Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster Rip 'Selfish' Le'Veon Bell Amid Contract Dispute

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14:  Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Some of LeVeon Bell's teammates are unhappy the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back has continued his holdout four days before the team's first game of the 2018 season. 

Per ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler, Bell is unlikely to play in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns "barring an unforeseen development."

Offensive lineman Ramon Foster told reporters Bell "doesn't give a damn" about the team or his teammates. 

"What do you do? Here's a guy who doesn't give a damn, I guess, so we'll treat it as such," Foster said, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I just hate it came to this. ... He's making seven times what I make, twice as much as Al [Villanueva] is making, and we're the guys who do it for him."

Foster went on to say he's "tired of the antics," per PennLive's Jacob Klinger

Maurkice Pouncey, who predicted Bell would show up on Wednesday, is tired of waiting for the three-time Pro Bowler. 

"Honestly it's a little selfish," Pouncey said, per Tim Benz of the Tribune-Review. "I'm kinda pissed right now. It sucks that he's not here. we'll move on as a team. It doesn't look like he'll be in the game plan at this point. Conner looks great. We'll worry about him in Week 2."

Pouncey would also prefer that Bell tell everyone when he intends to show up, instead of having his agent talk to the media. 

"Why play hide and seek? Why let your agent say this? Just man up and tell us what you're going to do," he said, per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala

"Obviously it's Le'Veon over the Steelers, and we are the Steelers," Pouncey added, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

One unnamed Steelers player told Fowler that Bell "f--ked us" after they waited until Wednesday to give him a chance to show up. 

"Nobody is taking this well at all," Foster said, per The Athletic's Mark Kaboly. "That guy comes in half the season, and he still will make more than me so f--k it, right?"

Adisa Bakari, Bell's agent, spoke to SiriusXM NFL Radio but declined to offer specifics for what his client's plan is, only saying "you can read in between those lines."

Appearing on ESPN's NFL Live (h/t Fowler), Bakari noted they are looking out for Bell's long-term interests:

"Le'Veon has several years left in football; we know his days in Pittsburgh are precarious at best; we also know how he's been utilized in the past by the Steelers organization. That's nothing to say negative about the Steelers. They had one of the best players to play the position and they used him heavily for the production he can provide, but in doing so, you take away from his future years."

Fowler added it's unlikely, "barring an unforeseen development," that Bell will play in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns

Foster, who is also Pittsburgh's player representative, criticized Bakari's comments about the franchise-tag system's being broken. 

"Tell his agent we voted no on the CBA," Foster said, per Joe Rutter of the Tribune-Review. "Until he tells his other clients to save money during the CBA lockout, he doesn't need to preach about nothing like that."

Bell hasn't taken part in any offseason activities with the Steelers as he hoped to receive a long-term extension before the July 16 deadline. 

Pittsburgh gave him the franchise tag in March for the second straight year. The one-year tender is worth $14.5 million, though he has yet to sign it. 

NFL players can accrue a full season in which they receive checks for at least six games. The latest date Bell could return to the Steelers and still be eligible for free agency in the offseason is after their Nov. 8 game against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10. 

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