Le'Veon Bell has always ben an outspoken player, and rarely hides his intentions from his team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' running back is due for a new contract at the end of the upcoming 2016 NFL season, and knows that he is a valuable asset to his team's already explosive offense. While it is a priority to him signed to a new contract, Bell has refused to address his contract demands until his injured knee has fully recovered from surgery. Bell suffered a torn medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in 2015, and has been limited to individual drills during the Steelers' minicamp.
“I just want to make sure my knee’s good,” Bell said, via ESPN.com. “Make sure everything’s straight before all that comes about.”
However, this has not stopped Bell from dropping a few hints as to what his demands may be once negotiations get underway. The 26-year old was quoted by FOXSports.com stating “I’m at the top and if not I’m the closest, I’ma need 15 a year and they know this", while debuting his new song Focus on Twitter.
While $15 million dollars a season is a steep price to pay, there is a good chance that Bell will get a contract resembling those numbers. The Steelers will certainly look to sign Bell to a long-term deal, but may elect to use the franchise tag on him should the two sides not see eye-to-eye. In 2016 the franchise tag for running backs carried a value of $11.789 million.
A $15 million dollar a year deal may be a longshot, even for a player as talented as Bell. However, if the Steelers are unable to reach a deal with him, he would likely be the hottest commodity to hit the open market in the following offseason.
Much of Bell's market value will be determined by his performance in 2016, as he will look to remain healthy and return to the form he achieved during the 2014 season.
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