Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Although it seems like Bell was drafted just last year, the Steelers are now in quite the predicament with their All-Pro running back. Clearly they want to have him remain in a black and gold uniform for the long-term, but his injury history might cloud what would have been a top-dollar second contract.
Regardless of what Bell thinks he is worth, and how the Steelers organization views his worth, there have been no contract discussions between the two parties.
Not a phone call to check the two sides' temperature on a new deal -- nothing.
Per Jason Mackey of DKonPittsburghSports.com, "Bell said there's been no discussion about a possible contract extension for him, neither with him and his agent nor his agent and the Steelers."
I'm not here trying to paint a doomsday picture where Bell plays out his rookie deal and becomes a free agent. The Steelers still have plenty of time to get his contract figured out, and I believe you will see Bell wearing a No. 26 in black and gold for many years to come.
However, what will be interesting to see if whether the Steelers try to sign him to an extension before his final year, where he is set to earn $1,311,100, of if they let the 2016 season play out before getting into serious contract negotiations with his side of the bargaining table.
Both scenarios carry merit. The Steelers could potentially "buy low" on Bell coming off a second consecutive knee injury and hope to save themselves some money in the long-term, or they could wait to check his health, and productivity, in 2016 and potentially pay top dollar for his services if he returns to his All-Pro form.
Either way, this is one of several contract situations which will be worth keeping an eye on, but as of right now, both sides are incommunicado.