Le’Veon Bell has made the news quite a bit lately over his contract wishes. But he’s already established that he won’t begin to talk to the team until he’s healthy. According to what he told ESPN today, that moment will occur at the start of training camp.
“I’m going to be ready,” he told ESPN’s James Walker.
It’s a far cry from the way he felt after tearing his MCL and PCL in November against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I remember it was times when I couldn’t walk up the steps, walk down the steps, really couldn’t sit down by myself, even go to the restroom. I’m just thinking now I’m right back to form how I was when I left.”
Bell did again comment on the mental hurdle still needing to be overcome. Regaining trust in his knee, and the need to be tackled to really find those things out. He told Walker he wasn’t sure how much action he would see in the preseason and left the door open that the coaches may not elect to play him at all.
But physically? He says it’s full speed ahead and that his knee is “probably stronger than it ever was, my legs are.”
He’s been training furiously with his most recent time spent down in Miami. Antonio Brown has recently joined him, too.
Back to the contract. Bell spoke about it in non-verse form for the first time in several weeks. He was much more measured in his response and told Walker he believes a long-term deal will get done with the team.
“I just want to be valued. Wherever it is — whether its $15 million or lower or higher, whatever it is – I think we will get to an agreement eventually. ”
Clearly doesn’t sound like a man who is dead-set on getting $15 million per year. That’s a starting point, where all negotiations begin, but expect Bell to get a little lower than that when and if the two sides are able to come together. He’ll still become, comfortably, the second-highest paid back in the league with most speculations pegging him in the $10-11 million range.