The Pittsburgh Steelers starting running back Le'Veon Bell has chosen to sit out of Training Camp and all other team activities, due to the team failing to give him a new contract extension. Bell feels that he is the best running back in the league and thinks he deserves to be paid like it. One of the factors that are working against him at the moment is that he's only been able to play one full season out of his four total seasons in the NFL. In his sophomore season, Bell played all 16 games and 1,361 yards on the ground and 854 receiving yards for a total of 11 TDs.

Instead of giving Bell a new guaranteed contract this off-season, Pittsburgh decided to place the franchise tag on him.

Under the tag, Le'Veon will have a salary this year of $12.1 million. His salary will be the highest paid for running backs this season. However, Bell is seeking for something more stable and long-term. So, he has yet to sign it and has been holding out with the hopes of both sides coming to a different agreement. According to "ESPN," Steelers GM Kevin Colbert doesn't think the move is wise on Bell's part and feels that he's only "hurting himself."

"My feeling is there is nothing to be gained by a holdout. The situation won't change on our part on a long-term deal. So it hurts him not to be here."

Bell's performance last season

Last season, Bell was a huge part of the reason the Steelers were able to make it to the AFC Championship.

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It wasn't his best year statistically, but he stayed healthy through most of the season, and his numbers were solid on the ground and the receiving end. In 12 games, he posted 1,268 yards rushing and 616 yards receiving for a total of 9 touchdowns. His dominance on the ground makes things much easier for QB Ben Rothlisberger, who is getting older and already contemplating retirement.

Unfortunately, the Steelers were not strong enough to defeat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and fell one game short of reaching the Super Bowl. In three playoff games, Bell averaged 5.5 yards per carry and ran for 357 yards. His play may not have earned him a long-term deal, but it may have put him in a situation where he may make more money not signing one.

Why long-term contract may not be the best option

The Washington Redskins starting quarterback Kirk Cousins has enjoyed the luxury of playing under the franchise tag over the last couple of seasons.

Since his team has been undecided on a deal, rather than letting him go, they were required to pay him a set salary that has been about $20 million a season. The rate for RBs is a bit lower but is a few million more than the current highest paid RB in the league.

The longevity of running backs isn't expected to last as long as the other positions in the league because of the punishment that they take. In result, they aren't paid as much as many people would think. So for someone like Bell, the Steelers may be doing him a much bigger favor than he thinks. For a guy with the talent he has, playing under the franchise tag at his position seems better than taking a long-term contract.