The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Building off of yesterday’s comments made by Le’Veon Bell, how likely is it that the running back signs a multi-year deal with the Steelers?
This is the question of the offseason, really, and there are plenty of different opinions going around from both sides of the equation. There are those who think that Le’Veon Bell is worth virtually any price, and that the Steelers should figure out a way to pay it. There are those who think Bell is the best back in the league, but not worth what he is reportedly looking for. And there are those who are just ready to move on.
Whatever happens, some group is going to end up being unhappy with the result. Bell and the team have had a successful five-year on-field relationship, outside of last year’s training camp holdout that slowed him down in the early portions of the season, but there is a price point for everything.
Yet his comments made yesterday at the first Pro Bowl practice certainly seemed to indicate that he is happy with the way that contract negotiations are already going, less than two weeks into the Steelers’ offseason.
While this should not be a great surprise—they already did a lot of the heavy lifting about agreeing to terms last summer when he was under the franchise tag and they attempted to get a deal done at the last minute—it still sounds encouraging, at least to me.
Bell did not have his best season last year, but he improved as the season wore on, which is definitely something that should be noted. He also received a tremendous amount of workload during the season, which also needs to be a part of the discussion.
At the moment, I find it hard to try to predict exactly how the situation will unfold. It’s highly likely, if a long-term deal is not reached by the end of the franchise tag deadline, that he will get tagged, based on the early negotiations. Will a deal get worked out after that?