In his latest musical production, “Focus”, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell hinted that he’ll be looking for $15 million a season when it comes to his new contract. While I never want to discourage players from aiming high when it comes to their individual goals and possible future earnings, I think Bell might need to adjust his sights down some.
“I’m at the top and if not I’m the closest, I’ma need 15 a year and they know this,” Bell states in his latest rap track.
Being as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson currently averages $14 million a season, he’s considered the league’s top earner when it comes to his position. This is, however, where Bell’s $15 million reference comes into play.
Even if the Steelers are somehow able to get Bell extended prior to the start of the 2016 regular season, there’s just now way whatsoever that they’ll give him $60 million in new money as part of a four-year extension. Why? Because the franchise tag for the 2017 season will only be roughly $12.35 million if the league’s salary cap goes up another 8%. When you consider that the Steelers currently have Bell under contract for the 2016 season at a cost of $966,900, you can clearly see that it is senseless to pay him a new money average of $15 million right now.
If Bell does ultimately sign a long-term extension between now and the start of the 2016 season, I just can’t see his new money average exceeding $10.5 million. That number, however, would result in Bell being the second highest paid running back in the league behind only Peterson. Perhaps that’s the number Bell should “focus” on as $15 million is a pipe dream, in my honest opinion.
Bell let it be known recently that he has no intentions of talking contract extension with the Steelers until he’s fully rehabbed from the knee injury that suffered last year. While he could be ready to participate fully in training camp later on this month, there’s a good chance the team places him on their Active PUP list as a precautionary measure.
ETA: Seems as though Bell did not care for this post.