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NFL Notes: Le’Veon Bell, Ravens, Steelers

Le’Veon Bell

Dan Graziano of ESPN writes that the feeling around the NFL is that the $12.12 million Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell stands to make under the franchise tag this season is “well out of line with the rest of the market at his position.”

Sources have told Graziano that even the contracts signed by Bucs RB Doug Martin ($7.25 million per year) and Jaguars RB Chris Ivory ($6.4 million per year) signed in 2016 were too big.Graziano’s source

Graziano’s source believes Bell would do very to get an annual salary of over $10 million as part of a long-term deal. Given that the Steelers would be looking at a 20 percent increase to franchise Bell again in 2018, Graziano says it’s unlikely Pittsburgh will go this route next year.

Given that the Steelers would be looking at a 20 percent increase to franchise Bell again in 2018, Graziano says it’s unlikely Pittsburgh will go this route next year.

“Even if he gets $10 million a year, that’s 25 percent more than any other running back is making right now,” one front-office executive tells Graziano. “You’d have to call that a market-moving deal.”

In the end, Graziano suggests a four-year contract worth between $40-45 million with around $20 million guaranteed as a deal that would make sense for the two parties. This would allow Bell to make $28 million-to-$33 million worth of “new money” and around $8 million in new guarantees while bringing his annual salary to over $10 million.

Ravens

  • While Jeff Zrebiec believes Darren Waller is the “most talented and gifted tight end” on the Ravens’ roster, he’s struggled some during offseason workouts.
  • Zrebiec expects the Ravens to ease G Marshal Yanda and LB C.J. Mosley, who are both coming off shoulder surgery, into training camp.
  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh indicated that Maxx Williams, who is recovering from knee surgery, likely won’t be ready for the start of training camp.

Saints

Saints veteran RT Zach Strief told Sirius XM NFL Radio that starting rookie Ryan Ramczyk at left tackle would be “asking a lot of” of him, but he still believes the first-round pick could be successful for them.

“He’s got the mental makeup to be really successful,” Strief said, via the SportingNews.com. “He’s been kind of a sponge. He’s really excited to get new information. Ryan is really good at being told something, understanding what it is and being able to do it with his body. Sometimes there’s a disconnect there with what you think you’re doing and what you’re actually doing. Ryan’s got that talent to be able to convert a verbal message into a physical action.