Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is one of a several players who will be entering the final year of his current contract in 2016 and one would think that he will end up receiving an extension at some point prior to the regular season starting.
On Thursday, team president Art Rooney was asked about Bell possibly receiving an extension during the offseason and whether or not the fact he’s failed to finish two seasons in a row because of knee injuries will have any bearing on that decision whatsoever.
“Probably not,” Rooney told Bob Labriola on Steelers Nation Radio. “Look, I think we all feel really good about Le’Veon and his future, so hopefully, irrespective of the timing of getting something done with his contract, I’m sure that we all hope that Le’Veon’s here for the long haul. And I think Le’Veon feels good about being here and I think he’s an important part of our future, no doubt about it.”
While Rooney failed to say when Bell will get a new deal, one would think that it might get done during training camp. If, however, the two sides fail to reach an agreement prior to the start of the 2016 regular season, the Steelers will likely have to use the franchise tag on Bell next offseason in order to prevent him from hitting free agency.
Bell has rushed for 2,777 yards and 19 touchdowns during his first three years in the league with the Steelers. In addition to that, he’s already registered 152 receptions for 1,389 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 35 regular season games he’s played in since being drafted in the second round of the 20123 NFL Draft out of Michigan State.
Bell is currently scheduled earn $966,900 in 2016, the final year of his rookie contract.