In a new song he debuted on his Twitter account last weekend called "Focus," Bell touched on a lot of issues surrounding his offseason, but the line that is getting the most attention? I'm at the top and if not I'm the closest/Ima need 15 a year and they know this.
The number -- $15 million -- wasn't made up out of thin air, either. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the current leader in running back salary, is averaging $14 million per season and counts $12 million against the Vikings' salary cap for the 2016 season. Both of those numbers are more than the projected franchise tag numbers for a running back will be when Bell hits the open market. Bell would essentially have to top his gaudy numbers from 2014 -- 1,361 yards rushing, eight touchdowns and 854 receiving yards -- and hope that the Steelers view him as a long-term cornerstone in their offense.
There is a substantial portion of Bell's song that isn't getting the attention it deserves, though. Most of his words seem to be about a perceived lack of focus. Bell notes They think I need to refocus/they thing that I'm smoking and I know I'm focused on me/ All you haters, y'all just cannot lemme be/ I know I'm getting right, y'all haters gon see/ I guess I'm only allowed to focus on me knee.
Monetary demands aside, this will probably get blown up into something much larger than it should be. Bell is clearly using the song as a medium to express some of the common frustrations that athletes go through at this time in their career. The realization that some people see you as nothing more than a blip on their fantasy football screen or a number on a depth chart can be troubling. Sometimes it helps to sing about it.