Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has leverage and he should use it, Mike Florio of PFT opines. Florio gets the sense that the Steelers are imposing an artificial deadline of the start of the league year or the franchise tag deadline to finalize a multi-year deal. Instead, Bell could stand firm and refuse to sign a long-term deal that is shy of his goal and once again exercise his right to stay home throughout the offseason.
Bell has indicated that he does not want a second consecutive franchise tag, but the one-year deal for $14.52MM wouldn’t be a bad place to end up. In theory, the Steelers could use the tag on him for a third straight year in 2019, but the $17.42MM price tag means that they would probably allow him to test the open market unfettered.
Here’s more from the AFC:
- The Jaguars have a tough decision to make when it comes to pending free agent Allen Robinson. He stands as the Jaguars’ most talented receiver, but he missed the majority of the year with a torn ACL suffered in Week 1. What are the Jags to do? Ryan O’Halloran of the Times-Union predicts that the team will either use the franchise tag on him or sign him to a multi-year deal with easy-to-attain incentives if he stays healthy in 2018. Robinson may not be a bonafide WR1 in the eyes of other teams, but he stands as one of the very best WRs in a weak free agent class at the position, so allowing him to test the open market would be dicey for Jacksonville.
- Will the Bills stick with quarterback Tyrod Taylor? Sean McDermott isn’t really tipping his hand. “I thought the quarterback position, in particular Tyrod and then Nate [Peterman] did some good things. I’ve mentioned before, the work ethic and the intangibles that Tyrod brings to the table are very much appreciated and a big part of how we did things this year and what we were able to do. I thought he did some good things and overall, we’ll continue to evaluate where we are what’s right for this organization moving forward,” McDermott told reporters Tuesday at the Senior Bowl (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com)
- New head coach Mike Vrabel cleared up some confusion by explaining that the Titans‘ next defensive coordinator will in fact be calling plays. “The DC will make the play calls – he will call the game,” Vrabel said (Twitter link via Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com). “And if I tell him to run something, he is going to run it. … The defensive coordinator is going to call 100 percent of the game, except for when I tell him the one time I want to pressure the quarterback.”