If Bell were to miss games, he would be forfeiting the prorated portion of his $12.12MM salary for 2017. That would be a major gamble for Bell, whereas Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald can afford to hold the line since he’s only making $3.225MM. All along, the Steelers have expected that Bell would show up before Week 1.
“Really, a holdout does not benefit him in any way,’’ GM Kevin Colbert said recently. “So, again, I hope that he sees the benefits of being here and comes in here sooner than later.”
Prior to the franchise extension deadline, the Steelers offered Bell a five-year, $60MM deal with $30MM in the first two years of the contract and $42MM over the first three seasons. The pact would have reset the market at the running back position, but Bell presumably balked at the lack of true guarantees at signing.
The Steelers have the ability to franchise tag Bell again next offseason for roughly $14.5MM.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.