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Steelers want Le’Veon Bell for long run, not sure extension fits this year

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell missed the final eight games of the regular season and both postseason games because of a knee injury, which marked two straight years that the Steelers have advanced to the playoffs without Bell in the lineup because of knee issues.

Throw in a foot injury from his rookie year and Bell hasn’t made it through any of his three NFL seasons without an injury, but that doesn’t appear to have much impact on the team’s plans to hold onto him for the long term. Team president Art Rooney II said Thursday that the team thinks Bell “will still be a great player,” although he’s not sure if they’ll reach agreement on an extension this offseason.

“[Bell] is somebody we would like to continue to have on the team for the long run,” Rooney said, via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I don’t think we are sitting here waiting to see something from Le’Veon. I think we’ve seen enough. It is going to come down to how his contract fits in with others. It is kind of a jigsaw puzzle.”

Bell has some say in the matter, of course, and negotiating a long-term deal coming off of a season-ending knee injury might not make the most sense for him. If he makes good on Rooney’s prediction that he’ll be a “great player” as his contract expires in 2016, he’d put himself in better position at the negotiating table so that jigsaw puzzle may just have to wait a while.

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54 Responses to “Steelers want Le’Veon Bell for long run, not sure extension fits this year”
  1. TeeHeeLOLatPatsHaters says: Jan 28, 2016 3:21 PM

    Dr Rydze will make sure he’s healthy!
    :)

  2. campcre3k says: Jan 28, 2016 3:28 PM

    To me the best running back in the game; you don’t play with him you get his contract done now #GoBroncos

  3. gabrosin says: Jan 28, 2016 3:29 PM

    Good plan, Pittsburgh. Big-money extensions to injury-prone RBs are the path to success nowadays.

  4. lackofabetter says: Jan 28, 2016 3:31 PM

    No brainer, pay the kid

  5. pooflingingmonkey says: Jan 28, 2016 3:31 PM

    Bell is really talented, but his knees are made of glass. The Steelers are too smart to invest in him long term.

  6. ravenbiker says: Jan 28, 2016 3:32 PM

    AKA We want to see if he can stay on the field for a whole season at any point. Not good for a running back to have knee and foot problems this early in his career.

  7. kevo95 says: Jan 28, 2016 3:33 PM

    We need Bell

  8. shaggytoodle says: Jan 28, 2016 3:35 PM

    Injury prone and some off field issues, everyone likes to compare him with Lacy being in the same draft class, but they are asked to do different things in their scheme. They both have their strengths and both have things they need to or on, but if they can get their focus where it needs to be both can be great RBs for the next 6 or so years I feel that’s all the NFL is willing to give RBs now days.

  9. nyjfan111 says: Jan 28, 2016 3:40 PM

    One concern is that the injuries will eventually catch up to him. You can only get seriously hurt so many times without diminishing your physical ability. Bell reminds me of Arian Foster-absolutely electric on the field but cannot stay on it.

  10. doctorrustbelt says: Jan 28, 2016 3:41 PM

    Vontaze the Destroyer.

  11. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 28, 2016 3:42 PM

    Even injured, he’s still faster than Eddie Lacy.

  12. jondeloz says: Jan 28, 2016 3:45 PM

    Both knee injuries the past two years came on abnormal hits. Not necessarily “dirty”, or flag worthy, but, both the Nelson hit in ’14 and the Burfict one in ’15 weren’t run of the mill plays, where you could call Bell “made of glass”.

    If they could somehow resign him for less money now, they should. Because…
    A)He’s a running back. He may be THE BEST IN NFL, but his position still has the least power when it comes to contract negotiations. Any contract he gets will be extremely front loaded.

    B)If he goes out and has an elite season in ’16, how could the Steelers extend both he and Brown without sacrificing much needed cap room for rebuilding the secondary?

  13. lichnor says: Jan 28, 2016 3:50 PM

    Le’Veon “Kendrell” Bell needs to pony up a full season before signing that next contract.

  14. TheWizard says: Jan 28, 2016 3:53 PM

    MIA two years in a row. Interesting to see how much money they’re willing to dump into that. It’s a gamble.

  15. bubbahotepp says: Jan 28, 2016 3:53 PM

    And while they’re at it, they should take another look at Markice Pouncy. Talk about injury prone. When was the last time that guy made it 15 minutes into a regular season without an injury?

