Le’Veon Bell: ‘Worth more’ than what Steelers offered – NFL.com
“It’s a little frustrating, but it’s a business,” said Bell. “I’m not in a rush to sign for something I’m not valued at if I feel I’m worth more than what they are offering me.”
Bell did not say specifically what type of deal was on the table, or what numbers he was looking for in a new deal.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Steelers made an offer that would have paid Bell more than $12 million annually. One issue with the offer, per Rapoport, was the amount of guaranteed money Pittsburgh offered — the Steelers traditionally structure deals with little guaranteed beyond the first year.
Bell’s $12.1 million franchise tag figure is more than $4 million more than the next closest running back — LeSean McCoy at $8 million per year. The 25-year-old believes the depressed RB market doesn’t accurately reflect the important role tailbacks play in every facet of the offense.
“The running back market definitely took a hit, and I can’t be the guy who continues to let it take a hit,” Bell told Fowler. “We do everything: We block, we run, we catch the ball. Our value isn’t where it needs to be. I’m taking it upon myself to open up some eyes and show the position is more valuable.”
Bell added he “definitely” doesn’t want to play for any team but the Steelers. The running back, however, gave no indication when he’ll sign the franchise tag and report to training camp. Until he signs the tender, he’s under no obligation to attend practices.
Bell, who is healthy after coming off surgery, said he doesn’t need much time to get ready for the season, which indicates he’s planning to sit out at least the beginning of practices and the preseason.
“The way I train, all it’s going to take for me is a few practices and some game action,” Bell said. “I haven’t thought about it that far. I’m game planning today. I was thinking the deal would be done. I’m going to take it day-to-day and see what happens.”
The likely outcome to this situation is that Bell once again shows he’s a dual-threat monster for an explosive Steelers offense, then we do this contract dance again next offseason.