The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a very tricky situation. They have been trying to get Le’Veon Bell on a long-term extension for over two seasons. They have used up their franchise tags and now are running out of options for Bell. Contract talks consistently fell through between the two sides due to their differing views of the situation. The Pittsburgh Steelers want to pay Bell as the league’s best Running back. Bell wants to be paid as the league’s best player. Whether the Steelers will be able to get Bell extended at the end of this season remains to be seen. Here are five reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers should pay Le’veon Bell.
Five Reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers Should Pay Le’veon Bell
1. Offensive Chemistry:
The Steelers offense has centered around Roethlisberger, Brown, and Bell for the entirety of Bell’s career. The three of them, as well as newer additions like JuJu Smith-Schuster, have become an extremely cohesive unit. They are often categorized as the league’s best offense. Losing Bell would be detrimental to the Steelers offense as Bell’s style of play is very unique and would be hard to replace. This paired with the fact that his style is extremely effective and that he is possibly the best player at his position in the league makes Bell an incredibly valuable asset that Pittsburgh can’t afford to lose.
2. Divisional Risk:
The Steelers are also running the risk that Bell would leave for a division rival if they were to lose him in free agency. The Ravens would definitely like to upgrade from Alex Collins to Le’veon Bell if the opportunity arises. With a new General Manager taking over in Baltimore, signing Bell would be a great legacy move for Eric DeCosta to make. The Bengals also have a running back group that could benefit from a Bell signing. Sophomore player Joe Mixon has said he replicates his play style after Bell. Being paired with him could elevate Mixon’s play and give Cincinnati an unstoppable backfield.
3. Staff Jobs on the Line:
The Steelers may not look at the possibility of losing Bell as detrimental, but it could be the domino that causes them to collapse. If Bell is let go and is paid what he wants by any team and they are successful with him, jobs could be put on the line if the Steelers can’t maintain the success they currently have with Bell on the roster. Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert has been with the team since 2000 and losing Bell for the worse could end his career with Pittsburgh at nineteen years. Mike Tomlin is another name to watch if the Steelers start having lesser success in a post-Bell era.
4. Wasting Ben Roethlisberger‘s Remaining Years:
Big Ben is noticeably aging and has been in retirement conversations for the past two seasons. Losing Bell could trigger the retirement of Roethlisberger. This could be an issue as the development of Mason Rudolph or Joshua Dobbs may not be complete after this season. Even if Ben were to continue playing, not having Bell’s pass-catching ability out of the backfield could force a complete change to the offense, which is something that would better off happening with a new young quarterback. The end of the Bell era could also lead to the end of the Roethlisberger era.
5. Fan Support:
The Steelers have always been a major part of the city of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is known as the “Steel City” and they love their Steelers. Losing Bell could hurt the fans trust in the team and if the decision causes a decrease in competitiveness, then the fans may get restless. The Steelers have a reputation built on success and fans will accept nothing less than a competitive roster that can contend for a Super Bowl each year. The Cowboys, Patriots, and 49ers are closing in on their sixth titles respectively. Steelers fans would love to see their seventh championship before any of them can get to six.
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