Le’Veon Bell has been in the news of late. His contract situation is one of the most interesting in recent memory. He will play under the franchise tag in 2017, which makes his salary close to double what the second running back in the NFL, LeSean McCoy, is making per year. Pittsburgh very well then might give Bell a raise after the season by franchising him again, which is an absurd amount of money to guarantee a running back over two years.
But Bell wants even more. He looks at it like this: If you are going to pay my fantastic teammate, Antonio Brown, the going rate for being an elite NFL wide receiver, aren’t I every bit as valuable as Brown to this team?
And you know what? Bell is right. He should be paid as an elite non-quarterback offensive player rather than judging him against his running back peers from a financial standpoint. When the Steelers went on their outstanding winning streak last year, it was on the back of Bell. Much as the late career John Elway to Terrelle Davis transition transpired, Pittsburgh’s offense now goes through Bell rather than Ben Roethlisberger. It is the correct decision for the Steelers and as you all know, such a strategy creates insane fantasy production for Bell.
In the history of the NFL, 135 players have accumulated at least 4,000 yards from scrimmage in their first four years in the league, including Bell. 134 of them fall short of Bell’s 128.7 yards per game pace. Think about that for a minute.