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What does the future hold for Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams?

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DeAngelo Williams was signed back in 2015 to fill the gap left by the walkout by LaGarrete Blount. DeAngelo had a successful season with the Steelers, and Le'Veon Bell is due to return at the start of the coming season. What does this mean for Williams and will Pittsburgh end up with a similar situation as before?

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

DeAngelo Williams was signed to a two-year contract in 2015, due to end in 2017. This alone is clear to show that the Pittsburgh Steelers did not intend Williams to be a short term fix behind entrenched starter Le'Veon Bell. This role for Williams is the same role previously owned by now New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount in 2014.

Blount was not happy as a Steeler, but more importantly with his playing time. This was because he felt he was not getting enough touches when he saw the field. This resulted in Blount leaving the field of play before the end of a game against the Tennessee Titans back in November 2014. The Steelers wasted no time releasing him, and he was promptly picked up by the New England Patriots, and went on to win the Super Bowl that very year.

Can the same come of Williams?

I would like to make this next point very clear- the fact DeAngelo was signed for two years, despite the intent to fill the hole in the roster for Bell's suspension, means that the Steelers did not want Williams for a short term fix. Williams will be the number two running back for at least one more season.

Williams' stats are more than merely commendable. He has had 57 careers touchdowns in ten years, 11 were in Pittsburgh. That is pretty good. Bell on the other hand has only had 8 in one season at most. Williams is clearly a good running back, but Bell is also a great running back, and its clear that he is who Pittsburgh want to continue as their marquee running back moving forward. Team President Art Rooney II said in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "[Bell] is somebody we would like to continue to have on the team for the long run".

Bell is the No. 1 running back on the Steelers' depth chart for a reason. This simple fact makes the future for Williams a little less clear. He will be 34-years-old when his contract is up, and whether he continues to play after this current contract is unclear, but Steelers fans should rest easy knowing next season the Steelers will have two very capable running backs to round out their backfield as they try to reach the pinnacle, and the team's 7th Lombardi trophy.