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Steelers, Le’Veon Bell talking long-term deal

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The NFL is a deadline-driven business, but the Steelers like to drive their own deadlines.

Only days after a team-created artificial trigger for doing a deal with receiver Antonio Brown, the Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell are in negotiations for a long-term contract, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Media.

The likely artificial deadline for Bell’s deal is the start of the new league year on Thursday, when the new salary cap of $167 million locks in. With Bell carrying the exclusive franchise tag of $12.11 million and with the rest of the running-back market languishing at or below $8 million, he’ll easily be the highest-paid tailback in football.

But the deal likely won’t set the market; Bell’s contract will be the aberration that no other running back reaches, because none of them have the leverage that comes with the franchise tag.

Also, with the Steelers typically unwilling to guarantee payments in the second year of a long-term contract, it’s likely that the structure will look a lot like receiver Antonio Brown’s deal, with 2017’s compensation fully guaranteed and a large non-guaranteed roster bonus due in early 2018.

No matter what the final deal looks like, the Steelers have the ability to get players to go along with what they want to do and how they want to do it. So even though the real deadline for doing a long-term deal is July 15, if the Steelers want it to happen sooner, look for Bell to accept that and every other rule that the Steelers apply to the process of negotiating long-term contracts.

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24 Responses to “Steelers, Le’Veon Bell talking long-term deal”
  1. benchokeshischikin says: Mar 3, 2017 7:10 AM

    Almost time to bust out the bong Le’veon!

  2. mojodoa says: Mar 3, 2017 7:29 AM

    We’ll see. I think he’s going to put the screws to them.

  3. tqaztec says: Mar 3, 2017 7:51 AM

    Great talent with great risk

  4. dickroy says: Mar 3, 2017 7:52 AM

    I would give him one more year before doing that. See if he stays out of trouble and can stay injury free. There is no reason not to do that.

  5. jdphx says: Mar 3, 2017 8:54 AM

    There’s LeVeon’s illegal pink mouthpiece again…

  6. rea725 says: Mar 3, 2017 9:01 AM

    I’m sure he’s going to stay out of trouble and play really well once he gets his big payday.

  7. atlantacynic says: Mar 3, 2017 9:03 AM

    Aditi Kinkhabwala is the reporter who claimed Antonio Brown was pouting in the back of the end zone in the AFC championship game when he was open and a pass was not attempted to him. On that play Brown was blocking on a running play and did not go past the three yard line.

    Consider the accuracy of the source for this report – either Bell’s agent is playing her or this rumor was overheard at the bar.

  8. jobotjones says: Mar 3, 2017 9:08 AM

    Top 2 WR and #1 RB in the league…stop screwing around and get another ring before Ben rides off into the sunset!!!

  9. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says: Mar 3, 2017 9:12 AM

    Suspended 2 out of 4 seasons? Missed two post seasons and pooped his pants during the AFC championship? I think you mean the Steelers are talking a long-term headache.

  10. blah773 says: Mar 3, 2017 9:16 AM

    if i were the steelers – hold off. have him play under the franchise tag, see if he can stay out of trouble AND if play 16 games. then talk long term.

  11. steelcurtainn says: Mar 3, 2017 9:23 AM

    Sign Him. Get it done Pittsburgh. Then they can continue to work on the defensive side of the team.

  12. steelerfaninok says: Mar 3, 2017 9:25 AM

    Dude has never been there when we’ve needed him most… but as long as you’re into stats…..

  13. bubbahotepp says: Mar 3, 2017 9:27 AM

    None of this is going to work without a qb. Is Ben in for another 4 years?

  14. elvoid says: Mar 3, 2017 9:57 AM

    So now we might get a test Florio’s franchise tag vs. long term deal theory that he’s been talking about (mainly regarding Cousins).

    Under Florio’s “Cousins Theory,” the franchise tag money becomes the “baseline” for a long term deal.

    Also under Florio’s theory (per the Cousins analysis), Bell’s second year franchise tag would be 14.53 million – therefore his real base at negotiation for long term is 26.64 million over the next two years (Florio applies this standard to Cousins, saying his base is this year’s franchise tag and next year’s potential franchise tag – total of 53 million for the next two years).

    Maybe Florio’s right, but I don’t think so. I don’t think the franchise tag gives the player any more leverage than the leverage the team has with the offer of a long term contract and the security (more financial security than a one year franchise tag deal) that comes with it. I believe Bell (and Cousins) will have to trade some of that short term “franchise tag” money in order to get a long term contract.

    Which do you think Bell would take? 12.11 million for one year guaranteed and see what happens next year (let’s hope you don’t get seriously injured); or 40 million for four years with 20 million guaranteed?

  15. Mike Tomlin says: Mar 3, 2017 10:12 AM

    How are those Eddie Lacy negotiations coming along?

