Twitter not impressed with Le'Veon Bell's 4-year, $52.5M deal, but should it be?

Le’Veon Bell finally got his long-term deal on Tuesday, agreeing to a reported four-year, $52.5 million contract with the New York Jets, according to ESPN.

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The deal can reach up to $61 million and has $35 million in guaranteed money, according to the report.

Bell announced his excitement over the deal and being “back in the green” on Twitter.

Bell’s deal falls short for some

While Bell was publicly excited, some on Twitter weren’t impressed. Bell played hardball with the Pittsburgh Steelers and sat the entire 2018 season unpaid when he could have made close to $14.5 million in guaranteed money on the franchise tag.

With the final long-term offer from the Steelers reportedly being for five years and $70 million, many on Twitter believe that Bell ended up playing himself in the long run.

Le’Veon Bell seems happy with his $35 million in guaranteed money. (Getty)
Le’Veon Bell seems happy with his $35 million in guaranteed money. (Getty)

Bell did not set new RB market

Bell wanted to set a new market for running backs and ended up settling for less guaranteed money than the four-year, $60 million deal Todd Gurley signed with the Los Angeles Rams last offseason that included $45 million in guarantees.

Consider Twitter less than impressed.

NFL contracts are never simple

Of course, as is always the case with NFL deals, looking at the top-line numbers doesn’t come close to painting the entire picture.

The Steelers did reportedly offer Bell five years and $70 million. But that’s a deal he was highly unlikely to see the end of. And the guaranteed money on that offer — “just over $10 million” — was reportedly significantly lower than what Bell ended up getting with the Jets.

Had he seen the first two years of the contract through, he would have reportedly been paid $33 million, which seems a likely scenario. But again, it wasn’t guaranteed.

It’s all about the guarantees

And the guarantees appear to be the crux of Bell’s beef with the Steelers. He wanted long-term security. The Steelers didn’t offer it. They parted ways.

But barring a serious injury he could have suffered last season, there’s almost zero question Bell cost himself money. His deal with the Jets isn’t going to make up for the nearly $14.5 million he would have made playing football last year.

But Bell came out of that year with less wear and tear and avoided that risk of a career-changing injury.

In the end, he got a big payday with the New York Jets. He’s happy — or at least he acts like he is. Jets fans are happy.

Steelers fans are not. And that’s fine. That’s how football works.

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