Le'Veon Bell has been one of the NFL's best running backs through his first three seasons. A second-round pick out of Michigan State by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013, Bell has rushed for 2,777 yards and also added 1,389 more catching passes out of the backfield. He's also totaled 22 touchdowns. And he's done that in 35 games. Over the course of three seasons, Bell's 119.0 yards from scrimmage per game paces the league.
Now, he is heading into the final year of his rookie contract on a deal that is set to pay him $1,311,100. That's obviously well below market value. Per Spotrac, he'll be the 45th highest-paid running back during the 2016 season.
Unsurprisingly, Bell would rather be compensated in a way that reflects his contributions. At least, if you take his latest rap track as gospel. As we've written multiple times before, Bell has a side career as a rapper that goes by the name of Juice. Per the Sporting News, Bell's latest track (titled "Focus") contains a line that references exactly how much he wants on his next contract, and why:
"I'm at the top and if not I'm the closest, I'ma need 15 a year and they know this."
Adrian Peterson has the NFL's top cap hit for a running back in 2016 at $14 million, but the next closest ball-carrier (Jamaal Charles) checks in at an average of $9,050,000. So a $15 million per year salary would represent a massive increase from what top running backs typically get. That seems pretty unlikely, even though Bell has proven himself to be one of the NFL's best.