The Pittsburgh Gambler? Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell Comfortable Betting On Himself

As today's deadline approaches, the Steelers' contract negotiations with Le'Veon Bell are down to the wire

After reportingly offering the running back $12 million a year annually, and still being turned down, it's easy to say that it isn't the Steelers who are being unreasonable, but Bell himself.

Considering his comments in the last 24 hours, it is clear any new contract offer to Le'Veon Bell before the deadline would have needed to set a new financial standard for running backs in the NFL.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the contract offered by the Steelers to Bell was for five years total.

Bell could become an unrestricted free agent next spring or the Steelers could place the franchise tag on him a second time. "I think what happens is he plays under this tag this year, and then they sign him to a long-term deal".

Bell's total of 61.39 Net Expected Points placed him second among all National Football League running backs in 2016. According to reports, the sticking point wasn't the term but rather how much salary would be guaranteed. Outside of another suspension or a very serious injury, he was more than likely going to see that money. McCoy is now the highest-paid tailback in the league after he secured a five-year, $40m deal. This year, Cousins wants more time to evaluate the #Redskins. 2017 means a lot on the future of Bell and the Steelers, but how next offseason, James Conner's performance, and the 2018 season play out could be a significant factor in the future of the Steelers' backfield. Although he's expected to be fine for Week 1, Bell will take the field without the security of a long-term deal to remain with the Steelers.

However, if this makes Bell motivated to get better, that's an exciting thought for Steelers fans and a terrifying one for the rest of the NFL.

Instead Bell being nicknamed "The Juice", perhaps "The Gambler" is more fitting for Bell moving forward into his career. By simply saying he'd make $30 million in the first two years, the Steelers adroitly glossed over the key question of whether Bell would make $12.1 million this year, $26.62 million, or something in between that.

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