I tossed and turned last night for hours over this very question.
Should the Steelers bring back Le'Veon Bell for a homecoming after he was released last night from the Jets?
It's a pretty fitting argument for 2020 because it feels incredibly, incredibly divided. Some are all for it sighting that Pittsburgh still has all the ingredients (Big Ben, O-line, playmakers around him, competent coaching and organization) to have him be successful again. The other portion of Steelers nation seems to cite his messy exit, how often he gave the Steelers headaches with his actions, and his lack of production with the Jets to say 'hell no we don't want him'.
I've thought long and hard since the news broke about this and I want to lay out in support of both options before I make my decision.
1. He Doesn't Come Back
It's the most logical by far and not necessarily because of how things ended but rather, the Steelers have a full backfield already. James Conner has yet to fumble this season and has been healthy and productive since Week 1. Anthony McFarland has shown bursts out of the backfield. Benny Snell had a monster week 1 and shows potential to be an every down, hard-nosed runner.
Where would Bell fit there? Take over for Jaylen Samuel catching passes out of the backfield on 3rd down? Le'Veon may have gotten his money with the Jets ($28 million in 18 games for which they're still paying him), but he's still Le'Veon Bell. No chance in hell he will take a "back seat" to any of those guys.
And again that's not even to mention all the bullshit that went down with him sitting out 2018 then signing with the Jets last season. How will Big Ben and the rest of the locker room react to a guy who says he "felt like he got his freedom" back by leaving the Steelers? At 4-0 and leading the division with a lot of promise and virtually no public nonsense surrounding the team, that'd be a really, really tough sell to bring Bell back in my opinion.
But, with the Jets continuing to pay his salary for this season, the option to be able to not give up any assets and pay dirt for a guy with his proven caliber in your system…
2. He Returns To Pittsburgh
Something just feels fishy about how quickly Orlovsky pointed to that. This on top of the rumors swirling from last year that Pittsburgh made an attempt or at least asked about acquiring Bell at the trade deadline screams to me that there still is some interest here.
Like I mentioned up top, you have the chance to pay basically nothing to bring back a guy who was an All-Pro for you and would have the chance to bounce back behind a really good O-line, a HOF QB that he already put up career numbers with, none of which he had in NY.
It's tempting. You can't lie about that. Basically Colbert and Co. would have trumped Bell's gamble on himself and be able to bring him back without ever having to pay him the money he bounced for.
You add another weapon to this offense that is already humming, 4-0, and a top team in the AFC and watch out.
After laying out both options for, I think I've made my decision. I leaned this way last night when the news broke and I was talking about it with my Going Deep co-hosts, and I still feel this way.
I don't want him back. I don't think it makes sense. I really only think bad can come from it. The last thing this team needs is to bring back issues into the locker room the plagued their Super Bowl runs that never happened. Stay away.