Le’Veon Bell-Uriah Hall added to Paul-Silva undercard

Former NFL star running back Le’Veon Bell and elite mixed martial arts striker Uriah Hall will face off in a professional boxing match on Saturday, October 29 as part of the SHOWTIME PPV event headlined by Jake “The Problem Child” Paul vs. UFC legend Anderson “The Spider” Silva at Desert Diamond Arena (formerly Gila River Arena) in Glendale, Ariz., just outside Phoenix. Both Bell and Hall will make their pro boxing debuts in a four-round cruiserweight bout contracted at 195 pounds.

A strong, intimidating presence with a piston-like right hand, Hall is a 38-year-old former MMA standout who made his mark in both UFC and BELLATOR as a vicious striker. Hall (17-11, 14 KOs MMA record) is tied with Silva and Thiago Silva (no relation) for the most KO/TKOs in UFC middleweight history with eight. Born in Jamaica and raised in New York, Hall showcased his finishing skills when he knocked out Adam Cella with a spinning back kick to the head in the first round of a bout in The Ultimate Fighter series. That performance earned him comparisons to MMA legend Anderson Silva. Hall and Silva eventually met in 2020 with Hall walking away with a fourth-round TKO. He went on to beat former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in April 2021 via first-round knockout as Weidman suffered a gruesome leg injury just 17 seconds into their bout. Hall started his career 4-0, highlighted by a TKO victory over Edwin Aguilar at BELLATOR 11. He is currently trained by Sayif Saud at the Fortis Gym in Dallas, Texas.

“Le’Veon Bell, I hope you bring your best,” said Hall. “I know I will. Thank you to Most Valuable Promotions for the opportunity.”

A former Michigan State standout and top NFL running back for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets, Bell is no stranger to boxing. The Columbus, Ohio native spent the past seven years sharpening his boxing mechanics as he readied himself for the gridiron, and that fluency in a boxing ring was on display last month when he flattened legendary NFL running back Adrian Peterson with a one-punch knockout that quickly went viral. Bell and Peterson clashed in an exhibition bout that was conducted under the auspices of the California State Athletic Commission with CSAC officials. The bout ended in the fifth round when the 6-foot-1 Bell connected on a straight right hand that put Peterson on his back and rendered him unable to continue. It was a startling display of power, not unlike Jake Paul’s one-punch knockout of Tyron Woodley last December, and it showed off Bell’s commitment and proficiency in boxing. The 30-year-old Bell has relocated to Los Angeles, where he currently trains full time at the Fortune Gym under the watchful eye of respected, no-nonsense trainer Justin Fortune, famous for his work with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Known for his long strides and ability to stop on a dime and accelerate, Bell played in the NFL from 2013 to 2021, also suiting up for the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a two-time First Team All-Pro, two-time Second Team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler.

“As soon as Most Valuable Promotions approached me about joining the Paul-Silva pay-per-view, I told them, ‘I want in,’ and didn’t care who the opponent was,” Bell said. “Uriah Hall is going to feel my punching power and tap out like he’s getting submitted. He is not built like me.”

“Adding NFL superstar Le’Veon Bell to the card only increases this fight’s star power and to have him go head-to-head with a fighter as experienced and dangerous as Uriah Hall – it’s going to be fireworks,” said Jake Paul. “Taking on this challenge is proof that Bell, like myself, is serious about professional boxing and after his knockout of Adrian Peterson, he looks like a force to be reckoned with. Hall on the other hand has already proven himself multiple times in the UFC, and we know what he is capable of. I’m keeping a close eye on this one and may even take on the winner in the future.”

“I’m just as excited to watch Hall vs. Bell as I am for Paul vs. Silva. You have a legitimate top-10 MMA striker versus a world-class athlete who has proven he has true boxing skills and knockout power,” said Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of MVP. “This fight elevates our pay-per-view to a new level, and these guys will undoubtedly put on an unforgettable fight for the fans in the stands and those tuning in.”

International superstar and serial risk-taker Paul will face the biggest challenge of his career when he takes on UFC legend and accomplished boxer Silva in an eight-round bout at a catchweight of 187 pounds. In undercard action, teenage sensation Ashton Sylve will put his knockout streak on the line against Braulio Rodriguez in an eight-round lightweight bout contested at 133 pounds. Chris Avila, a disciple of UFC superstar Nate Diaz, will square off against “Doctor Mike” Varshavski, a board-certified family physician and social media influencer, in a four-round cruiserweight bout contracted at 185 pounds.

Buccaneers sign RB Le’Veon Bell

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed running back Le’Veon Bell, the team announced Wednesday.

Bell was signed after Leonard Fournette, who may go on IR, injured his hamstring Sunday night against the Saints.

The three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, comes to Tampa Bay after playing in five games with the Baltimore Ravens this season.

“He’s been a good receiver in the past and played in this offense in Pittsburgh for a while,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said. “We’ll see what he can learn and what he can give us in the next few weeks.”

