Evidently, the Pittsburgh Steelers want to get a deal done with their star running back Le’Veon Bell, but the organization has said it will take care of business when the time is “appropriate.”
The Steelers once again placed the franchise tag on Bell, which has made him none too pleased that a long-term deal has not been reached yet.
Per Nick Shook of NFL.com, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert isn’t concerning himself with Le’Veon Bell’s much-discussed long-term contract aspirations, and for good reason: There’s no need to at this point in time.
Le’Veon Bell told the media he plans to play in 2018, but he will not go out of his way for the team. The running back also said he would not hold out during the upcoming football season.
“We’re not intentionally ignoring that. More urgent business needs to get taken care of,” Colbert said from the NFL owners meetings in Orlando. “We will reassess where that is. He’ll reassess where his interests are as well. I anticipate us continuing that process once we get through the free agency period and maybe even through the draft. The draft can change things on both sides.”
The feeling within the organization is the NFL Draft in April could change the roster in Pittsburgh and could change the Steelers salary cap, opening up more money for a better deal.
As Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com wrote, Bell told ESPN in early March that the Steelers upped their offer, but the sides still disagree on terms; Bell is seeking at least $14.5 million per year over the course of a long-term contract.
Le’Veon Bell has been every bit the lead running back the Steelers have needed since he began his career in the Steel City. After averaging 128.9 scrimmage yards per game since the start of 2013 — the most in NFL history for a player’s first five seasons – Bell made it clear he will not play for less than he is worth.
Bell would need to report to the team by Week 10 in order to accrue an NFL season and hit free agency in 2019.