Steelers make Le’Veon Bell franchise tag official

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By the start of business on Tuesday it wasn’t much of a secret that the Steelers were going to use their franchise tag on running back Le'Veon Bell.

Reports on Monday pointed in that direction and Bell confirmed that a tag was in the cards for the second straight year. According to multiple reports, the Steelers have now made it official.

Bell said the two sides have not made progress on a new contract after feeling things were closer than any point in the past early in the offseason. The two sides can continue talking until July 16.

Bell did not join the team until just before the start of the regular season last year and has talked about sitting out this season if he got the tag, although doing so would leave $14.5 million on the table. That salary will become guaranteed if Bell signs the tender, but last year’s experience suggests that he won’t be doing that in the near future.

64 responses to “Steelers make Le’Veon Bell franchise tag official

  1. Find teams silly enough to give up a 1st round pick this year and let Bell discuss contracts with them. Either the Steelers will lose a talented but headache inducing player for a 1st round pick, or Bell will realise that his market value isn’t what he and his agent think it is.

  2. Wonder how bad it will be for his stock to holdout until the week before the season starts this year with a new OC?

  3. It is time to get rid of the franchise tag—not fair to the players. In Le’Veon’s case he plays a position that has a relatively short shelf life due to injury risk. He plays for 4 or 5 years out of college on a very team friendly contract which is predetermined. Then when that contract expires he is exposed to the franchise tag where he takes all of the injury risk unless he wants to sign a below market deal with his original team which is the only bidder. Le’Veon deserves to have the free market determine his value.

  4. I like it. No reason in the world to give a running back a long term deal…not even one of the greats. Odds are he goes down to injury, then you’re stuck.

  5. Lets see if you retire now Mr. “legend in your own mind” Steelers been in the business for 75+ yrs. They know what to do and how to do it. 14+ mil a year?.cmon, lets hear people say “Pay them man!” and if they do? it will leave them in a bind to keep others?

  6. Disillusioned Steelers’ fans, who saw their team get humiliated by the Jaguars two times in a row, have inflated Bell’s head so much it’s the size of the Goodyear Blimp. Steelers are headed down Self Destruction Avenue and someone cut the brakes.

  7. “It is time to get rid of the franchise tag—not fair to the players.”

    Totally disagree. Its there because teams invest millions of dollars in players that turn out to be busts, and this allows them to retain one premium player a year at a premium rate.

    14.5 million that Bell will receive is enough for any reasonable person and their family to bet set for life and never worry about bills for the remainder of their lives. If being set for life isn’t from a single year’s work isn’t enough for a player, tough. That on top of all the other money he’s made. He’s got absolutely nothing to cry about.

  8. Any minute now Bell is gonna be on Twitter crying about how he’s disrespected and is gonna retire. The Steelers should flush this guy to Arizona

  9. I really believe tag should only be allowed to be used once, especially for Running backs. Reason is RBs have shorter careers, so these 2 years they are tagging him are huge. if he has a down year next year then his chance of getting the contract he wants are gone. Truth is if you tag him once and still can’t come to terms, lets face it they don’t really plan on signing him long term, so he should be allowed to test FA.

  10. the steelers keep offering for him to stay home during camp.

    seems like there are better options that that, but i’m just a fan.

  11. I wish they had put the transition tag on him. Then we could find out if any other team would be willing to give Bell what he supposedly wants… I’m guessing the Browns would be.

  12. Don’t need him in az. They have David Johnson. Take a one year deal and get hurt then your value diminishes. Tread light Bell!!

  13. I don’t understand why people think the franchise tag to be some kind of insult. It’s the average salary of the top 5 players of the same position. That’s top money!

  14. He should sit. Steelers playing hard ball, play hard ball back.

    People here counting everyone else’s money are laughable.

  15. Why do you think a player should be happy being tagged??? I guess he should shut up and play because he is making good money. He should just sign the tag and now play with no long term security. Please don’t say well he’s gonna make 14.5 mill isn’t that enough security. No it’s not enough, this is a business and a players career has to be treated the same way. Be a “Team” player and give us one more good season. But don’t get hurt because that will kill your opportunity to secure a lucrative long term deal. You want players to be loyal lol. There is no loyalty in business. The tag is in place to continue negotiations until July 15. Tell your agent he is not getting paid while you are on the franchise tag. The tag is a nonnegotiable deal that requires no work by the agent. Don’t be mad when he doesn’t show up until week 10. Selfish nope it’s just business.

