There's a narrative making the rounds that players like Melvin Gordon should be emboldened by Le'Veon Bell's season-long holdout from the Steelers last year. The reasoning: Bell experienced great benefit because he stared down Pittsburgh management and still wound up getting a mega-bucks deal from the Jets in March.
My message to Gordon and other NFL players: Don't buy a word of that ill-informed opinion.
The reality is Bell lost $14.5 million in salary that he would have received had he played under his franchise tender. He lost a full season of earnings in a career that, for a running back, usually ends around age 30. Unless Bell suffered an unlikely career-ending injury, or his level of play declined significantly last year, he still would have gotten the deal in New York, not to mention the 2018 cash from Pittsburgh. (And the Steelers would not have been able to franchise tag him for a third straight year.)
Bottom line: That $14.5 million Bell forfeited is lost money, never to be retrieved. Which brings us back to Gordon.