The Steelers offered Le'Veon Bell a reported 5-year 70 million dollar contract that would have made Bell the highest paid running back in the NFL. He didn't take it.
The offer was more than fair. Le'Veon turning it down, though, actually makes some sense to me. The Steelers reportedly offered Bell 30 million guaranteed during last year's negotiations. Le'Veon has recouped most of what that would have paid in franchise tag money (about 27 million.)
Next year, I bet he will get 5 years and 70 million on the open market, except it will be on top of all the guaranteed money the Steelers already dished out. It makes sense for Bell to bet on himself. It makes sense that Pittsburgh wasn't willing to pay more. There are no bad guys here.
There is, however, a notion that the Steelers dodged a bullet.
Many have pointed to DeMarco Murray's abrupt retirement to indicate the diminishing effectiveness of RB's late in their careers. Others have noted (myself included) that Bell's yards per carry were down almost a full yard last year.
Does this look like a guy who is losing explosiveness to you?
I blame Bell's first three games for last years statistical decline. He averaged 17 carries and just over 60 yards a game. Why? He skipped training camp. After that he was great.
Ben Roethlisberger probably has three years left in his body. Le'Veon Bell looks like he's got a few good ones left too. I'd have liked to see him accept the 70 million dollar contract. I'm guessing Ben would agree.