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2018 Pittsburgh Steelers Tag Bell: Will it Pay Off?

Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
An Image of Le'Veon Bell with text and 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers

Currently in the middle of the football betting online offseason, sportsbook players are focused on keeping up with the latest transactions. One particular story that has risen to prominence involves Le’Veon Bell, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ running back who ranks amongst the best in his position. Over the last couple of years, Pittsburgh has consistently designated Bell as the team’s franchise tag. And while this assures that Bell gets a good paycheck, it doesn’t offer much security for his future. With that in mind, could this deal backfire for the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers? Let’s take an online betting look at this dilemma.

The Dangers of Being an NFL Running Back

Over the last couple of season, Le’Veon Bell has made it his mission to raise the market for the next generation of NFL running backs. Being an NFL running back, while exciting, is an extremely dangerous occupation. In fact, the average career of an NFL running back is roughly 2 ½ years. While we can all think of back who enjoyed greater longevity; Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson, or even Chris Johnson, these guys are unequivocally the exception. The other guys on the roster only have at most 3 years.

Subsequently, it’s important that people who dedicate their lives get into the NFL make the most of their time. Getting into the NFL is no walk in the park. First you have to make sacrifices during High School to stand out to collegiate scouts. Then you have to sacrifice a good portion of your college education in order to be a noticeable NCAAF player. Afterwards, you have to hope that your college years were good enough to catch the gaze of an NFL team.

And if you happen to make it as an NFL running back, you now have 2 ½ years to make a profit. The problem is that most running backs are getting that franchise tag money. So after 2 ½ years in the league, they don’t really find themselves in a financially comfortable situation. Le’Veon Bell has taken it upon himself to give these guys a shot at bigger paycheck. In doing so, Bell might be putting himself at odds with the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers.

2018 Pittsburgh Steelers’ Decision to Franchise Tag Bell

Bell’s plight with the Steelers boils down to one thing: more money. Earlier in the football betting online offseason, Bell proclaimed that he wanted to be the highest paid running back in the NFL. Considering that Bell was 3rd in the league in rushing yards, 3rd in touchdowns, averaged 4.0 yards per carry, and only had 2 fumbles off of 321 attempts, it’s safe to say he at least belongs in that conversation.

But time and time again, the Steelers have turned down Bell’s offer. And while the franchise tag guarantees that he’ll be one of the highest paid running backs in the league, it offers zero security. There are all types of clauses in NFL contracts that guarantee teams keep more money if a player gets injured. Moreover, a franchise tag doesn’t guarantee any money whatsoever in the coming years.

For comparison, guys in the NBA make a ton more money and have significant more guarantees in place to assure that they get what’s theirs. The NFL finds itself in this predicament thanks to poor negotiating from their players’ union. Obviously Bell didn’t have much say in that fight, but he’s doing all he can now. Not only for his own pockets, but for the pockets of the rest of the NFL’s players, both present and future.

In doing so they might be alienating one of their best assets. Sure, Bell will bring a fervor to the gridiron due to his love of the game and respect for his teammates. But there’s no denying that he would be more motivated playing for a team in which he felt respected. The Steelers don’t seem to want to make that jump. They might pay for it once the NFL sports betting online season begins.

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