Former Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell was released by the New York Jets earlier this week. He has since caught on with the Chiefs in a last ditch effort to revive his once blossoming career. https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/30120515/rb-leveon-bell-expected-sign-kansas-city-chiefs
This is a far cry from the 2017 season where Bell, Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant were part of a super powered Steelers offense. There was a short time this week where all three were out of the league completely. There were plenty of issues with that team in 2017 including a bad defense, and some suspect coaching. But the worst of the team’s problems came from this talented trio of offensive stars…….
Martavis Bryant was the first to go. The troubled, but ultra talented wide receiver had worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh. The Steelers put up with the several drug suspensions hoping Bryant would eventually straighten out. The social media outburst during the 2017 season were eventually the final straw. As soon as the Raiders upped their offer to a third round pick, Kevin Colbert pounced. Bryant was gone, and so was his immense potential. There was once comparisons to Randy Moss, now he is just another player struggling to get back into the league.
If the Steelers had their wishes, the talent purge from 2017 season would have stopped with Bryant. Le’Veon Bell had other plans however. Bell was determined to reset the running back market once his contract was up. A long contract battled began, leading to a year long holdout. The New York Jets would eventually cave to his demands in free agency.
No one will ever know how Bell’s career might have gone had he accepted the Steelers final contract offer. The only thing for sure is that sitting out an entire season, and the time spent with the dysfunctional Jets derailed a potential Hall of Fame path.
What we didn’t quite realize in 2017 was that Antonio Brown was the most troubled of all the Steelers superstars. AB gave us a little taste of things to come in the 2016 playoffs with the now infamous “Facebook live” incident. No one had any idea what we were in store for in the coming years.
In the beginning of 2018 the warning signs began to become more prevalent. Is it time to be worried about AB?
By the end of that year, Antonio Brown had shot his way out of Pittsburgh. That wasn’t the end of the antics unfortunately. Brown continued his troubled behavior in Oakland, and then again in New England. It is to the point now where there is real questions on whether or not Antonio Brown will ever see the field again.
Good Riddance 2017:
The last memory we have from the 2017 season is the gut punch loss to the Jaguars in the playoffs. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 469 yards and five touchdowns, and yet they still lost. The troubled big three of Bell, Brown, and Bryant accounted for 365 yards of total offense and all five touchdowns, and they still lost.
We can blame the defense, they were awful on this day. The bottom line however was this team was never going to win anything with this collection of talent. Winning was not the priority with this group, and it showed time and again. Disappointing playoff losses were the norm for the “Killer Bs”. They were dysfunctional, distracted, and downright disinterested in what it took to be great. Not even one Super Bowl appearance for what might have been the greatest collection of offensive talent this team had seen since the 70s. It will go down as one of the biggest wastes of talent ever in NFL history.
We will not look back at this period in Steelers history fondly. There was more than enough talent to win at least one championship. Instead we got a never ending load of drama, failure, and bad coaching. The 2017 season feels like a hundred years ago, and that doesn’t seem long enough.