Good Tuesday Steelers’ Friends!
Welp. Today is the day. The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to place the Franchise Tag on Le’Veon Bell before the 4pm ET deadline. I believe it will be the non-exclusive tag which means that Bell can negotiate with other teams but the Steelers must ultimately agree to the compensation. Bell admitted yesterday that the Steelers have “come up since last year” but he “isn’t playing for less than $14.5 million.” The two sides can still negotiate but once July 16th hits, Bell either plays under the tag for Pittsburgh or he doesn’t play.
It has taken me some time to get here but I’ve arrived. Unless the team can get a first and a third (or better) for Bell in a “Tag and trade” then I do not believe they should sign him long term. They’ve up actually “come up” in terms of money and he hasn’t shown the willingness to come down and meet them. I just don’t believe it to be a good investment to sign a running back to a deal that is almost double to what other top backs get. And ya, I know he’s not your typical back, but then look at the wear and tear that’s already on him at 26 years old. If a long-term deal is going to happen then Bell has to budge too. I don’t see it happening though.
Tweet of the Day… Dissect this any way you would like.
Pittsburgh: the city that took in a 21-year old kid from small-town Ohio, the city I battled thru adversity in, the city that I became a man in. I love everything about being a Pittsburgh Steeler, and I want nothing more than to finish the rest of my career in Pitt! #26Forever pic.twitter.com/mhs2ikpK71
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) March 6, 2018
One final thought on Bell. Football careers are short. The average career lasts around three seasons. Therefore I totally understand why players in his position want to get every penny they can. I get it even more when I see what happened to Ryan Shazier or when I see what former players are dealing with in terms of brain injuries and joint replacements. I really do understand this. But I also realize there has to be some compromise and there has to be some common sense as well.
Rumors of a pending move for Cam Sutton appear to be accurate. At this time it looks like the Steelers will try him at safety. His football I.Q. is excellent and what you want in such a player. I’m not 100% sure about his overall skill set for that job though either. We should know more once the team has some activities in the spring.
I think overall Ray Fittapaldo of the Post-Gazette does a good job and here’s an example from his recent chat.
Matt: Ray, in free agency, I would like Steelers to get Avery Williamson at ILB & resign Sean Spence. That plus pick 28 at ILB combined with Matakavich & Williams is a good ILB unit, no?
Ray Fittipaldo: I like Sean Spence and all, but I don’t really see why they would bring him back. He wasn’t good in Shazier’s spot. If he’s your starter, you’re not in good shape. And as a veteran he’d be a fairly expensive reserve. You can find good reserves on a cheaper contract.
Spence has been a great story but Ray is correct. He did not play well in Shazier’s place. If he’s back at all it’s for the minimum and for depth and special teams period.
Enjoy the day Steeler Nation!