Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell failed to secure a new long-tern contract extension this offseason but it appears as though another NFL running back has been able to accomplish the feat with his current team.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Los Angeles Rams and running back Todd Gurley are finalizing a four-year, $60 million contract extension that will include $45 million in guarantees.
Prior to this new extension, Gurley had two years remaining on his rookie contract as the Rams had picked up his fifth-year option earlier this offseason. That 2019 option year was worth $9.63 million and Gurley also stood to earn a base salary in 2018 of $4,398,284.
We still need to wait for the full details related to Gurley’s new deal and especially when it comes to the $45 million in guarantees. Is this fully guaranteed? What are the base salaries and signing bonus breakdown. Also, are there any roster bonuses involved? Regardless, it appears as though the new money is $60 million over four years for a new money average of $15 million.
On the surface, it appears as though Gurley has managed to secure the first very lucrative long-term contract for a running back since Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson both struck it rich way back in 2011.
As for Bell, while he missed out this year, assuming you call getting paid $14.544 million for one season missing out, at least he might have even more hope as of Tuesday that there will be a team willing to pay him more than Gurley is now making next March when he hits free agency. While the Steelers did reportedly offer Bell a five-year contract that reportedly would have totaled out somewhere between $70-$75 million, another report indicated that the only fully guaranteed money he would have received as part of that offer would have been a $10 million signing bonus.
Bell and his agent reportedly wanted more fully guaranteed money even though the running back probably had a very good chance of seeing at least the first two years’ worth of money and probably even the first three years’ worth. That’s all old news by now, however.
We’ll have to wait until March to see if Bell made the right decision when it comes to him turning down the Steelers final offer. As for Gurley, he’s got to be very happy man about right now and even more so if the $45 million in guaranteed money that Schefter is reporting is indeed fully guaranteed.
“As a player I definitely feel where he’s coming from,” Gurley recently said of Bell’s failed contract extension negotiations. “I don’t know exactly what he wants. But if he did what he did I’m pretty sure in his mind he did the right thing. I definitely stand behind him and definitely support him. I wanted him to get that long-term deal but unfortunately it didn’t work out. He’s playing on the tag for the second time, which is not bad at all, but you know you just want that security. It’s definitely a sad situation for a guy to be a top-three back since he’s came into the league and put in the work and can’t even get the money that he deserves. Definitely a sad situation.”
Below is Bell’s reaction on Twitter to Gurley’s new deal.