  16. I agree with him being upset with the franchise tag as opposed to a long term deal with guaranteed money, he knows the position he plays he can tear his ACL this season and never make another dime in the NFL past that franchise tag, I also understand the Steelers standpoint as far as the risk associated with a long term deal but that’s what the franchise tag is for, to keep a franchise player from leaving and paying them well in the meantime, in hopes of working something out later, but later keeps coming for Le’veon

  17. redclaw1314 says:

    March 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    It is time to get rid of the franchise tag—not fair to the players. In Le’Veon’s case he plays a position that has a relatively short shelf life due to injury risk. He plays for 4 or 5 years out of college on a very team friendly contract which is predetermined. Then when that contract expires he is exposed to the franchise tag where he takes all of the injury risk unless he wants to sign a below market deal with his original team which is the only bidder. Le’Veon deserves to have the free market determine his value.
    *************************
    You’re right. The system works ok, but they need to change it for RB’s. Even when their rookie deals expire, they’re close to 30 years old. That’s nothing for a lot of positions, but it’s an old man for a RB.

  18. It was the second round, they got a first round bye, and had to play a real team nhpats. And the loss was hardly on him. You pay a guy for 16 games, and he was the best RB in the league last year if I recall. So yes, you pay him to stay on your team.

    That said, like OBJ I think the guy is a little overzealous in what he thinks he could command. While the franchise tag is essentially codified, market value is something very different. He can take his one year deal and make more than any other RB in the game, but I think he would be surprised to find what a team is willing to give for 3-4 years for a RB.

  19. The way that Bell has comported himself off the field makes him a huge liability as long-term mega investment. He has done himself no favors. Considering that he may be the best back in football, that the shelf life for backs is often limited, and that Bell is susceptible to trouble, this seems to be the best business decision for the Steelers – get another year out of him while Ben is still playing, then see what happens. Hopefully guys like OBJ can learn that there is correlation between big time deals and being a reliable teammate – the entire package is prized more for teams have the goal of winning a Super Bowl.

  20. Why do people hate Le’Veon so much? I feel whenever an athlete knows his value and wants to be compensated in that manner, he’s always ridiculed or called names. What’s the meaning of that? Is it jealousy or do we just hate people who excel at their jobs and know they’re a commodity to their place of business? His teammates love him and have publicly lobbied for him to get paid and so does the coaching staff, whose coming up with this idea that he’s a cancer? Wouldn’t somebody who’s cancer be hated by his co-workers?

  21. Man, your employers must really love so many of you. You’re willing to work for below your market value!

  22. Laughable that fans here think that the Steelers should pay him a long term deal. Why?

    They get him for this season at $14.5 guaranteed. They can do it again next year for about $17m, so a 2 year total of $31m – how is that different than offering him a 4 year deal worth $60m and $31m guaranteed?

    Bell wants more guaranteed money, the Steelers don’t want to offer that much, so he can’t win. He’s basically going to play for year to year contracts at this point, unless a really stupid GM jumps in and offers him a lot of guaranteed money over the course of a deal, which is ridiculous for any RB.

    There’s a reason why almost every position in the NFL has a higher franchise tag amount than RB – hint, it’s because you can pick up a decent guy in the draft and pay him his rookie deal for 4-5 years…

  23. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says:
    “..Disillusioned Steelers’ fans, who saw their team get humiliated by the Jaguars…”

    Humiliated? They put up 42 points on the Jags and only lost by 3.

  24. Bell can go to hell. His greed is off the charts. Get paid what most people will never see their entire lives to play a damn kid’s game. But no, he’d rather rap and smoke weed. What a jerk.

  25. nenlain says:
    March 6, 2018 at 3:12 pm
    or Bell will realise that his market value isn’t what he and his agent think it is.
    ———

    Actually, it probably is.

    —————
    You are looking at it wrong. Its not a bottomless pit of money they can take this from, its a percentage of cap space. Bell by himself is not going to take the Steelers anywhere. They need to field an entire team of talent. That means the money needs to be spead out. The teams that put too many eggs in two few baskets dont fare well. Especially if they make those committments and then something happens to one of those baskets.

