fill out the ranks fast, and as one would expect, it has fueled debate about who is deserving of membership and who not—and what the criterion for consideration should be.
With Le’Veon Bell seemingly hinting about possibly being done playing football (or equally likely, the NFL being done with Bell), the conversation over whether or not he ought to be in Pittsburgh’s Hall of Honor has officially commenced, and so that will be our discussion today. Yea or nay?
His production while in Pittsburgh on the field is certainly undeniable. During his five seasons with the Steelers, he averaged 129 yards from scrimmage per game, which would have been an NFL record if that was the entirety of his career.
He rushed for 5,336 yards on 1,129 carries with 35 in just 62 games, and also recorded 312 catches for another 2,660 yards and seven touchdowns. But he was also suspended multiple times. He skipped an entire season without informing anybody within the organization of his intentions.
Generally speaking, he was (almost) always regarded in the locker room as a good teammate. Even when he skipped the 2018 season, after the dust had settled, most of his teammates would still express an understanding of his decision, even if they disagreed with how he went about it.
On the field, he was unquestionably one of the best skill-position players in football, a three-time All-Pro in five seasons, in one of which he only played six games due to injury. But it was also ‘only’ five seasons, just 62 games, and that limitation was largely of his own cause. Is that enough for a spot in the Steelers’ Hall of Honor?