The Steelers and Le’Veon Bell failed to reach a long term deal Monday leaving the running back’s future with the club in jeopardy.
Bell is expected to play for his franchise tag value in 2018 – which is about $14.5 million. Without a long term deal in place, Bell is expected to hit free agency in 2019.
Bell’s agent told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, 2018 is likely the last season he will play in Pittsburgh.
From Le’Veon Bell’s agent Adisa Bakari: “His intention was to retire as a Steeler. But now that there’s no deal, the practical reality is, this now likely will Le’Veon’s last season as a Steeler.”
More: “It became clear the Steelers wanted to pay the position, not the player.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 16, 2018
The running back released his own statement today:
to all my Steeler fans, my desire always has been to retire a Steeler…both sides worked extremely hard today to make that happen, but the NFL is a hard business at times…to the fans that had hope, I’m sorry we let youu down but trust me, 2018 will be my best season to date…— Le’Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) July 16, 2018
Later in the day Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reported Bell rejected a deal that was $10 million more than he was offered the year before – totaling $70 million over five years.
From what I understand, the #Steelers’ final offer to RB Le’Veon Bell was 5 years, $70M with more than $30M over 2 years. Last year, the offer was 5 years, $60M. … Instead, he’ll earn $14.5M on another franchise tag.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 16, 2018