Over 93 career regular season games, including 81 starts, the 29-year-old Bell has amassed 1,587 carries for 6,536 yards and 42 rushing touchdowns. He has played an integral role in the passing game, as well, making 395 receptions for 3,258 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since entering the league in 2013, Bell ranks fourth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (9,794) and first among running backs. His 504 first downs since 2013 rank third among all position players and first among running backs, while his 50 scrimmage touchdowns are tied for 10th among all players at his position. Bell has notched three 1,000-yard rushing seasons and three seasons with 1,500-or-more yards from scrimmage.

In the postseason, Bell has played in five games, recording 83 carries for 430 yards (5.2 avg.) and three touchdowns, in addition to 13 receptions for 91 yards receiving and one touchdown.

Falcons’ Julio Jones: ‘I wish they would do away with the Franchise Tag’

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Steelers made it official and gave their star RB Le’Veon Bell the franchise tag for the second year in a row.

The Steelers and Bell have until July 16 to agree on a multi-year deal.

The tag for Bell is worth $14.544 million for the 2018 season.

The 26-year-old Bell rushed for 1291 yards and nine touchdowns last season with Pittsburgh.

Falcons WR Julio Jones believes Bell should get a new contract and thinks the NFL should do away with the franchise tag.

“I wish they would do away with the franchise tag,” Jones told TMZ Sports.

From a player perspective, I would want to get rid of the tag, too. These players only have a short window to maximize their earning potential. The tag limits the opportunity to get the most guaranteed money as possible.

In the case of Bell, he is one of the best running backs in football. He is a big part of what the Steelers do on offense. However, due to injury and suspensions, the Steelers have been reluctant to give Bell a long-term term.

Recently, Bell told Billboard the following:

“When the end of July comes, wherever we’re at … if I sign, everybody’ll be happy, but if not, I guess I gotta play it by ear,” Bell told Billboard. “If I’ll be out till Week One, if I’ll be out till Week Ten, or if I’m gonna be there at all. It depends on how I feel at that time and moment.”

The two sides have few months to get a deal done, so I think when it’s all said and done, Bell gets paid.

Here is more information about how the franchise tag works:

NFL reveals list of players who were ‘tagged’ in 2018

 

NFL reveals list of players who were ‘tagged’ in 2018

Franchise and transition player designations were announced today for the 2018 NFL free agency signing period, which begins at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 14.

A club can designate one “franchise” player or one “transition” player among its veteran free agents.

The salary offer by a player’s club determines whether the franchise player designation is exclusive or non-exclusive.

An “exclusive” franchise player – not free to sign with another club – is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the current year as of the end of the restricted free agent signing period on April 20; or (ii) the amount of the required tender for a “non-exclusive” franchise player, as explained below.

Article 10, Section 2(a)(i) of the CBA sets forth the methodology, known as the “Cap Percentage Average,” for calculating the required tender for such a player:

The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position . . . at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year, which average shall be calculated by: (1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years; (2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years . . . ; and (3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year . . . (the “Cap Percentage Average”) . . . ; or (B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater . . . .

If a club extends a required tender to a non-exclusive franchise player pursuant to this section, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a player contract with any club, except that draft choice compensation of two first-round draft selections shall be made in the event he signs with a new club.

The signing period for franchise players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 14 and ends on the Tuesdayfollowing the 10th week of the season (November 13).

This year, one player (Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh) was designated as an exclusive franchise player.  Four players were designated as non-exclusive franchise players.

2018 FRANCHISE PLAYERS

Club Player Position
Dallas Cowboys Demarcus Lawrence DE
Detroit Lions Ezekiel Ansah DE
Los Angeles Rams Lamarcus Joyner S
Miami Dolphins Jarvis Landry WR
Pittsburgh Steelers Le’Veon Bell* RB

*Denotes Exclusive Franchise Player​

A transition player is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top 10 prior year salaries at the player’s position, which average is calculated using the same methodology used for non-exclusive franchise players (the Cap Percentage Average); or (ii) 120% of his prior year salary.

If a club extends a required tender to a transition player, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a contract with any club subject to his prior club’s right of first refusal, except that no draft choice compensation shall be made with respect to such player if his prior club declines to exercise its right of first refusal.

The signing period for transition players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 14 and ends on July 23.  After July 23 and until 4:00p.m. (ET) on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season (November 13), the prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

This year, the following player was designated as a transition player.

