Value of James Connor

Someone in my league has been asking for AB and is offering me Connor and either Landry, DT or Theilen. With the news that Pitt is shopping Bell should i jump on it now or wait and see?

I currently have as RBs
David Johnson (acquired today)

I think Conner is RB1 now for the rest of the season with this news. Even if Bell isn’t traded I can’t see him playing now with as ugly as it has gotten in Pitt. If he signs at week 10 he will likely just sit on the bench if he isn’t traded in order to serve out this year and become a free agent. If that happens the Steelers get a compensatory 3rd round pick so other teams will have to offer something up pretty decent to move him.

I think there is virtually no chance of this happening. The skill gap between Conner and Bell is massive. The stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. End of the day, Steelers want to win. Bell gives them a much better chance of winning than Conner. We saw a bit of Conner’s limitations in the last game. If Bell comes back, Conner goes to the bench almost certainly. There’s some awkwardness in the locker room for sure but dudes still need to block for him cause everyone still wants to win. Maybe Bell doesn’t have his 95% workload and it drops to like 85% or 80% tops. The dude is the best RB of this generation. Conner, probably doesn’t even crack the top 20.

Trust is gone.

Locker room has been blown up. That line isn’t blocking for him. They took it personal. The one thing Bell doesn’t want is wear and tear so I don’t think he would go for that either. I could completely see the line ‘proving a point’ if Bell were to come back and inserted into the line up if their season was already virtually over with because of Bell and just letting him get nailed every time he touched the ball for several series.

You are telling me Bell walks back at week 10 after they are off to a horrible start and is welcomed with open arms? It’s not happening. By week 10 their season could be over already for all we know.
I assume he will be traded but Steelers don’t exactly have a lot of leverage in the deal as it’s not like whoever gets him will be getting him for a long term deal immediately. Trade would be best for everyone involved.

Tomlin isn’t going to just suddenly admit ‘we need him’ he’s going to be stubborn like every other coach in the league and plow ahead with what he has. Bell HAS to show up so he’s not under the tag again next year. I can totally see a scenario where he shows up and rides the pine just to get out of his deal. This has went beyond talent at this point.

I think you’re reading more into the locker room and stating your opinions on matters as a matter of fact which just isn’t the case. No offense but you’re not in the locker room, you don’t know Bell, and you have no idea what Tomlin will or won’t do. The truth is, you and I don’t have a god damn clue whats happening or is going to happen. For all we know, Bell has talked to the Oline already. Been 2 weeks and no one has said another word to the media or anyone else. What you got was their week 1 emotional reaction.

Also, you’re writing off Steelers as if they’re just going to lose the rest of the season. Still a tonne of talent on the roster, one of the best OLines in football and still so many weapons on offense. It’s a bad start sure but they can still recover pretty easily. The division isn’t exactly ripe with talent. It’s going to be competitive and I still expect steelers to be in the playoff hunt. And if they are in the playoff hunt, the best players will play. This isn’t hollywood and isn’t a remake of the Longest Yard. What your describing is actually ridiculous. Lineman not blocking? Shit will show up on tape. I mean the leagues been through this before. Bell isn’t the first. It just happens to be in the spotlight cause of social media. Eric Dickerson did it before Bell. You think the line stopped blocking for him? No, dude got a 1 way ticket to the hall of fame. And that was back in the days where even fighting for more money was frowned upon.

Players don’t have to like each other to play on the same team and be successful. Steelers is a prime example of that. They’ve been a frekin circus in the locker room for the past decade. But year after year, they still get into the playoffs cause they have way too much talent not to.

Let’s not pretend like any of us know jack shit about the locker room dynamics. You don’t know anything unless you’re there. All I do know is Bell is the best running back in the league and has been for the better part of the decade and tomlin isn’t dumb enough to bench Bell for rest of the season to prove a point. 1 game? Sure. Rest of season? Highlight doubt it.

I generally agree with that.

Things have gotten worse progressively to the point the Steelers are taking trade offers (something they initially said they wouldn’t do).

