More Le’Veon Bell articles. Just what i know you were dying to read about.
It is just one man’s opinion but more evidence of the pessimism that surrounds Bell’s franchise tag deadline in about a month. Yesterday, the PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo was asked the changes of the team inking Bell to a long-term deal. His answer was…grim, to say the least. Here’s the Q&A.
“James Ryan: I am sure you have answered this in previous chats, but what are the percentages you think the Steeler’s sign bell long term?
Ray Fittipaldo: 10 percent.”
I’m assuming that Fittipaldo doesn’t have a concrete inside source on this answer but it furthers the general feeling from most of the Steelers’ beat reporters. Bell won’t get a long-term deal and 2018 will be his last in Pittsburgh.
Recently, Ed Bouchette predicted that kicker Chris Boswell will be the “Killer B” to get a long-term contract, not Bell.
We’ll know the answer to these questions by the July 16th deadline where ultimately all of our speculation will become moot. Either they get a deal done or the two sides don’t, either Bell will remain a Steeler for the foreseeable future or this year will be his last.
As we discussed yesterday, Bell told ESPN – about the only concrete info we’ve gotten so far on his contract demands – that he won’t accept anything less than $14.5 million per season. That’s no surprise given that’s the amount he’s playing for under the franchise tag in 2018.
While the average yearly value is one hurdle to clear, I’m not convinced it’s the biggest issue in trying to hammer out a deal. Dave Bryan and I talked about on yesterday’s Terrible Podcast, the guaranteed money is another problem area. Bell has hated the franchise tag not for the lack of yearly value, he’s making outstanding money, but for the lack of year-to-year security. If the guaranteed money isn’t what he wants, and it’s an offer the Steelers can easily get out of in two years, it’s hard to see Bell accepting that deal.