Bell has been demanding to be paid as a top playmaker in the NFL for the last two seasons, over 500 days to be exact since he was first tagged on February 27th, 2017. Despite the team not yet coming to terms on the major contract, they still hold out hope that they will be able to lock in the running back. They released a statement saying that talks will resume with Bell following the 2018 season. Multiple members of the Steelers' organization have echoed the want to have the star back retire with the team.
The Steelers did make two solid contract offers during negoations, neither of which fit the bill of what Bell was looking for. This included deals that had him getting paid $13.3 million per season and $14.5 million per year. Instead, he will play out two franchise tags worth a combined $26.62 million and test free agency in 2019.
His tag last season wasn't signed until September 4th, but after a slow start in the first three weeks, he finished with 1,291 rushing yards, 655 receiving yards, and 11 total touchdowns. In 62 career regular season games, Bell has a combined 7,996 total yards, which is the most by any NFL player in that span since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
Those numbers alone make it easy to question the Steelers' hesitancy to pay their star. Wouldn't Antonio Brown and Bell be their top priorities to keep happy? Should they be? Or does Bell just deep down want to go elsewhere? Who do you blame for this deal not getting done?