Time to ring the bell
As time is literally ticking, Steelers front office as well as Steelers Nation is getting anxious and antsy, waiting for the final move in the Le’Veon – Steelers saga.
It’s been weeks that the two sides have gone back and forth, trying to work out a deal that would be beneficial for both sides. Of course, nothing of interest has for either side has come up. While Bell is expected to play on a $12.1 million tag or an extension with a per-year average of something similar, Bell himself is expecting to cash in on a bigger, much more lucrative long-term deal…which at this point, isn’t looking too realistic for either side. And I get it, if I’m Bell and everyone in their right mind including news anchors and sports journalists are calling you the best running back in the league right now, I’d be looking for the big extension myself.
But let’s be fair, if I’m Steelers management, I’m grateful for the contributions you’ve made on the field, but what about the off field issues and injuries? They say the best ability is availability and so far, the Steelers haven’t gotten that from Bell on a consistent basis. Now I understand that everyone gets hurt from time to time, but when you mix in off field issues that lead to suspensions, it's hard to push all the chips in on a long-term deal. Bell hasn’t started a season in week one since 2013, but if you ask me, I think he’s far too good a player to go tit for tat with financially, when the subliminal message here from Bell seems to be: I could go anywhere else and get the type of money that I'm looking for.
I think the biggest question everyone must ask at this point, is since the Steelers don’t want to fully guarantee any type of money beyond the first year of any long-term deal, what’s the point of any multi-year contract with the team?
From the looks of everything, all signs point to a good old fashioned hold out, leading the Steelers to start training camp and possibly the preseason, without one of their tier one offensive weapons.