Le’Veon Bell Contemplating a Huge Business Decision For 2018


The Pittsburgh Steelers had yet another chance to secure star running back Le’Veon Bell to a long-term extension in 2018 and have failed.

Word is they offered a five-year, $70 million deal, up another $10 million from their offer last season. This would pay Bell an average of $14 million per year, which would make him by far the highest-paid running back in the NFL. It’s hard to understand why he’d turn down such an offer but by the comments his agent made on the subject, it’s apparent they feel his production is in line with the absolute best offensive players in the NFL.

Remember that teammate Antonio Brown is making $17 million per season in Pittsburgh. Sammy Watkins, recently signed by Kansas City, will be making $16 million despite being nowhere near the productivity of Bell. In this context, it’s easy to understand why the running back is unwilling to compromise. He’s accounted for 30% of the Steelers offense the past couple years. He knows his worth and wants to be compensated that way.

The problem is he plays such a physically demanding position. One where the body can wear out much faster than others. That’s why teams aren’t willing to pay it top dollar. It also might be why, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Bell may be considering a drastic business decision.

This revelation shows Bell understands the situation perfectly

Bell isn’t a fool. He knows why the Steelers won’t pay him is his asking price. He knows the stigma against running backs. If he goes through another year as the workhorse in the offense, his body will be even more beat up by the time he reaches free agency. The odds of a team giving him his desired dollar amount when he’ll be 27-years old with that much wear and tear on the body is remote.

On the other hand, if he were to limit the number of hits taken this year and reach the market fully healthy? That might create the desired scenario if he finds the right team. Most people don’t believe he has the guts to go through with it though. Why? It would mean Bell would be turning down a paycheck of $856,000 dollars every week. It’s hard to imagine any player (or human being) actually turning their nose up at that on principle.

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That’s not to say it won’t happen, but Bell would be the first in a long time to show that sort of resolve. The safe bet is he’ll sit out some or most of training camp but won’t be able to resist the urge of being on that field for opening day.