  16. firecracker87 says: Mar 3, 2017 10:15 AM

    jobotjones says:
    Mar 3, 2017 9:08 AM
    Top 2 WR and #1 RB in the league…stop screwing around and get another ring before Ben rides off into the sunset!!!

    ————————————————————-

    The problem is not the top 2 WR and #1 RB in the league. In fact having those there exposes the real issue….The coach is not a chess player. You need a good coach who knows HOW to use those WR and RB. Tomlin is a #22 coach at best who will never get past the #1 coach..The Hoodie.

    -Long time Steelers fan who is a realist.

  17. jchipwood says: Mar 3, 2017 10:26 AM

    firecracker87 says:
    Mar 3, 2017 10:15 AM
    jobotjones says:
    Mar 3, 2017 9:08 AM
    Top 2 WR and #1 RB in the league…stop screwing around and get another ring before Ben rides off into the sunset!!!
    ————————————————————-

    The problem is not the top 2 WR and #1 RB in the league. In fact having those there exposes the real issue….The coach is not a chess player. You need a good coach who knows HOW to use those WR and RB. Tomlin is a #22 coach at best who will never get past the #1 coach..The Hoodie.

    -Long time Steelers fan who is a realist.
    ___________________________________
    You sound like you know a lot about football. We all know patriot fans are the smartest fans alive so I’m assuming your actually a patriots fan.

  18. steelerfaninok says: Mar 3, 2017 11:01 AM

    “I’d make this deal” signed, Matt Millon

  19. tylawspick6 says: Mar 3, 2017 11:12 AM

    yikes

    it will give them cap relief this year
    but their cap position will be so top heavy for
    years like the broncos, giants, etc; it is unlikey
    they
    win anything without a balanced roster or any depth

  20. ariani1985 says: Mar 3, 2017 12:06 PM

    Remember when Turd Nation said Eddie Lacey was far superior???? Yeah, maybe at wolfing down 15 cheeseburgers in a sitting! Those big yellow boogers you wear on Sundays must be melting into those little pea brains!!!

  21. firecracker87 says: Mar 3, 2017 12:59 PM

    jchipwood says:
    Mar 3, 2017 10:26 AM
    firecracker87 says:
    Mar 3, 2017 10:15 AM
    jobotjones says:
    Mar 3, 2017 9:08 AM
    Top 2 WR and #1 RB in the league…stop screwing around and get another ring before Ben rides off into the sunset!!!
    ————————————————————-

    The problem is not the top 2 WR and #1 RB in the league. In fact having those there exposes the real issue….The coach is not a chess player. You need a good coach who knows HOW to use those WR and RB. Tomlin is a #22 coach at best who will never get past the #1 coach..The Hoodie.

    -Long time Steelers fan who is a realist.
    ___________________________________
    You sound like you know a lot about football. We all know patriot fans are the smartest fans alive so I’m assuming your actually a patriots fan.

    ————————————————————

    Know what they say about ASSUME…

    Watched the Steelers with my dad growing up in the 70’s and have always been a fan of the Steelers. But I also look at things how they actually are as opposed to fooling myself into thinking I have the best coach in football.

  22. jim699 says: Mar 3, 2017 3:09 PM

    firecracker87 is right about Tomlin. Lots of talent, but no coach…

  23. Moudabo says: Mar 3, 2017 5:43 PM

    Tomlin is not a good coach? What a bunch of malarkey.
    I’d love to see the list of 21 better coaches.

    Sure, Tomlin lost to the eventual SB champions in the last
    two years, so that counts against him, but to
    what extent.

    How many of you remember the Steelers had the Broncos beat –
    in Denver – with an injury depleted team, until the late game fumble.
    They played that game without Antonio, Lev Bell, DeAngelo Williams
    and an injured QB, who couldn’t throw the ball past 10 yds.

    Losing to the Patriots in the AFCCG in Foxboro this year really sucked,
    but remind me again, which coach can honestly say he beat Brady and
    the Hoodie on their historic run this year? Only one, and no …
    it wasn’t Rex Ryan.

    No doubt Tomlin has his warts, like all coaches do, but
    it’s ridiculous to say that he isn’t a good coach.

    His record speaks for itself – do some research before
    jumping on this foolish ‘Tomlin sucks’ bandwagon.
    Most all common criticisms leveled against him
    have been shown to be false or vastly exaggerated, ever
    since Bradshaw made his silly comment.

    For those that say otherwise, back up your reasoning,
    and put your name down behind a coach you think
    would do a better job in Pittsburgh.

  24. daddeeo says: Jun 14, 2017 9:48 AM

    Meanwhile the rest of the locker room are discussing where to hang their PURPLE PARTICPATION ribbons for the 2017 season.

    No chance at SB!

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