If Le’Veon Bell Does Sit Out the Entire Year, There’s a Precedent for That
Bell would not be the first NFL player to sit out a whole year with a contract dispute.
If Le’Veon Bell doesn’t end his holdout and report to the Pittsburgh Steelers by November 13, he will be forced to sit out the rest of the season.
At this point, it looks like there is still a chance the star running back shows up and plays this year, but if he doesn’t, there is some precedent.
Hall of Famer John Riggins sat out the 1980 season because the Redskins wouldn’t renegotiate his $300,000 contract. Following the year off, Riggins returned to the field because he needed the money and played for five more seasons.
In 1997, another Redskin, Sean Gilbert sat out the entire season after the team hit him with the franchise tag. The standoff lasted until April when Washington sent the 1993 Pro Bowler to Carolina for a pair of first-round picks.
Two-sport star Bo Jackson began his NFL holdout before he ever stepped on the football field after being picked by Tampa Bay with the No. 1 pick in 1986. Jackson never reported and played baseball instead, then re-entered the draft in 1987. The Los Angeles Raiders ended up choosingh him with the 183rd pick the following year.
And finally, in 1987, No. 6 overall pick Kelly Stouffer skipped what should have been his rookie year after being drafted by the Cardinals. He was eventually traded to the Seahawks and went 5–11 as a starter over four seasons.
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