The Carolina Panthers shocked the world last year when they rescinded the franchise tag that they had given to All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman
The Pittsburgh Steelers gave the franchise tag to their All-Pro and all-everything running back Le’Veon Bell. However, the star running back has yet to sign the franchise tender from the Steelers. They had hoped that the two sides could come to an agreement to lock their star back up for the future, but have yet to do so.
Per profootballrumors.com, Mike Florian of Pro Football Talk wonders if the Steelers would go the same route as the Panthers did last year with cornerback Norman. The closer the team gets to the start of training camp, the more difficult it would be to sign a contract in the open market that would pay him close to the $10 million in 2017, let alone the $12 million he would be receiving as it sits right now.
The Steelers would truly be playing with fire if they would even consider this an option. Let’s say that the team decides to do this last second, a player in the category of Bell would be scooped up in a second and the biggest gamble would be that he wouldn’t land in the same division, forcing the Steelers to face their mistake at least twice a year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 31, 2017
Funny how we freak out that Sammy Watkins has missed 11 games since 2015, but no one worries Le'Veon Bell has missed 14 in that time.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) June 1, 2017
This is just rumors and things to think about as we wait for the start of the season. I didn’t mean to give anybody a heart attack regarding this “what if”, it will never happen. You never really want to say “never”, but the odds of this happening are… well… let’s just say it won’t happen as long as Bell is at the level of play he currently is.
Only one back in this league can be put on the same level as Bell and that is David Johnson. Maybe the Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott can be put in that category, but he has just a season to look at in terms of skill set. If you ask me who I would take in my backfield 100 times I would say that 99-out-of-100 times, I would take the Steelers current starting running back on my roster over anyone in this league. The lone other time, I would take Elliott for his bruising running style.
Calm down Steelers fans, Bell will be behind Big Ben come week one…. or will he?