ELI5 - Why would Bell play this year if he doesn't have a guaranteed contract?

The franchise tag increases by 120% of current salary the 2nd time, and then 140% the third, or the average of the 5 highest paid position players (whichever is the highest).

If he doesn’t sign the tender by the Tuesday following week 10, then he can not play the remainder of the season. The team can then can sign him at the same 2nd year rate that they tagged him for this year, of $14.54 Million.

This would pretty much tilt leverage in the teams favor. They could trade him, and ultimately decide where he goes, or keep him on the team for the same amount of cap space.

If he signs the tender, then he can play the rest of this season. It also means that next season Steelers have to pay 140% of $14.54 Mil, which is roughly $20 Mil.

So the team would either have to tag, and pay him more than what they were likely willing to in the first place, or let him go. Tag in trade is also a possibility, but unlikely because teams won’t be willing to take on $20 Mil in cap space for a RB.

TL;DR the leverage is in Bell’s favor if he returns after week 10.

/r/fantasyfootball Thread