    In this case the amount of cap space he wants is greater than the amount of value he can add to the overall team, even if he is easily a top three nd aruably the top rb in the league.

  26. “I’ve held out, made disparaging statements about the team and threatened to sit out the season. I wonder why they don’t want to commit to me?”

  27. I hope it was the non-exclusive franchise tag, that way he can negotiate with other teams. Nobody is going to give up 2 1st round picks, but they can agree to a contract and the Steelers can work out a trade. top two trade options:

    Option 1. Jets, get Jets 1st and 4th, Jets pay Bell the money he wants and Jets use that as a negotiating tactic to get Cousins to join. Steelers then can trade Jets 1st pick to Buffalo for their 2 1st and get a RB, ILB and S in round 1.

    Option 2: 49ers, get 1st and 4th again look to trade with Buffalo if the QB they desire is there at #9 49ers get nucleus of Jimmy G and Bell to go forward. Steelers can still get ILB, S and RB.

    Bell is not worth the $$

  28. I really hope he can get out of this situation and shown some respect with a long-term deal. These guys have families and most likely support more family members than any of us combined, they want stability in their job just like everyone else.

  29. The Steelers offered what Bell’s agent thought was a deal last year and Bell refused .It was for more money guaranteed than what he will get last ,this,and next year. Go figure ! Note to Pat’s fans the Steelers scored 42 in their playoff loss . Most fans would realise the offense wasn’t the problem. Please notice I said most !

  30. Teams find low-round picks and street free agents to start at RB. This is not a premium position. If he doesn’t sign immediately the Steelers should wait until he intends to sign then rescind the offer.

  31. Some perspective. If you make 50k/yr it would take 290 years to make 14.5 million. Please stop with the long-term financial security/take care of the family argument.

  32. I think what you all are missing is that teams are never going to trade a 1st and 4th for Bell. (Franchise stuff)

    It would be a sign and trade.

    As a Jets fan, I’d be comfortable with the Jets giving up one of their seconds for a sign and trade with Bell.

  33. Trade him to Cleveland so he can play alongside Curtis Mayfield and Josh Gordon. You can’t build a winner with a baby on board.

  34. How many millions is enough? What about your legacy in Pittsburgh and the NFL? Leveon is the most talented Steeler RB EVER, but if he we If he leaves Pittsburgh, he will forever be a good player but never a legend!

  35. redclaw1314 says:
    March 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    It is time to get rid of the franchise tag—not fair to the players.

    ——-

    So you’re saying it’s not fair to the players…the same group of people who ratified the labor deal with the NFL that includes the franchise provision? It became “fair” the moment the union and players accepted the terms of the labor deal.

  36. reddzen says:
    March 6, 2018 at 4:08 pm
    It was the second round, they got a first round bye, and had to play a real team nhpats. And the loss was hardly on him. You pay a guy for 16 games, and he was the best RB in the league last year if I recall. So yes, you pay him to stay on your team.

    ————

    The combination of James White and Deion Lewis had more yards, TDs and receptions last season…..for a small fraction of what Bell is demanding. And if one of them gets hurt…you still have the other. That’s us on wed to pay a RB $14M in today’s NFL. It takes away from depth on the test of the team. Did this lack of depth hurt the Steelers against the Jags?

  37. I like the team and I like LeVeon, but it’s time to get a high draft choice for him and invest it on the defensive side of the ball, especially with Shazier gone.

  38. His shown his dedication to team and improvement by playing at 1/2 capacity or less for the first 4 games last 2 years, suspended or not showing up. Let the other guy pay the man. He could be a great one if that was his goal, but its now, nor is he worth it.

  39. His shown his dedication to team and improvement by playing at 1/2 capacity or less for the first 4 games last 2 years, suspended or not showing up. Let the other guy pay the man. He could be a great one if that was his goal, but its not, nor is he worth it.

  40. The team has no problem running him into the ground (400+ touches). The guy literally does two jobs (85 receptions) and that is in addition to being an elite pass blocking option. But yeah he should just take that 14.5 and shut up. I think many of you would be surprised of what this guy can get on the open market if given a chance despite his past, and its damnsure better than 14.5 guaranteed the cheapskate steelers are screwing him on. The nflpa really should consider stepping in here as the rb market is utter crap and the steelers are pretty much assuring him that he will never see a long term deal which is so wrong. If you don’t want to give it to him there are at least half the teams in the league who would.

