It's a good thing Le'Veon Bell had all that practice of thinking he was underpaid last season. That way, he won't be surprised this year when he doesn't get the money he wants once again.
The difference this time around is that Bell is actually going to want to sign a multi-year deal. He was slapped with the franchise tag by Pittsburgh and decided to hold out in order to get the contract he felt he deserved when he hits free agency.
Now that free agency is around, Bell still might be disappointed.
The Jets, who are reportedly looking to bring in Bell, aren't will to break the bank to bring him in despite having a TON of cap space.
While the #Jets will be looking for offensive playmakers this offseason, the plan is not to "break the bank" for Le'Veon Bell, per @MMehtaNYDN. There's a level of concern in the organization about Bell's motivation if he was to land a big payday this offseason.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 31, 2019
Wait, do you mean the Jets are actually being smart for once? Are we sure this is a real thing?
New York was expected to overpay for the services of this game-changing running back but are now rethinking the idea based on his desire to perform once he's cozy with a new deal. It's an understandable gripe to have with the former All-Pro as he won't have the same "prove myself" mentality once he finally reaches the deal he's been after for so long.
Aside from the concern about his drive, there's also the simple fact that running backs are extremely replaceable in today's NFL. Is he an upgrade from Elijah McGuire and company? Of course, but there are multiple players who can do what he does.
#Steelers in 2017 with Le’Veon Bell:— T.J. Moe (@TJMoe28) January 31, 2019
6,047 total yards, 25.4 PPG
2018 without Bell:
6,453 yards, 26.8 PPG
Why in the world would you ever break the bank for a running back in today's league? https://t.co/DwdmyQHxqC
The Jets' biggest lure at this point is money. They've had coaching changes far too often, little playoff success over the years, and have finished .500 or worse in seven of the last eight seasons.
That still doesn't mean they're interested in throwing money at a player and jeopardizing their chances to land other talented pieces. And that says a lot, because the Jets are a team desperate for another star player and they have ample money to make it happen.