Le’Veon Bell will play this season under the franchise tag — that is, if he actually signs it. Bell and the Steelers failed to come to an agreement on a long-term deal before the July 17 deadline for franchise-tagged players.
If Bell signs the $12.12 million tag, he will be highest-paid running back in the league this season. That’s substantially more than next back in line, LeSean McCoy, who averages just over $8 million per year on his current deal with the Buffalo Bills. But Bell doesn’t have security beyond the upcoming season. He is now set to be a free agent in 2018.
Bell is one of the best running backs in the league, and he’s a key member of the Killer B’s — Bell, Ben Roethlisberger, and Antonio Brown — that make the Steelers offense so difficult to defend. He’s also only 25 years old and unarguably in his prime. And now, he has a little extra motivation for next season:
Bell could sign the franchise tag and hope it leads to a longer deal next offseason. It’s not quite the $15 million Bell dropped bars about on his rap track Focus, but there’s something to be said for making more than every other running back in the NFL this year.
Scott Kazmir Limited Jersey When Roethlisberger retires, the Steelers won’t contend for a seventh title until they’ve found a top-end replacement. Those don’t grow on trees. If his replacement walked into an offense that had a peak Bell, it’d be easier. But maybe he won’t.
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Watson and Mahomes are close to an equal value, so the two players going back-to-back makes sense. While Watson isn’t Newton, he can be a threat in a backfield with Christian McCaffrey in many of the same ways, albeit at a much less dangerous level.
Finally Brady is off the board and he goes to the team that cost him two more Super Bowl rings. At 40 years old, the Giants aren’t going to have him long, but the team’s defense and offensive weapons mean Brady should be able to compete for another ring right away.