Le'Veon Bell wants to remain with Steelers in 2017

Le'Veon Bell doesn't want to leave Pittsburgh.

In the final year of his rookie deal, the running back has no designs on looking for a new home.

"Obviously, I want to be a Pittsburgh Steeler so obviously we're going to try to do everything it takes to make that happen," Bell said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The 24-year-old is a prime candidate for the franchise tag, which should be around $12 million for running backs, as the sides work on a long-term deal.

The only two issues for Bell are off the field (suspensions the past two season) and health (knee injuries in 2014 and 2015). Neither are likely to keep him from getting a top-dollar deal.

Talent gets paid in the NFL, even with off-field concerns that could lead to a big suspension on the next slip up. Bell is the premier running back in the NFL and deserving of becoming the highest-paid at his position. His combination of patience, vision and burst is unparalleled in the NFL. You could take part in a month-long debate over who is the best pass-catching back in the NFL, Bell or Cardinals' David Johnson.

Bell's accolades speak for themselves.

Despite missing three games due to suspension, Bell ranks second in the NFL in rushing yards (1,268 yards). The running back leads the NFL with 157.0 scrimmage yards per game (100-plus scrimmage yards in 28 of his last 34 games -- since 2014). He is averaging the third-most scrimmage YPG in a season in NFL history. (He won't play Week 17, but would have needed 238 scrimmage yards to break Priest Holmes' record of 163.4.)

Bell's importance to the Steelers' operation is evident. He is averaging 181.8 scrimmage YPG over his last six games -- Steelers have won all six contests. In the previous four-game losing streak, Bell never rushed for more than 81 yards.

"I think they do need to do whatever they can to keep him," Ben Roethlisberger said after Bell was named team MVP despite missing three games.

It would be the shock of all shocks if Bell were in any other jersey besides Steeler Black and Gold for a long time.

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