Perhaps one of the best players in the NFL is now expected to get the biggest pay day of his life.
On Sunday morning, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Steelers are expected to give Le’Veon Bell the Franchise tag. While this move by Pittsburgh was expected, there was some controversy surrounding it.
Bell has proven to be one of the best young talents in the NFL ever since her entered the league in 2013. There is no doubt that this young running back has a very bright future ahead of him. However, the controversy that surrounded this season lied within Bell’s durability – both on and off the field.
He was suspended over the past two seasons for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In 2015 it was not so much a matter of him failing the drug test; but more so his inability to show up for the drug test which resulted in his suspension. The previous year, he was suspended following a DUI and possession of marijuana. Both suspensions were 4 games but would later be reduced to 3 games.
Another concern is Bell’s knee problems. This year, he was coming off a major knee injury and surgery to repair his medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments (MCL and PCL). He also struggled with knee problems in the preseason leading up to his rookie season.
While there has been concerns surrounding Bell’s character and health, he certainly compensates for it on the field.
This young running back ranked first in the NFL in touches per game with 28.0 and scrimmage yards per game with 157.0. He was also finished second in rushing yards per game with 105.7; despite missing four games to this suspension (the fourth game was for rest).
This performance, along with his unparalleled success in earlier seasons, has resulted in a max contract extension through the Steelers using their franchise tag on him.
It is expected that the franchise tag for running backs will be roughly 12$ million for running backs this season. Franchising Bell will give the Steelers the ability to negotiate with Bell and give him the best deal possible without any other teams intervening.
There was some discussion of Bell playing elsewhere; but for the most part, people expected this move from the Pittsburgh and that’s exactly what they did.
With the convincing victory over Miami yesterday, Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers will continue their journey to a Super Bowl as they advance to the divisional round of playoffs to play Kansas City.