However, no running back in the NFL is more productive than Bell when he stays on the field, as he again proved last season by leading the league with 157.0 yards from scrimmage a game while scoring nine touchdowns in 12 games. If you want proof of that, all you need to do is look at the reported contract from the Steelers he just turned down.
Le'Veon Bell will be the NFL's highest-paid running back next season under less-than-ideal circumstances for the player and the Pittsburgh Steelers. That's a lot of damn money and $14 million per over the course of the next three to be exact.
Also important to note, the Redskins were reluctant to offer him more than one more year guaranteed.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport heard the Steelers' offer was a five-year contract. "I'm going to take it day-to-day and see what happens". The two-time All-Pro will play this upcoming season under the franchise tag.More news: Teen arrested after London acid attacks
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Bell, who was placed under the team's franchise tag shortly after the season ended, had until July 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET to reach a long-term deal with the Steelers. The lucrative extension will not be in discussion and no team will have to dish out a $15M per year deal for the running back. What we do know is that Bell himself is not happy playing under a one-year deal and the Steelers don't seem to be in a huge rush to guarantee him anything over the long haul.
Any competent agent tries to take the average of franchising a player twice and use the number as a fair approximation of a long-term deal when it's a realistic possibility that his client will receive the designation to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Without a long-term deal, Bell could hold out of training camp. Bell was then banned for the first two games of last season for missing league-mandated drug tests.
In short, Bell and his agent are betting that almost $27 million is already in the bank even without a long-term deal and that amount is just a little more than $3 million shy of what the Steelers were willing to pay him over the course of the next two.