Photo credit: Joe Sargent / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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The Pittsburgh Steelers and Le’Veon Bell find themselves in a situation they’re very familiar with. Bell has been franchise tagged by Pittsburgh in the past and now the team will tag him again this upcoming season. As much as the Steelers would like to work out a long term deal with Le’Veon Bell they don’t have the cap room to do so with only $8 million dollars available. This organization has been tapped out on cap resources the last couple of seasons and it’s preventing them from making any moves in the off-season. Luckily General Manager Kevin Colbert has done a great job of improving this roster through the draft (JuJu Smith Schuster, TJ Watt). However eventually this franchise needs to be able to maneuver like the rest of the teams if they want to have championship success. Ultimately that could cause Colbert to shop Le’Veon Bell’s services because the name of the game is always “sell high.” Bell has been having tremendous output the last five years as a runner and catching the ball out of the backfield. Other teams would be willing to give high compensation in order to acquire Bell because of his huge numbers. Why wait until Bell’s value declines before trying to trade him? The only way the Steelers retain Bell is if they believe they can win a Super Bowl with him on the field. To be honest though it’s beginning to become obvious that Pittsburgh is starting to reach their ceiling. Jacksonville is emerging as a true threat in the AFC. Colbert knows his personnel has to evolve to keep up with Jacksonville which could lead the G.M to try to shake things up a bit. Right now Bell is scheduled to make over $14 million if he does get tagged again. So the Steelers would be looking at a mega-contract if they would like to hash out long term deal with the running back (Bell). That’s money that could end up being used on three players. Bell is on another level but the NFL is a business and a salary game as much as anything else. A trade is definitely possible.
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