  16. cinvis says: Jan 28, 2016 3:56 PM

    3 years… 8 career 100 yard games. Yes please give him a massive contract lol

  17. bengalguy says: Jan 28, 2016 3:59 PM

    Laveon Bell must be from France. He’s FRAGILE (said in my best “Christmas Story” vouce)

  18. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 28, 2016 4:15 PM

    Jan 28, 2016 3:21 PM
    Dr Rydze will make sure he’s healthy!:)

    The Tee Hee fool making a fool of himself …..again.

    They will sign him to a solid deal next year.

  19. Seprix says: Jan 28, 2016 4:21 PM

    DeAngelo Williams did almost as well as The Bell. Give it another year, and if Le’Veon gets hurt again, he’s probably not worth the investment. I mean, DeAngelo Williams wasn’t all that good with the Panthers, and he still ran like nuts. It’s the fear of Rothlesberger which increases the run game more than the talent of Bell.

  20. Straight Cash Homie says: Jan 28, 2016 4:30 PM

    Probably better to give him a low ball offer this year after the way he finished the last two seasons. You never know next year he could actually stay healthy all season, get the rushing title, and then you’d have to pay the man even bigger bucks. Buy low, sell high. No pun intended.

  21. johnodocks says: Jan 28, 2016 4:55 PM

    He’s going to Denver or Seattle soon as he can.

  22. bignugs says: Jan 28, 2016 5:08 PM

    Bell is legit, no doubt one of the top 3 backs in the league when healthy. He’s not really known as injury prone but that definitely has to be questioned after the last two years.

    Pittsburgh has a decision looming with Bell & Brown both on the back end of their contracts. I really think locking up Brown should be the focus even if it means watching Bell walk. Nothing against Bell, but the league is passing friendly and it’s pretty obvious Ben & Brown have a connection. As evidenced this past year Bell can be replaced, not replicated, but replaced. The Steelers did fine without him. That certainly can’t be said about the offense without Brown.

    Old man Rooney needs to get out of the past and realize it’s not a running league anymore. Stop focusing on runners & run stoppers. Start worrying about your secondary & passing game and it will lead you to the promised land.

  23. steelpenguin6687 says: Jan 28, 2016 5:09 PM

    So over the Steroid stuff…The Steelers were not the first team to use or introduce steroids to the NFL. If your interested, look it up. I’ll even give you a head start, Alvin Roy. That being said, steroids were not illegal, nor banned by the NFL at that point…so in that respect, I really don’t care what some guys, whether or not they played for the Steelers, did or didn’t do…

    But, you have your head in the sand if you think that some of the Steelers’ players were the only ones using them…

  24. gorn by any other name says: Jan 28, 2016 5:14 PM

    “Injury prone” – you people make me laugh. If some 280 lb lummox dives at your knees and tears your tendons it doesn’t mean you are injury prone. Or, if so, then every player is injury prone. “Glass knees” – what a joke.

    You want a real example of injury prone, look at guys who pull a hamstring a couple times a year without ever being touched. That comes from poor conditioning. But there is no cure for a bad hit.

    The only reason to not sign him up would be if the injuries caused permanent damage to his ability to move.

  25. gorn by any other name says: Jan 28, 2016 5:19 PM

    Look at the rubes making negative comments, people with usernames “cinvis” and “bengalsguy”. Of course you would hope Bell goes away. No worries though, I’m sure Vontez can take out a few more knees to help smooth the path for his team. Meanwhile Cincy fans can cheer and throw bottles, and Pacman can mouth off about how Burfict’s victims are faking it as they lie on the turf unconscious or writhing in pain.

    High class sportsmanship all around at the Jungle.

  26. pittsburghdamned says: Jan 28, 2016 5:29 PM

    Correction: Vontaze the Destroyer of the 2015 Bengals season.

  27. shaggytoodle says: Jan 28, 2016 5:55 PM

    gorn by any other name says:
    Jan 28, 2016 5:14 PM
    “Injury prone” – you people make me laugh. If some 280 lb lummox dives at your knees and tears your tendons it doesn’t mean you are injury prone. Or, if so, then every player is injury prone. “Glass knees” – what a joke.

    _______

    The dudes missed nearly a third of 48 possible regular season games…some of it was poor choices and i think that’s another part of the reason Pitt is moving slow on this. You think next year he isn’t going to have people diving at his legs next season?

    I won’t say every player is injury prone but i would say most RBs have it tougher than many.. it’s pretty rare now days to dodge injury for an entire season Lynch McCoy Forte Stewart Lacy earlier in the season. Part of the way you protect yourself from that is not putting too much money into one RB so you can have 2 solid ones.

