There comes a point in time at which oversaturation of a subject makes one grow weary, and many fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers have already reached that point with five-year veteran running back Le’Veon Bell, who is doing the media rounds in the build-up to the Super Bowl, set to kick off tonight.
While Bell’s team is obviously not playing in the game, the week leading up to the game has been turned into an all-around NFL extravaganza, with events that includes members of just about all teams, as well as former players. Bell was participating in some sort of video game event.
And naturally, he was asked to give an interview or two there, in one of which he expressed confidence in his belief that the Steelers front office and his team would be able to successfully work out the details of a long-term contract that would keep him in Pittsburgh.
His confidence in the matter is built on the fact that things have gone much differently, from his perspective, from a year ago, calling it a “totally different” feeling. “Last year I wasn’t confident at all that we would get a deal done”, he said. “I already knew coming into the offseason last year, like, ‘we’re not gonna get a deal done, I’m gonna be sitting out camp, all this, blasé blasé’.
While it was certainly no guarantee that the Steelers and Bell would be able to work out a long-tern deal last year, that did seem to be the intention, and it was a goal that they worked toward all the way to the end. Reportedly, details of a contract were deemed acceptable by Bell’s agent, but it was the player who turned it down.
“This year, they made me feel like a priority”, he said, however. “We’re so much closer than where we were last year, it’s like night and day. It’s so totally different. So I’m a lot more confident this year we’ll get it done, and I’m excited”.
Naturally, given the extensive negotiations that already took place a year ago, it is understandable that they would be closer to working out a finalized deal than they were at this time in 2017. Presuming that they were in the ballpark of an acceptable deal in July, there shouldn’t be too much further to go before they are able to figure something out.
That something would not necessarily be a long-term contract, however. They could choose to give him the franchise tag, or to let him hit free agency. But he does say he believes a deal will get done, and “hopefully before they try to franchise tag me”.
Bell knows it’s possible it won’t happen, though, and they he may have to consider playing elsewhere. He was asked what would factor into his decision to sign elsewhere, and named the obvious, but added, “I don’t even want to think about that because I want to be in Pittsburgh”.