As Le'Veon Bell continues to seek a long-term contract from the Pittsburgh Steelers, someone who has been through a similar experience is offering advice.
Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown was asked about his teammate's situation during organized team activities Wednesday, and he made it clear he would like to see the star running back on the field sooner rather than later, via Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Brown then agreed to restructure his deal this past March to free up cash for Bell in 2018.
Of course, Brown was never bound to one-year contracts the way his teammate has been. Bell was slapped with the franchise tag in each of the past two years, although he has turned down multiyear offers from Pittsburgh during that time.
The feature back has made it clear he is looking to get paid what he's worth.
"I feel I should be valued as a player, not so much my position," Bell told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler last July.
The 26-year-old has turned into one of the best all-around backs in the game through his first five seasons. Last year, he ran for 1,291 yards, added 655 receiving yards on 85 catches and scored 11 total touchdowns.
Bell indicated to Fowler earlier this year that he is prepared to walk away from the game if he doesn't get a long-term deal: "I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it."
Brown understands the NFL is a business, meaning his teammate has to take care of himself and his family first. However, he knows getting Bell on the field as quickly as possible is key to the Steelers' quest for Super Bowl banner No. 7.
Last year, Bell did not report to the team until Sept. 1, giving him just enough time to get acclimated to the offense for the season opener.