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Opinion: Le’veon Bell Deserves His Money and He Needs it Now

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Peyton Carley

More stories from Peyton Carley

Photo by: Brook Ward

Photo by: Brook Ward

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’veon Bell has yet to join his team this season. After six weeks of football, the Steelers are now into their bye week, but are still without their All-Pro runner because Bell and the Steelers were unable to sign a long-term contract extension this off-season. Prior to the season, Bell was  offered a franchise tag which would keep him in Pittsburgh for one more year before free-agency. The tag was worth $14.3 million, but Bell did not sign. Since then, he has not been practicing or playing with the team. So far there has been no sign of him coming back until his required return, which would be Week 11 of the NFL season.

 

After two years of contract negotiations, Bell and the Steelers still have not reached a long-term deal. The two sides are too far apart on the guaranteed money Bell would receive pending him not being able to play for various reasons. This has caused Bell to stay away from the team, which is not a good thing. The former first team All-Pro Running Back has not played a single snap this season, and that needs to change. Whatever it takes to sign Bell long term, the Steelers need to do it.

Whatever it takes to sign Bell long term, the Steelers need to do it.”

 

Needless to say, Le’veon Bell wants to get paid the big bucks. He said he wants to get the money as a, “number three wide receiver and number one running back,” which is reasonable because according to the stats, that’s what he is. Bell was the third leading receiver for the Steelers in 2017, just behind Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster. His value to the team and the entire NFL is immense. Last season, he led all running backs in total yards per game, total touches per game, and receiving yards. He played in 85% of the offensive snaps and has made three Pro Bowls. It can’t get much better than that.

 

In this most recent off-season before the 2018 season, players from all around the league were signed to big contracts. Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald, and Khalil Mack all signed record-high contract extensions at their positions. All signed for $100 million plus.  Also, Steelers teammates Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Chris Boswell, and Vince Williams all signed the dotted line for extensions to their time in Pittsburgh.

 

So, what’s the hold up with Bell? It’s simple, in the Steelers eyes, he wants too much money. But how could you say that? Bell is just as valuable on the team as Brown and Roethlisberger, why not give him a big payday as well?

 

Le’veon Bell’s holdout has caused a major rift in his relationship with his teammates, specifically his offensive line. Steeler center Maurkice Pouncey, guard Ramon Foster, and tackle Marcus Gilbert have made many comments criticizing Bell’s actions. Many other teammates have also been pleading Bell to either come back to the team, or at least give them a heads up on what he has planned. As of right now, Bell has not made any contact with the Steelers organization.

Do you think the Steelers should sign Le'veon Bell at whatever cost?

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Coming into the 2018 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were projected to win their AFC North division, make the playoffs, and be a serious Super Bowl contender. But so far, those goals are hard to see. The Steelers are 3-2-1 and it is questionable if that will keep continuing on. The run game with James Conner has been very inconsistent without Bell, and the offense at times can just seem almost uncomfortable without the comfort of Bell in the backfield. These irregularities are cause for concern moving on without Bell.

 

The effect Le’veon Bell has to the Steelers is almost insurmountable by many players in the NFL. The things he has done on the field, and the effect he has off of it, is definitely cause for giving the man what he deserves.

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Opinion: Le’veon Bell Deserves His Money and He Needs it Now