By now it’s well known that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is not happy about his current contract situation.
Set to make $14.54 million this coming season after being handed the franchise tag, Bell is earning the largest single-year contract among NFL running backs. But he wants the long-term security that should come with the All-Pro putting up 3,830 total yards over the past two seasons.
It’s in this that Bell is reportedly set to holdout throughout all of training camp later this summer.
“If a deal isn’t reached by July 16, Bell won’t be anywhere near Saint Vincent in July and August,” Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Having been absent from offseason activities, this shouldn’t be considered anywhere near a surprise.
Even then, Bell sitting throughout camp could have wide-ranging ramifications for the Super Bowl contenders. Despite his all-world ability, Bell still needs those summer reps. Short of that, a lackluster start to the season or injury becomes more likely.
Bell doesn’t just want to reset the running back market, he wants to absolutely shatter it. That includes an average payday worth starting quarterback money. Up to this point, Pittsburgh has pushed back against the idea.
The issue here for these Steelers is that Bell’s current situation is not sustainable long term. If the team were to place the tag on him again next March, it would then be paying Bell north of $33 million over a two-year span.