That’s a big number to walk away from. No other way to put it. Le’Veon is playing a dangerous game literally and figuratively. He’s 26, has had big deal leg injuries, suspensions and is a running back in a game where running backs last an average of 2.57 years. He’s making a real hard stand asking for more money from the Steelers for the second year in a row. I fully understand why he’s doing it and a big part of me agrees with him. His job is to try and not get hit while 11 mostly enormous trained destroyers try and hit him as often as possible. And he does his job possibly better than anyone on the planet. So yeah, I understand him wanting all the money in the world.
But, 5 years for 70m with 30m over the first two years is the highest contract that a running back has ever gotten. You take the franchise tag, bet on yourself like Flacco did the year he won the super bowl, and try to put up another fantastic year. Then you look to cash in for a bigger contract next year. I’d love to watch that unfold, but there’s so much possibility of him putting up just an average season or worse yet, get hurt again. It’s such a gamble. And again, it bears mentioning, he’s a RB. The position that seems like you can refill every year through any round of the NFL Draft. Granted, Bell is a difference maker that changes games on the regular, but the amount of quality of backs that were late round picks is extensive. It’s just such a major gamble. He’s already saying he might hold out and play half of the season. I doubt he does that because few ever do anything like that. Once you start missing those game checks, you realize it sucks not getting paid. I hope it all works out for him.
What I think running backs should do is that if their first two seasons in the NFL are monsters, then that’s when you need to start holding out and ask for a major contract. Running backs can’t wait to the end of their rookie deals to get their money due to the toll the position takes on them. Not many running backs see the other side of 30 so when they’re 23-24, that’s when they need to cash in.