While the July 17 deadline to sign him to a long term deal is fast approaching, the Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to do just that with Le’Veon Bell.
Recent reports have indicated that Bell is not likely to sign a long-term deal with the Steelers. But regardless of that, it’s still something Pittsburgh is hoping to do.
“With the Steelers expected to press Le’Veon Bell’s franchise tag negotiation toward the Monday deadline, the team still desires to complete a long-term deal with their star back,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote. ‘The team can provide a hefty signing bonus as a way to entice Bell while protecting themselves in case Bell faces another suspension, though the player says he’s moved on from his previous drug offenses. The Steelers have around $16 million in salary cap space but can create more by taking Bell’s $12.1-million tag off the books.”
Without a new deal, Bell will play the 2017 deal under the franchise tag designation, making $12.12 million. Following the 2017 season, he’s presently set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Bell has certainly had issues staying out of trouble in his career. But he showed his value to the team in 2016, rushing for 1,268 yards, while adding 75 receptions for 616 yards in only 12 games. He’s clearly one of the best running backs in the game today, and he’ll get paid like it, sooner or later.