Bell, Brown and Karma
Karma is Karma. Karma is in life. You do the wrong things, you get the wrong things out of it. ~ Antonio Brown
I wrote a piece recently about he demise of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Killer B’s. Of course as all of you know, at this point, Le’Veon Bell has signed a free agent deal with the New York Jets and Antonio Brown has been traded to the Oakland/LA/Vegas Raiders.
Well, we all know about the Le’Veon Bell hold out saga. And as we have been told by Bell himself, the reason he was sitting out was to save his body for free agency where he could get a better offer with more guaranteed money than he could get from the Steelers. Recently, Bell has been doing some interview and has been piling on Ben Roethlisberger adding to the comments Antonio Brown has been making. The most telling comment I thought was after Bell talked about how Ben was a factor. He then agreed that if the Steelers had offered him more guaranteed money, he would have signed. A flat-out admission, regardless of anything else he’s said, it’s all about the benjamins for Le’Veon Bell.
Now, that’s great, he’s entitled to that type of attitude and it’s his life. As I’ve said before, what I dislike is the bullshit Bell has thrown around his stand. If you’re going to be a mercenary, be upfront and honest about it. Well, as they say, Karma is a bitch. So after holding out and refusing a 14 million dollar payout, and a contract offer at the same level. Bell signed with the New York Jets for less money per year, but with a bit more guaranteed money. Given that most Steelers get every dollar of their contracts, especially high value players, Le’Veon Bell certainly will be earning less with the Jets. Once you include the $14 million in lost wages, Bell has certainly gotten less money, to play on a worse team, with a less chance to win the superbowl than if he had just stayed in Pittsburgh, played and accepted the offer he was given. Ooops, welcome to Karma Mr. Bell and good riddance.
We’ve seen all of the complaints that Antonio Brown has about the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t respect him enough, the owner didn’t know enough about his personal life, the team played favorites, etc… However in my opinion, Antonio Brown got his feelings hurt because of a couple of things. First, he wanted more money than he was making. Secondly, he wasn’t being treated as the sole savior of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I think the popularity of Juju Smith-Schuster was a huge factor. Since arriving in Pittsburgh, Juju has become a fan favorite, a rising star, absolutely benefited from having Brown on the other side of the field to put up huge numbers and was named the MVP by the team this year. I think this, more than anything else, is what set Antonio Brown off, he was no longer the biggest, most popular star on the team.
So, he absolutely utilized the leverage he had to get to a team he wanted. He was able to get the Steelers screwed a bit on the price and he got the new bigger contract he wanted. However, he will no longer have big Ben throwing him the ball. Carr is a good quarterback but he’s not a hall of fame lock and he sure is not throwing from behind a line like Ben is in Pittsburgh. So I think Brown’s ego might be a bit hurt when his numbers dip. Then, Karma reared its head in that the Raiders went out and signed Tyrell Williams as well. So, Brown will now have a quarterback who isn’t as good, behind a less talented line, trying to throw him the ball. Then, he’ll have another younger, taller receiver on the other side benefiting from Brown being double teamed and the focus of the defense. Ben would still find windows to hit Brown even under double teams, I doubt Carr will, and will likely opt to throw at Williams. Then, if the Raiders are losing, Brown and his big contract will start taking heat. I wonder how Mr. Big Chest’s ego will handle being in the same situation he was in with the Steelers, but with lower numbers and less winning. Not to mention that as of today, he has to look across the locker room at the guy who tried to take his head off, his new teammate, Vontaz Burfict.
So, both Brown and Bell got what they want, both of them are in far worse situations and it may be petty, but I hope both of them get to watch their teams pick very highly in the 2020 NFL draft.