The Steelers are making noise about trading Le’Veon Bell, but their asking price proves they aren’t serious about trading the Pro Bowl running back.
The fact that the Steelers are putting a potential asking price out there for Le’Veon Bell may indicate they will move him eventually. It doesn’t mean anything will happen soon. The team’s current asking price for the talented running back is much too high for any other team to take seriously.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Steelers want a second round pick and a “good player.” In all honesty, Pittsburgh would be lucky to receive either of those two things in exchange for Bell.
Presumably, any team interested in parting with a significant asset for Bell will plan on re-signing him in the offseason. That means his new team will hand him a massive new contract after making any trade. The financial outlay required to secure Bell’s long-term services will be a part of any potential trade partners calculations.
The Steelers really don’t have any leverage to wield at the moment. Everyone in the NFL knows they aren’t interested in keeping Bell for the long haul. The best outcome for Pittsburgh would be for Bell to come back soon, play well for the remainder of the 2018 season and then receive a compensatory pick after he leaves in free agency. That selection would almost certainly come in the form of a third-round pick.
It’s fair for the Steelers to try to secure a superior asset than a third rounder, but they need to be reasonable. The organization might struggle to get a second rounder in exchange for Bell. They certainly can’t get that price plus a talented young player.
Look for the Steelers’ asking price for Bell to steadily drop as the weeks tick by. It’s all well and good to ask for a king’s ransom now, but they will grow more and more anxious to secure a meaningful return for Bell as the season drags on.
In the end, look for the Steelers to accept anything better than a third round pick that’s offered for Bell. They’re clearly done with the talented, but enigmatic running back. It’s time for them to get serious with their trade demands if they really want to resolve the situation.