Now that we know holdout running back Le’Veon Bell will not suit up at all this season, the focus now turns to what the future holds for the Pittsburgh Steeelers’ All-Pro.
Pittsburgh could place the franchise tag on Bell for a third consecutive year. Though, that would pay him top-five quarterback money. Another option is using the transition tag as a way to bring Bell back for a lot cheaper.
Either of those scenarios would likely lead a continued rift between Bell and his team, making it more likely that Pittsburgh will simply let Bell walk in free agency.
If so, the dynamic ball-carrier is expected to demand $17 million annually on the open market.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 18, 2018
It’s unknown whether any team would be willing to meet this asking price. But if the Steelers were to transition Bell, other teams would have to front load a contract offer in order to pry him away from Pittsburgh.
That makes $17 million per season reasonable in what promises to be a strong market for the running back’s services.
The $17 million figure would be nearly $3 million more than MVP candidate Todd Gurley received on his extension with the Los Angeles Rams this past summer.
Prior to sitting out this season, Bell racked up 3,830 total yards and 20 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He’s among the best all-around backs in the game and will likely get paid like it. Just don’t expect it to be from the Steelers.