The Cleveland Browns begin the 2018 season with a tough home matchup against their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers could potentially start the season without one of their star playmakers, however, which means only good things for Cleveland.
Running back Le’veon Bell has threatened to sit out the first half of the 2018 season if he and the team can’t come to a long-term agreement, which is music to the Cleveland Browns ears.
Bell played under Pittsburgh’s franchise tag last season, and the team tagged him again this offseason. Bell has told the team he is not willing to sign the tender, and instead wants a long-term deal.
With Pittsburgh making its way to Cleveland the second weekend of September for the regular season opener, it’s good news for Brown’s fans if Bell does indeed hold out.
Bell hasn’t had nearly his usual amount of success he does against the rest of the NFL when he plays the Browns the past few seasons, but it’s still great to potentially not have to play against one of the leagues best backs.
Cleveland can ill afford to start slow, especially if head Hue Jackson wants to keep his job throughout this entire season. With a week two matchup against the powerful New Orleans Saints offense, they need to take advantage of the potential advantage of Bell’s holdout and start the season on a strong note.
The Steelers and Bell have until 4 PM EST Monday to sign Bell to a long-term deal. If that doesn’t happen, look for Bell to stay true to his word to stay healthy and prepare for the possibility of free agency in 2019.