Pittsburgh Steeler’s have made a big move official, signing star running back Le’Veon Bell to a $12.1 million franchise tender that lasts until the end of the 2017 season.
The Steelers confirmed the capture on social media, with Bell having passed a medical with the franchise on Friday after a long summer which saw the 25-year-old miss the entirety of the training camp and the pre-season due to failing to agree terms with his side.
Negotiations with the star running back, who was drafted by the Steelers as a second round pick in 2013, proved to be difficult but Bell has promised no bad feelings. Quoted by the NFL’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, he said:
“I don’t look at it as being negative. It’s just more so we didn’t get the deal done.”
Bell is unable to sign a long-term contract with the Steelers until after the current season ends and it remains to be seen whether the franchise will accept his monstrous demands, having reportedly rejected a deal worth more than $12 million per season back in July.
— Chase Williams WPXI (@chasepwilliams) September 4, 2017
That contract would have cemented Bell’s position as the highest-paid running back in the NFL but he’s looking for a deal that shows his value to the Steelers, as he ranks as the team’s top runner and number two receiver.
Bell’s dual threat will certainly be useful this season as the Steelers look to reach the play-offs for the fourth consecutive season, whilst they’ll also have aspirations of retaining the AFC North division championship that they secured last season.
Two-time pro-bowler Bell boasts 26 rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns, averaging an impressive 4.5 yards per carry and over 2,000 receiving yards during his four-year career to date. He secured a total of eleven touchdowns last season, including two in the play-offs, but had four fumbles over the course of the season.