The way we talk about it, and NFL contracts report sucks. There is no more clever way to say it than that. If you want to prove, look no further than the situation between the Steelers and Le Veon Bell, who refused only five years, $ 70 million contract offer … an offer that was nothing, it seems, and one, he wisely sink.
Founding the Narrative
We've got to start with how the news cycle unfold on these because it's a fairly common format for the big name players who are trying to reach a deal with team.
before the deadline Monday speculation about a possible holdout in the season went on to add comments about Adam Schefter.
"I think it's possible Le Veon Bell sits in the first half of the year if he does not get a long-term deal done." ̵1; @AdamSchefter @ @SiriusXMNFL
"The goal at this point would be to heal a free agency in 2019, not another 400 touch rack."
-. Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) July 16, 2018
The 4:00 deadline for the franchise-marked players and teams to reach a long-term deal without a new contract for Bell. Later that day, Ian Rapoport NFL Network gets the offer Bell from the Steelers got, and it looks like a doozy.
From what I understand, the #Steelers 'final offer to RB Le Veon Bell was 5 years, $ 70M with more than $ 30M over 2 years. Last year, the offer was 5 years, $ 60M. … Instead, he will earn $ 14.5 million on another franchise day
-. Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 16, 2018
You can think of which side that put out there, with no more than the top-line details of the contract compared with the top-line details of last year's offer. This information makes it seem like the Steelers are putting a premium on Bell and making it the cornerstone of the roster through the heyday of his career (Bell is 26).
The next morning, Schefter sends out a tweet on the annual average that the Steelers offer would have paid him
Just to clarify.
Steelers offer Le Veon Bell last year, on average, for $ 13.3 million. Year
Steelers & # 39; Gets him on average $ 15 million a year this year
But Bell does not think he should be paid as RB. he believes that he should be paid as an elite offensive weapon
-. Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 17, 2018
Armed with this information, the narrative sentence against bell. It is reported after the Monday afternoon deadline that Bell will not endure during the regular season . He can skip Camp as he did last year, but no games during the season.
Almost 24 hours later, we get a clearer picture of the offer from the Steelers.
Mentioned yesterday the #Steelers final offer to RB Le & # Veon Bell was 5 years, $ 70M. Another context today: The fully guaranteed part was its inaugural price of just over $ 10 million. In a roll guaranteed structure – He got $ 33M in the first two years. $ 45M over the first 3 years
-. Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 17, 2018
Ah ha. And so Bell's decision makes a lot more sense.
Why Bell Making the Right Decision
The franchise day will make him pay a fully guaranteed salary of $ 14.5 million this year. Would you prefer that, or a business that guarantees you only $ 10 million? Even with the possibility to make up to $ 70 million over five years, the smart move here is to go bird-in-hand, in a sport where careers are already short.
If Bell had arranged this deal, the Steelers would have fired him after this season. The team would be left with an undetermined amount of dead cap space for 2019, and Bell would go away with less money than what he was guaranteed to do with the franchise day and far from the $ 70 million opportunity deal.
Bell chose to take the money guaranteed this year and add it to the deal he would get next year as a free agent, giving him more guaranteed money to give him what the Steelers would offer him.
"Is it safe to say that he would receive a guarantee that is more traditional for the NFL contracts … the answer to that question is a resounding yes." Bell's agent, Adisa Bakari, said in an interview with the NFL Network on Tuesday,.
"There are only two teams in the league that do not guarantee the first year, the Steelers is one of them," added Bakari.
The highest paid back runs in the league, LeSean McCoy, has guaranteed more than $ 1 million in signing in 2015. Devonta Freeman received more than $ 17 guaranteed signing at the Falcons last year and the 49ers gave Jerick McKinnon 11 , $ 7 million this year.
It's safe to say that if Bell stays healthy, he's bound to get a guaranteed amount of money similar to Freeman or McCoy … just sign for a deal as a Free Agent next spring. And even if the Steelers marks him for a third consecutive season, he would be fully guaranteed over his $ 17.4 million next year.
Steelers' offer, with the potential  of $ 33 million in the first two years of the year, was only about $ 1 million more than what he would have marked if he had marked that year and on to the next one.
The treacherous way we talk about NFL contracts
Had Bell signed that five years, $ 70 million deal with the Steelers, it's unlikely he would have seen it reach its natural end. It is rare for an NFL player to actually play his entire contract, even the superstars.
Of the all NFL contracts signed this year, there is only one where the player recognized the full value, see: Kirk Cousins' three-year, $ 84 million deal with the Vikings. (He decided to negotiate the shorter deal).
So, if you see a report on a player offered to an x year, y dollar deal or agreement, just know that it is nonsense, and in some cases it is a report that has been weaponized as a negotiating tactic is.
The average annual value of talking about deals has been a popular one. It is convenient for armchair directors and we compare financial media types of player to player. But like the overall picture of the deal, it's bullshit for the same reasons.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to talk about the true value of these offers, at least not without many words. Also, reports that contain other essential bites to NFL contract coverage must guarantee the dollar an asterisk. Bell's situation relied heavily on guaranteed money when signing. Then there are guarantee guarantees, guaranteed salary, if the player is on the list at any given time, and other mechanisms that usually let teams make the final decision on the money that is actually guaranteed for a player.
I do not know if we'll ever get to a point where NFL contracts are guaranteed full extent. There's a lot going on in it, and Adam Stites did a deeper dive on the subject with a player-agent after Russell Okung's Tweet Storm, which is well worth your time.
How to get contracted offers will never change until the CBA is the case in 2021, so it's our responsibility to take everything we do with a big dose of skepticism.
Despite all the excuses about the situation with Bell, he and his agent ultimately have the right decision. Although it can be difficult to take for the fans sometimes, there is nothing wrong with a player who strives to get the most financial value out of a career in the best case scenarios Sunset in a player's 30s, not one that can lead to harmful long-term health issues.
For that you have to give a loan to the man.