2018 Offseason Questions: Glad Bell Didn’t Sign?

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: Are you glad that the Steelers did not sign Le’Veon Bell to the reported contract offer?

I think it’s safe to say that we already know the responses to this question will be heavily varied. We’ve only seen them being shared voluntarily and unprompted for the past two years. So now that the saga is seemingly ‘over’, at least for the time being, now is when we get to let off some steam.

Now that it’s a virtual certainty that Le’Veon Bell will hit unrestricted free agency, are you disappointed or relieved that the running back did not accept the contract that was offered to him by the Steelers? For the time being, unless or until we learn more details, we will assume it was the $15 million per season offer that Adam Schefter noted, with a $10 million signing bonus.

Needless to say, that offer would have made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL. It also would have made him the seventh-highest-paid wide receiver, tied with A.J. Green, who signed a new contract three years ago already.

Is he worth that to the Steelers? Within their salary cap structure, with $17 million per year committed to Antonio Brown, another $22 million committed to Ben Roethlisberger, and high price tags all up and down the offensive line, are there too many positions out of whack with the ‘resource allocation board’, if the Steelers even use one?

There are some who just don’t think that any running back, or ‘multi-purpose weapon’, is worth as much as a wide receiver in today’s NFL. There are some who are just tired of Bell as a person and don’t want to root for a team with him on it anymore. There are some who believe the team would be better without him, utilizing those resources elsewhere.

Then there are those who see a generational talent that is slipping through their fingers, a player who when the Steelers have been at their best over the past five years have filtered the offense through him. Who think he’s nearly worth writing up his own contract.

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