Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is facing a mid-July deadline to sign an extension. Should that not happen, he will either play under the franchise tag or hold out for a long-term deal.
It’s not exactly the best of situations for Pittsburgh, who has to rely on Bell to be a workhorse in order to contend in the AFC next season.
Though, if we were to ask one former VP of personnel around the NFL, he would not pay Bell the money he seeks.
“I can’t give him the money. He has character concerns and an injury history that would prevent me from making a long-term commitment,” the former exec said, via NFL.com. “I would make him play on the tag and hope that we get to the Super Bowl, then reassess the situation at the end of the year. … I think that he’s playing on borrowed time and I just couldn’t do it (sign him to a long-term deal).”
Bell was suspended for the first three games of last season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Sure Bell has proven to be the most-dynamic running back in the league. But his off-field concerns have definitely played a role in contract negotiations with Pittsburgh.
In just 12 games last season, Bell put up nearly 1,900 total yards and nine touchdowns. The 25-year-old running back will play under the $12.1 million franchise tag should he sign it next month. If not, there could very well be looking at a long-term stalemate between the two sides.