Bell continues to be passive/aggressive on social media, including a post of a video just recently that was showing the last time he touched the ball in a Steeler’s uniform as it questioned if that would be his last touch as a Steeler.

I agree it was an emotional reaction from them, but often in emotional reactions ones true feelings come out. Those were some legit reactions from guys who sounded like they were sick of this ‘last year’. I’m not saying they can’t get along for the sake of football, but if you allow Bell to create all of this drama and these kind of issues and then just let him waltz right back on the field then what kind of message are you sending the rest of the team? It’s a ticket for others to be disruptive in order to try and get what they want. Just look at what happened with AB. That seemed more than a little fishy to me.

They have got off to a bad start but it’s a long season. What’s to say they don’t right the ship with their talent where they don’t ‘need’ Bell to take the field to make a SB run. That is also a possibility. I don’t see him playing another snap for the Steelers. That’s just how I feel about it right now. I’m treating Conner as a full season RB1 moving forward. That is his value to me. If someone wants him they will have to offer up accordingly regardless of if he is as good as Bell or not. I simply feel the organization is tired of Bell’s BS and decided a long time ago they weren’t going to give him the deal he wanted so I understand why he’s mad about getting tagged again.

I am 100% in agreement with you here. What I’m saying is, steelers locker room has been an absolute circus and joke every since Ward retired basically. They don’t have the voices/leadership in the locker room. What message does it send? It sends the same message that’s been sent for the past 5-6 years. Do whatever you want, as long as you produce and play on Sunday. AB is showing that, Bell has been doing it for the past couple of years as well. Steelers consist of a bunch of wildly talented individuals, they aren’t the best team which is why I don’t think they will win a superbowl. But I think it’s very unlikely that they will miss the playoffs.

I could see this as well. Cause fantasy wise, Conner is definitely an RB1 to me as well going forward. Especially with the trade news. I’m not arguing with you there at all. But if Bell does come back, there’s just no world where I see him sitting the bench as the best RB in the business. He does so many things for that offense that Conner can’t even hold a handle to. Just watching how defenses have played vs steelers in the first couple of weeks alone, they can use much simpler schemes. Trying to account for Bell on any given play as a DC, is an absolute nightmare. That just doesn’t exist for Conner who is a great runner, but doesn’t have the same versatility. There are just way too many real football implications outside of fantasy here for Bell to sit the bench.

It’s not about just Bell. Outside of the QB position, the steelers as an organization do not give guarantees beyond 1 year. That is how they’ve run the org since like the beginning of time. AB got treated the same. None of his stuff is guaranteed beyond the 1 year. And it was fine up until now because no RBs got that much guaranteed money. Bell has been trying to change that since like last couple years and no RB has been willing to forego real pay cheques to fight that fight. It’s moreso about steelers not wanting to set a precedent going forward so they won’t bend here. And they can’t offer him anything anyways.

Yeah last point is spot on and it’s smart business for the most part. Bell, even as the best back in the league, isn’t worth what he is wanting from a logistics standpoint imo.

I appreciate you always ‘bringing it correct’. You don’t take offense and fire back the way some do. You have your arguments down to facts.

I agree with this point wholeheartedly. Personally, I think Bell deserved a big pay day like 2 years ago. Or even 1 year ago when he was 24-25. He just has too many touches now for it to be a smart investment. Especially when you got teams like Philly/Patriots basically playing Moneyball at the RB position and winning superbowls anyways.

Having said that, given how prominent the pass catching versatile RB is in today’s NFL, I think this might change going forward. The pats kind of made pass catching backs a must and others followed suite. Now, everyone in the NFL knows you need them and RBs are getting taken earlier and earlier in the draft. With Gurley signing a big deal, if Rams can prove to be successful, this may set a precedent going forward. Other talented dudes might take a similar approach going forward in terms of sitting out to try and get paid.

I don’t think the steelers approach is sustainable going forward of never paying guarantees beyond one year. Maybe they never change when it comes to RB position, but for the pass rushers and what not, with Mack and Donald setting precedents, they won’t be able to retain competitive talent if they stick to their old ways.