  28. connfyoozed says: Jan 28, 2016 6:02 PM

    “Injury prone” is a good way to describe a player who constantly has nagging injuries and doesn’t play because of them. Bell has not had “nagging” injuries: he’s had 2 serious, but unusual injuries suffered on freak plays which had more to do with borderline hits and just bad luck than him not being in shape of being injury prone. Now, if the Steelers want to be cautious moving forward and make sure he is completely healed before they start talking extension, I get that…

    …but there is no way you don’t make a serious effort to sign him to an extension. He’s easily in the top 3 talent-wise in the NFL at this point, is a 3-down, 25-30 carry and 5 catch per game back, and is frankly electric to watch. He’s already in the conversation for best RB in Steeler history, and I saw plenty of Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis in person at home games, too. He’s really good, and he might become great.

  29. danbo05 says: Jan 28, 2016 6:14 PM

    You know, the reason he gets injured so much is because he touches the ball more than any other RB when he plays. He’s just so gifted that the Steelers just over feed him the ball, running and catching.

  30. thebirdofprey says: Jan 28, 2016 6:30 PM

    RB is the last position I would play if I was an elite athlete entering college.

    Bell has been absolutely dominate on the field the last 2 years and in his prime. He had 2 freak kind of accidents with bad hits and GM is doubting giving him a long term deal. He may only get 1 big one with the RB career being so short.

    I can’t think of another position that gets treated with such a lack of respect.

  31. ohand16 says: Jan 28, 2016 6:43 PM

    Well after Martavis Bryant is suspended for a year after his next failed drug test, it makes the decision easier as to where you spend the money.

  32. shaggytoodle says: Jan 28, 2016 7:23 PM

    Elite RBS are a luxury that chew up cap space. I understand that he dynamic but those RBs arent a necessity to win titles. Willie Parker helped Pit win 2 SBs

    Bell can ask for the moon and some team will probably give it to him, but you can’t pay a RB over 10 mill a season without turning a blind eye to some where else on the roster where a need could be filled

    I understand why Steelers fans would want to keep him But what is a serious offer? 8 mill. A season probably isn’t going to cut it for him.

  33. immafubared says: Jan 28, 2016 7:24 PM

    And Ted is stuck with fat ass lacy. Ya like he can get back in shape. This guy eats. Could have taken bell and added speed to the mix. The pack may be the slowest team in football.

  34. floriohatesthebengals says: Jan 28, 2016 7:40 PM

    Dude is made of glass

  35. shaggytoodle says: Jan 28, 2016 10:00 PM

    immafubared says:
    Jan 28, 2016 7:24 PM
    And Ted is stuck with fat ass lacy. Ya like he can get back in shape. This guy eats. Could have taken bell and added speed to the mix. The pack may be the slowest team in football.
    ______________

    Even though Eddie is “fat” he still manages to average the same amount per carry or reception as Bell to this point in there careers, and has managed to miss only 2 games in his career.

    Bell managed to miss 2 games by suspension this year… unless I forgot it was reduced.

  36. draculalambert says: Jan 28, 2016 10:01 PM

    Injuries were the only real thing stopping the steelers this year. If we had bell. Pouncey , brown…a healthy Ben all year and Bryant not suspended 4 games. Wow

    #injuriesSuckandToBlame

  37. whodey420 says: Jan 28, 2016 10:30 PM

    When he’s healthy he’s definitely one of the top RB’s in
    the league. Sucks for the Steelers he’s had season ending
    injuries 2 years running. He had a ton of carries his last
    year at Michigan State as well. 382 to be exact.
    If I were the Steelers, I’d let him play out his contract. If
    he plays lights out, they can always pick up the option year.
    If not, move on.

    Bengals could have taken either Bell or Lacy but chose
    Gio Bernard instead in the 2013 draft. 2 different kinds
    of RB’s though. Bell and Lacy are bigger “power” backs
    and Bernard the smaller, shiftier back. Gio does have
    decent power for a smaller back though. Hindsight being
    20/20, in my opinion the Bengals made the right choice.
    They got their “power” back the following year in Hill.

  38. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 29, 2016 1:45 AM

    Bell is smart enough to see that the window is wide open for the next 3 years with this offense. He will sign a team-friendly deal, continue to embarrass the likes of CJ Mosley and Vontaze Dirtyfict, and collect multiple SB trophies on the way. He’ll probably even somehow manage a few picks of Dalton and Flacco. He’s that good.

  39. holeinone09 says: Jan 29, 2016 7:16 AM

    If Le’Veon shows he can remain injury free, no doubt he gets extended. He is a huge duel-threat player, able to run and catch effectively. Their offense is unstoppable with Ben, Brown, Bell, Bryant, Wheaton, Miller, Williams, Coates. Look at NFL defenses, the Steelers will be back next year.

