Just 11 days away as of the writing of this article, and an important date for the Pittsburgh Steelers and their All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell.
If you didn’t know, the two parties have until the 16th to finalize a long-term contract, or else Bell will be forced to play the 2018 season under the Exclusive Rights Franchise Tag for the second straight season — netting him roughly $14.5 million dollars.
Everyone has their own opinions on this subject, but when a former Steelers running back, and Hall of Famer, chimes in — people listen.
Here is what Jerome Bettis told TMZ in an interview regarding Bell’s current situation, and his advice for him.
“Neither one of you are as good by yourself as you are together,”
Bettis didn’t stop there, suggested Bell needs to realize how good he has it in Pittsburgh.
“Le’Veon, you’re not going to be as good going somewhere else because they’re not going to have the offensive line, they’re not going to have the quarterback, the receivers that they have in Pittsburgh,” Bettis said. ”You have a full complement around you that allows you to be as great as you want to be.”
But what about Bell’s touches, and the proverbial tread left on his tires?
“I don’t think a four- or five-year contract is anything the Steelers need to worry about in terms of his age because he’s going to be able to produce into his early 30s,” Bettis said.
This isn’t the first time Bettis has been asked about the Steelers’ talented running back and his stance on his next contract, wherever that may be, and Bettis certainly feels the way many fans feel at this time.
Then again, Bettis was not only cut from a different cloth, but he was a part of a Steelers team where sacrificing some of your own financial gain to help the team was pretty much standard. Team-friendly deals, and not re-setting market value, was what dominated the landscape at one time.
Nonetheless, it all comes down to July 16th. Can, or will, the Steelers and Bell get a deal done? I have a feeling most people reading this just want there to be some finality to the situation.
Only 11 more days...