2018 TRANSITION PLAYER

Club Player Position
Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller CB

The Salary Cap for the 2018 league year has been set at $177,200,000 per club. The resulting 2018 Cap Percentage Average (“CPA”) tenders for nonexclusive franchise players and transition players are as follows:

            NON-EXCLUSIVE FRANCHISE PLAYERS

Position Tender Amount
Quarterback $ 23,189,000
Running Back $ 11,866,000
Wide Receiver $ 15,982,000
Tight End $   9,846,000
Offensive Linemen $ 14,077,000
Defensive End $ 17,143,000
Defensive Tackle $ 13,939,000
Linebacker $ 14,961,000
Cornerback $ 14,975,000
Safety $ 11,287,000
Kicker/Punter $   4,939,000

TRANSITION PLAYERS

Position Tender Amount
Quarterback $ 20,922,000
Running Back $   9,630,000
Wide Receiver $ 13,924,000
Tight End $   8,428,000
Offensive Linemen $ 12,525,000
Defensive End $ 14,200,000
Defensive Tackle $ 11,407,000
Linebacker $ 12,810,000
Cornerback $ 12,971,000
Safety $   9,536,000
Kicker/Punter $   4,493,000

Le’Veon Bell receives most Pro Bowl votes from fans

Pittsburgh Steelers running back LE’VEON BELL received 855,539 total fan votes to lead all NFL players in balloting for the 2018 Pro Bowl, as announced on NFL Network. Fan voting ended on Thursday, December 14.

New England quarterback TOM BRADY (833,481 votes) ranked second overall, while Pittsburgh wide receiverANTONIO BROWN (832,446 votes), Philadelphia quarterback CARSON WENTZ (829,174 votes) and New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES (743,355 votes) rounded out the top five.

The 2018 Pro Bowl rosters will be revealed exclusively on Tuesday, December 19 live on NFL Network’s Pro Bowl special “NFL Total Access: Pro Bowl Players Revealed” at 8:00 PM ET. Players for the game are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be selected to the Pro Bowl. NFL players and coaches cast their votes on Friday, December 15.

The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its All-Star teams. It was also the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.

The 2018 Pro Bowl, which kicks off at a new start time of 3:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 28, will be televised live from Camping World Stadium on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC.

Tickets to the game start at $45 and are on sale now at ProBowl.com. Last year’s sold-out event – the Pro Bowl’s first time in Orlando – featured a capacity crowd of more than 60,000. Fans may visit ProBowl.com for additional information on Pro Bowl Week, which features a variety of free, family-friendly events in Orlando.

The Pro Bowl is an all-inclusive event for fans on gameday. Working with KultureCity, Camping World Stadium’s sensory-inclusive partner, the NFL will offer families who attend the 2018 Pro Bowl support, including sensory accessibility resources and two dedicated sensory rooms located in the stadium on gameday to enable them to enjoy the game with more confidence and comfort.

NFL PRO BOWL TOP-10 VOTE-GETTERS

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

RB

Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh 855,539

QB

Tom Brady New England 833,481

WR

Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 832,446

QB

Carson Wentz Philadelphia 829,174

QB

Drew Brees New Orleans 743,355

RB

Todd Gurley Los Angeles Rams 693,697

QB

Russell Wilson Seattle 651,592

QB

Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams 571,656

TE

Rob Gronkowski New England 551,058

RB

Leonard Fournette Jacksonville 544,068

AFC & NFC LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION

AFC

NFC

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

QB

Tom Brady New England 833,481

QB

Carson Wentz Philadelphia 829,174

RB

Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh 855,539

RB

Todd Gurley LA Rams 693,697

FB

Tommy Bohanon Jacksonville 139,297

FB

Kyle Juszczyk San Francisco 361,196

WR

Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 832,446

WR

Julio Jones Atlanta 541,571

TE

Rob Gronkowski New England 551,058

TE

Zach Ertz Philadelphia 486,011

T

Alejandro Villanueva Pittsburgh 208,033

T

Tyron Smith Dallas 211,690

G

David DeCastro Pittsburgh 253,504

G

Zack Martin Dallas 220,566

C

Maurkice Pouncey Pittsburgh 242,409

C

Travis Frederick Dallas 246,225

DE

Joey Bosa LA Chargers 406,873

DE

Everson Griffen Minnesota 305,291

DT

Geno Atkins Cincinnati 289,919

DT

Aaron Donald LA Rams 314,522

OLB

Von Miller Denver 248,278

OLB

Chandler Jones Arizona 171,825

ILB

Ryan Shazier Pittsburgh 223,092

ILB

Luke Kuechly Carolina 288,830

CB

A.J. Bouye Jacksonville 319,638

CB

Xavier Rhodes Minnesota 222,137

SS

Micah Hyde Buffalo 128,993

SS

Kam Chancellor Seattle 149,793

FS

Kevin Byard Tennessee 157,036

FS

Earl Thomas Seattle 139,203

K

Stephen Gostkowski New England 153,573

K

Greg Zuerlein LA Rams 170,738

P

Marquette King Oakland 156,548

P

Johnny Hekker LA Rams 90,152

RS

Tyreek Hill Kansas City 149,530

RS

Pharoh Cooper LA Rams 116,091

ST

Tyler Matakevich Pittsburgh 91,497

ST

Budda Baker Arizona 96,595

Le’Veon Bell’s album coming soon

Le’Veon Bell got an album on the way. Bell’s album Post Interview will drop on March 10th. 

Hopefully the lyrics are not too edgy; there is a parental advisory sticker on the album. I would tell Le’Veon to get your money first, and then drop the album.  In the end, maybe Le’Veon spits hot fire!