The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to get an 11th hour deal done with running back Le’Veon Bell on Monday and now he’ll play under the $12.12 million franchise tag in 2017. While neither Bell nor his agent have publicly revealed what the Steelers best offer was, Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network apparently got a hold of the numbers.
According to Pelissero’s sources, the Steelers best offer to Bell averaged over $12 million a season and would have paid the running back $30 million over the course of the first two seasons and $42 million through 2019.
If those numbers are indeed correct, Bell would have likely averaged a little more than his $12.12 million franchise tag amount per year and obviously the first two years of the deal would have paid him more than the nearly $27 million he stood to earn over the course of 2017 and 2018 under the tag.
What we still dont know is how much of the Steelers offer was fully guaranteed and when it comes to players not named Ben Roethlisberger, that amount is usually just a signing bonus. It sure would be nice to see the full layout of the offer, but these numbers are probably all we’re ever going to get.
Regardless of whether or not Pelissero’s numbers are correct, the deal obviously still wasn’t rich enough to entice Bell to sign long-term. Perhaps he really does believe he’s worth $15 million per season.
All things considered and knowing how the Steelers have done contracts in the past, it appears as though their best offer to Bell was a fair one. Bell and his agent, however, obviously thought otherwise.
“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 told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com Monday evening.