The deadline for franchise tagged players has come and gone. Trumaine Johnson of the Los Angeles Rams, Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins, and Le'Von Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers will now all play under the franchise tag for the upcoming season after failing to get long-term deals done. However, Bell has recently spoken out about how he wants to reset the running back market.

What Bell has said about his worth

Yesterday, NFL Network analyst and former Pittsburgh Steelers player Ike Taylor said that Le'Von Bell wants to be compensated like he is a number one running back and a number two wide receiver.

Early in the week, during a Monday interview with ESPN, Bell said that “I feel I should be valued as a player, not so much by my position.” So far, Bell has not attended any offseason activities and may skip training camp as part of his holdout. By being franchise tagged, Bell will be getting $12.12 million dollars for the upcoming 2017-18 season, making him the highest paid running back in the league.

Is Bell worth that money?

Le'Von Bell has indeed been a valued piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense as one of their so-called 'Killer Bees," along with receiver Antonio Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Last season, he became the first player in NFL history to average at least 100 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards per game in a season. He also led the NFL in touches per game (28) and yards from scrimmage (157).

As a running back last season, he had 261 carries (8th in the league), 1,268 rushing yards (5th), averaged 4.9 yards per attempt (8th) and had 7 touchdowns (T-15th). As a receiver, he had 75 receptions (T-28th), 616 yards (70th) and 2 touchdowns. This was also good for the second most catches and yards on the Steelers. He also put up all of these numbers in only 12 games.

What is hurting Bell?

One of the main factors hurting Le'Von Bell in his contract hunt has been the devaluing of the running back position.

LeSean McCoy is currently the league's highest paid back under a long-term contract, making $8 million per year. Bell's history of injury and suspension also do not help the cause.

He was suspended for the first two games of the 2015 season and the first three games last season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He missed the first three games of his rookie season in 2013 with a foot sprain and suffered a season ending MCL tear after only playing six games in 2015.

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