  41. Steelers are breaking the spirit of the franchise tag…

    I really wish the media would call them out on it loud and often…

    The Redskins offered Kirk the biggest deal ever…and he refused to negotiate…and the media blamed the Redskins and took Glee in reinforcing the Bad MGMT narrative…but Nooooo….they wouldn’t dare criticize their precious Steelers…and their precious progressive owner…

  42. Guy is great at what he does but he’s made of glass. You don’t pay RBs made of glass 14 million a year. But hey, that’s Steeler football… overpay the wrong players and land in cap hell. Could’ve cut ties with Bell, drafted a back in the second or third round and had little drop off in productivity. Then you could’ve had some extra money to fix that lousy defense.

  43. Bell was instrumental is leading the Steelers down the commode against the Jaguars. Sure, Garbage Time Ben tried to run up the score, but Steelers never had a chance and everyone except the bleary eyed fans knows it. At least NE led for a few seconds in the Superbowl. Both games were blowouts but the Steelers/Jaguars debacle was nothing but a huge egg laying ceremony.

  44. dirt2013 says:
    March 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm
    The Steelers offered what Bell’s agent thought was a deal last year and Bell refused .It was for more money guaranteed than what he will get last ,this,and next year. Go figure ! Note to Pat’s fans the Steelers scored 42 in their playoff loss . Most fans would realise the offense wasn’t the problem. Please notice I said most !

    ————————-
    Didnt you mean to say “note to Steelers fans”? Pats fans never had a reason to care since the Steelers were never thier concern.

  45. redclaw1314 says:
    March 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm
    It is time to get rid of the franchise tag—not fair to the players. In Le’Veon’s case he plays a position that has a relatively short shelf life due to injury risk. He plays for 4 or 5 years out of college on a very team friendly contract which is predetermined. Then when that contract expires he is exposed to the franchise tag where he takes all of the injury risk unless he wants to sign a below market deal with his original team which is the only bidder. Le’Veon deserves to have the free market determine his value.

    —————————————————————————————-

    Not fair to the players???? You have got to be kidding!! If handing someone 14.5 million dollars to play football is unfair, where do I sign up??? Especially a guy who’s already been suspended because he was using drugs and missing drug tests.
    These NFL players need a dose of reality. They are extremely fortunate to be able to play in the NFL and make the money they do. And I couldn’t care less about their risks. Let them go talk to a cop or fireman or soldier and then come back to me and talk about their risks!!!
    If anything is “unfair”, it’s the way the owners and players stick it to the fans. But the fans have no one to blame but themselves because they keep footing the bill no matter what it costs them.
    I’m glad I made the choice not to help foot the bill anymore. I refuse to go to the games and I don’t buy any NFL merchandise anymore. I only wish other fans would join me, because we could send a message to the owners and players that we’re sick and tired of them gouging us. I’m glad the tv ratings are dropping, too. It’s about time the owners get a little jittery about that. I hope they keep on dropping and the NFL does away with Sunday, Monday, and Thursday Night Football and the games played in Europe, too.
    The hypocrisy of the NFL — and I include the players, too — is appalling. They all profess to care about the players’ long term health, and yet they won’t take less money to make the game safer for the players by eliminating those games. It’s another reason why I have zero empathy for the players and their long term health. Yet the players whine about having to get ready to play those games all the time.
    I have been an NFL since 1960. I have never minded that the owners and players made a lot of money. But it’s ridiculous now. It’s beyond absurd. When Jimmy Garoppolo can sign a 5 year deal worth 137.5 million dollars — and almost 90 million of it is guaranteed — something is totally out of wack. The guy has started exactly 7 NFL games in his “career”. And remember — it’s the fans who are paying it, not the owner. Some teams have already raised their ticket prices this year. One of those is the Lions, who haven’t won an NFL Championship since 1957!!!! I mean, give me a break!!
    So — please! Spare me the sympathy for LeVeon Bell!

  46. When the draft concludes, expect the Steelers to withdraw the tag, or engineer a trade. As good as he is, he no longer fits in Pittsburgh. He is done there; simple, isn’t it?

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