PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- The Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell could not reach a long term deal on Monday before the 4 p.m. deadline, leading to the organization to offering him the franchise tag at just over an estimated $12 million this season.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport was one of the first to report of the franchise tag placement and took the time to join “The Fan Morning Show” on Tuesday to talk about it.
Rapoport gave more details as to just what the Steelers offered Bell.
“My understanding is it was a multi-year offer that averaged more than the franchise tag, so more than $12.1 million, figure it was between $12 and $13 million on a yearly basis over several years, four or five years,” said Rapoport. “It was a substantial offer, I didn’t know what the Steelers were going to put forth, obviously he is a guy that means a lot to them, he’s one of their best players. They’re committed to him. It was a good faith, substantial offer that the Steelers made. And I guess I would probably join people in saying I’m surprised that it didn’t get it done.”
Rapoport says part of why Bell may not have taken the deal is because of how the Steelers do business.
“Well, it’s easy for me to say, the round numbers, it’s between ‘this and this’ over so many years, you know players want guarantees,” said Rapoport. “They want multi-year guarantees most people at least want two years fully guaranteed on new contracts. The problem is the Steelers really don’t do that. They really don’t. They will give big signing bonuses and this deal did include a big signing bonus. But as far as $25 million guaranteed right at signing, I don’t know if that is the case because it’s usually not the case with the Steelers. They don’t do deals that way.”
He says that he wouldn’t be surprised if Bell doesn’t show to training camp on time.
“I would be very surprised if Le’Veon Bell showed up to training camp on time,” said Rapoport. “Most players in this situation do not. When a player is not under contract, and Le’Veon Bell is not under contract right now, has not signed his franchise tag, there’s not a lot of incentive to show up to camp. He can’t be fined. I would be very surprised if he is there.”
You can hear the entire interview with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on “The Fan Morning Show” above.