The deal includes $35 million guaranteed, with a maximum value of close to $61 million, including incentives, a source said.
Bell had back-to-back finishes in the top three in PPR formats prior to his holdout last season. The signing is a huge coup for a Jets offense that featured Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire last season. His arrival should certainly help the development of Sam Darnold and open things up in the passing game for the Jets' receivers. The Jets' offensive line struggled in run blocking last season, so we'll have to keep a close eye on how this unit develops during the offseason in order to quantify Bell's outlook for 2019. He certainly has enough talent to finish as a fantasy RB1 in New York, but the talent around him isn't as good as it was in Pittsburgh, and that may affect his overall production.
The source, it seems, was Brown himself, via his Twitter account. The move is great news for Derek Carr and the entire Oakland offense, but it's a significant downgrade for Brown. Carr is no Ben Roethlisberger and there may be growing pains in Oakland, especially given Jon Gruden's struggles to get the most out of Amari Cooper.
In efforts to keep the edge that got him this far, James Conner will enter his third season with the hunger of a rookie looking for a job.
"You've got to earn it every day," he said in late December when asked if he's the tailback of the Steelers' future. "It's never enough when you think you've done enough. That's when you start to get on the decline. ... You've got to earn it every day, practice hard and show you belong. I definitely don't feel like I've done enough yet."
Related players: LeVeon Bell
The story said that's exactly what the Steelers like to hear, but Conner is selling himself a bit short. From teammates up to ownership, the Steelers have praised Conner's development in a sophomore season that included 973 rushing yards, 12 rushing TDs and an AFC Offensive Player of the Month award. Conner added 55 catches for 497 yards in a Steelers offense that relied heavily on the back for easy yardage off dump-offs. The story added Conner struggled with conditioning and blitz pickups as a rookie but was more than ready when he showed up for his second training camp. Of course, it's expected Bell will not be back with the Steelers in 2019, so as of now, Conner seems set to be the team's RB1 heading into 2019.
Smith-Schuster didn’t talk to reporters after the game, but Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports on Monday that Smith-Schuster is “fine,” the rest of the story said. He had one catch for 16 yards before getting hurt in his first Pro Bowl appearance. He dealt with a knee injury last offseason as well.
Rapoport went on to say it's Brown preference to have a fresh start with another team. But as we reported yesterday, Brown has maintained steady dialog with some in the Steelers organization (not HC Mike Tomlin) and the door is still open to return to the team.
Rapoport went on to say Brown has maintained a steady dialogue with some in the organization he’s close with to express that sentiment. Still, he should draw significant interest on the market.
The Steelers would absorb $21.12 million in 2019 dead money on the salary cap by trading Brown, who has notched six consecutive 100-catch seasons -- but taking his $22.165 million cap charge off the books would offset that cost. Brown enters the third year of a five-year, $72.7 million extension signed before the 2017 season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have parted ways with running backs coach James Saxon.
Pittsburgh's running backs thrived under Saxon, the story said. LeVeon Bell reached the Pro Bowl three times in his four seasons with Saxon. When Bell opted to sit out the 2018 season after declining to sign his one-year franchise tag, second-year back James Conner filled in capably, as did Jaylen Samuels. Conner ran for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns, but was limited in the second half of the season because of injuries.
Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus, but Mort added things have been festering for a couple of years now with Brown and the Steelers. If the team does move him, they will take a $21 million cap hit, but Mort adds Pittsburgh will get $14 million of cap relief moving on from RB LeVeon Bell.
Ben said he talked to Brown Thursday a.m. and “everything was great,” but understands frustration from Brown being gone late in week, according to the tweet. As we reported via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, Brown apparently threw a football and Roethlisberger and then didn't show up for practices and meetings leading up to the game, but did show up Sunday expecting to play, the story said. The team said Brown sat because of a knee issue.
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown did not play in the season-ending game against the Cincinnati Bengals because he elected to sit out practice last week after a dispute with Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has learned.
The Post-Gazette story is an interesting read and goes on to say the disagreement occurred Wednesday morning during a routine walk-through practice that precedes their regular afternoon practice on the South Side. Brown was disgusted and threw a football in Roethlisberger’s direction, several sources said. He did not attend Saturday’s walk-through practice and skipped the Saturday night meeting at the team hotel — the latest in missed meetings by the All-Pro receiver. Brown was never on the field for the start of the game against the Bengals and left Heinz Field at halftime, according to multiple sources. According to several sources, Brown showed up at Heinz Field expecting to play against the Bengals. That surprised several players, including one who called the situation “embarrassing” and “the worst I’ve seen.” That player said the entire situation and the way it was handled affected his desire to play in the game.
- Page 1