Jerome Bettis: Le'Veon Bell, Steelers Need to Reach Contract Agreement

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) heads for the end zone after taking a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the second half of an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Don Wright/Associated Press

Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis called for a resolution of the contract squabbles between the Pittsburgh Steelers and running back Le'Veon Bell on Monday.

During an interview with TMZ Sports, The Bus had the following message for Bell and his former team: "Neither one of you are as good by yourself as you are together."

Bell is set to play under the franchise tag for the second consecutive season, as he and the Steelers have struggled to agree on a long-term deal in much the same way as the Washington Redskins and now-Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins did.

While Bettis acknowledged Bell's greatness, he also suggested the running back may not be as productive elsewhere: "Le'Veon, you're not going to be as good going somewhere else because they're not going to have the offensive line, they're not going to have the quarterback, the receivers that they have in Pittsburgh. You have a full complement around you that allows you to be as great as you want to be."

Bettis also said Pittsburgh shouldn't hesitate to give Bell a four- or five-year deal since the three-time Pro Bowler should be productive into his "early 30s."

Bell is 26 and coming off yet another fantastic season, as he rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns while reeling in 85 receptions for 655 yards and two additional scores in 2017.

If Bell manages to hit the open market next offseason, then his resume suggests he will land the richest running back contract in NFL history—whether it's with the Steelers or someone else.