    And, Lacy will never be as good as Bell, ever. Period. Except maybe in an eating contest.

  40. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Jan 29, 2016 8:01 AM

    My favorite memory of Bell is his constant shocked expression last year when the Steelers were getting clownstomped at home during the Wild Card game while all the fans were leaving the stadium.

  41. grant35 says: Jan 29, 2016 9:28 AM

    One, you sit Bell during Bengals game – the Steelers own those clowns & will beat them anyway. Two, you position Burfict’s buddy Decastro in a way on running plays where he can undercut the felon. Three, you wait and see if Bell can make it thru the season before you sign to extension.

  42. rastanati says: Jan 29, 2016 9:32 AM

    I would start spending some money on the defense which has been dreadfully porous over the last several seasons. Bell is a great back but overpaying a running back in a passing league makes no sense.

    Need to start looking for an eventual replacement for Ben as well – the entire pittsburgh offense revolves around him extending plays and throwing deep to his speedy wideouts. Of course, there is also the strategy of having coaches trip players, etc. but that will continue regardless of who is at RB or QB.

  43. jtbsteeler says: Jan 29, 2016 10:03 AM

    Ravens, Bungles and Browns. All the same, no difference. The Burfict stigma will ride the Bungles into the ground again next season. The Steelers are the class of the AFC. I’m sure Bronco fans were delighted to see Brown out for the Divisional. Wont matter in the bowl You’ll get the L that you deserve.

  44. filthymcnasty3 says: Jan 29, 2016 10:03 AM

    He’s delicate like a little flower.

  45. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 29, 2016 10:14 AM

    rastanati says:
    – the entire pittsburgh offense revolves around him extending plays and throwing deep to his speedy wideouts.
    —————-
    When was the last time you actually watched a Steelers game? He is throwing deep, but he’s not buying time to do it like in the past. His Oline has protected him well the last 2 years, and he’s usually had the luxury of a great outlet option in Bell.

  46. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Jan 29, 2016 10:15 AM

    grant35 says:
    Jan 29, 2016 9:28 AM

    One, you sit Bell during Bengals game – the Steelers own those clowns & will beat them anyway. Two, you position Burfict’s buddy Decastro in a way on running plays where he can undercut the felon. Three, you wait and see if Bell can make it thru the season before you sign to extension.

    ————–

    I love it. Cincy is burned into the head of Steeler fan. I’ll continue to say it, Vontaze has never been in trouble with the law – why you mindless weaklings continue to call him a criminal and a felon is beyond me. He is your worst nightmare though.

  47. ikeclanton says: Jan 29, 2016 10:20 AM

    I hope he never gets hurt again because he’s great when he’s healthy, but you cannot invest heavily in a player that can’t finish seasons without a major injury after 3 years of it. Whether it’s just been bad luck or whatever, it’s a big factor in deciding the team’s direction.

  48. TeeHeeLOLatPatsHaters says: Jan 29, 2016 10:21 AM

    The Steelers really need to consider hiring Dr. Rydze back when he gets out of jail. Everyone knows he’s the only reason why the Steelers were any good in recent years.:)

    Still 0 legit playoff wins since Dr Rydze was indicted.:) I don’t count the Bengals game as legit because of the flags that should have been thrown on Porter and Munchak.

  49. cheech10 says: Jan 29, 2016 10:29 AM

    Hey “TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn”,
    I think you need to change your name!

  50. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Jan 29, 2016 10:32 AM

    Bell embodies what Steeler Nation stands for. He can’t stay healthy enough to make it to the team’s annual playoff losses and he can’t start the season because of his weed habit. He’s a Steeler through and through. Sign him to a 10 year deal!

  51. bheikkila86 says: Jan 29, 2016 11:13 AM

    They want him for the “long run”? I see what you did there…

  52. silvernblacksabbath says: Jan 29, 2016 11:28 AM

    They proved they can win without him…

  53. shaggytoodle says: Jan 29, 2016 3:46 PM

    holeinone09 says:
    Jan 29, 2016 7:16

    And, Lacy will never be as good as Bell, ever. Period. Except maybe in an eating contest
    ______________

    Lacy is just as good as Bell right now they have nearly identical averages in YPC and YPR on their career and Lacy produces more overall because he is available for his team week in and out.

  54. flaccounibrow says: Jun 16, 2016 5:22 PM

    Ask any GM. Bell is superior to Lacy. Not one takes Lacy over Bell if given the option.

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