Mike Tomlin is 'excited and hopeful' that Steelers will get deal done with Le'Veon Bell
They have until Monday to reach a long-term agreement before the franchise tag deadline
The franchise tag deadline will come and go at 4 p.m. ET on Monday, which means the Steelers and Le'Veon Bell are running out of time to reach a multi-year agreement. But as the deadline approaches, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin remains optimistic that a deal will get done between the team and running back.
Tomlin told WAVY TV 10 that he's "excited and hopeful" that the two sides will come to an agreement.
"Obviously, we want to get the deal done, he wants to get the deal done. Everybody has said that," Tomlin said. "Now, it's just about the negotiators getting into a room and doing what it is they need to do. I'm excited and hopeful. Hopefully we'll have some exciting news here before Monday."
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, .
As Rapoport said, negotiations went down to the wire a year ago, but the two sides were unable to reach a multi-year agreement, so Bell played under the tag. He proceeded to rack up 1,946 yards and 11 touchdowns from scrimmage. The Steelers which would make him the highest-paid running back next season. But Bell wants long-term security -- something he absolutely should try to get considering football is an inherently dangerous game and he plays a position that usually accelerates the timeline of a player's career.If negotiations fail again, Bell will earn $14.5 million in 2018,
At the end of March, NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that which is what Steelers receiver Antonio Brown is making. From Bell's perspective, that makes complete and total sense. He's not just a running back, he's also a dangerous pass catcher. Over the past two seasons, he's caught 160 passes for 1,271 yards.
Still,as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora wrote in June:
If Bell was able to get into the $16 million to $17 million a season stratosphere it would transcend what has already been a productive offseason for running backs (buttressed by Jerick McKinnon's deal with the 49ers). If Bell was able to get the kind of money Adrian Peterson once landed from the Vikings, then the fate of the entire position group might be salvaged. In the end, he's very likely to be back on the franchise tag for a second-straight year with a divorce looming in 2019, pocketing his $27 million over two seasons and moving on. And while that wouldn't be the worst outcome in the world for the player or his future earning potential, it also requires staying injury- and suspension-free for another season -- which hasn't always been easy for him -- and also falls well short of the $45 million in guarantees that far-less-productive receivers like Sammy Watkins earned on the free-agent market a few months back (to say nothing of the slew of dubious contracts doled out to other skill players).
Ad here's where it's worth noting that a year ago, Tomlin expressed optimism that a deal would get done during his interview with WAVY TV 10.
"I'm optimistic," he said at the time. "As you say, the deadline is Monday. He may even be in camp with a long-term deal. We'll see how the weekend unfolds. I don't have direct involvement in some of those things, but obviously I'm watching with keen interest."
A deal did not get done.
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